Sunday, April 29, 2007

A CHEROKEE FEAST OF DAYS

One Friday afternoon during my lunch hour, I stumbled upon The National Museum of the American Indian. After having a chat with the friendly man behind the information desk, I strolled into the gift shop. (I'm a sucker for museum cafes and museum gift shops.) I found this great little book, A Cherokee Feast of Days, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler. Ms. Hifler is a descendant of the Sequichie family, which immigrated to Oklahoma over the Trail of Tears.

The book features a one-paged entry for each year, and each of those entries highlights a piece of wisdom from Native philosophy. Each morning, after waking, I read the entry for the day.

Here's an entry I like from April 24:

The wild pink verbena that grew so profusely along the slopes have moved to another area. In their place are yellow flowers, unfamiliar but like sunshine after a shower. A familiar saying is that the more something changes, the more that it stays the same. Flowers, like people and circumstances, change so swiftly and unexpectedly that it seems like the very foundation of the familiar is moving and changing before us. The Cherokee call this "a ma yi," creek water. It is always moving and changing before our eyes. Nature reminds us to renew our minds -- to update and enlarge our vision instead of accepting the daily changes of the world that come to nothing. No one has ever been so perfect that she cannot surpass herself and bloom more brilliantly in another area.
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