Are you in the mood for a story?
Is there anything better then curling up with a loved one and telling
or listening to good story?
Pull up a chair. Or a pillow. Or a stool.
And I'll tell ya one of my favorite stories.
It's a true story.
At the end of a very fruitful visit to Rapid City in the summer of 2003, my beloved
Paul, the kids and I decided to stop in to Storybook Island Park
on the way home. It's free and would be a good way to finish a great vacation
In fact a perfect vacation.
Our one and only one still as a family...outside of short day trips here and there. We REALLY appreciated every moment. I had just finished a few powerful experiences reading many Native books and exclaimed "We HAVE to go to Rapid City" and so this was absolutely a manifestation of where there's a will....there's a way!
We managed some family fun in midst of my deeply moving and somewhat sorrowful return. The sadness subsided (tears flowing hard sadness which is remarkable for me if you know me as I rarely cry) when a deer came right up on my side of the car and very near my window and looked deeply into my eyes as Paul was studying a map. The most intense interaction with the animal kingdom I've had to date. He was most certainly trying to comfort me and the relief was quite dramatic. I was happy my mood lifted.
And then there were the hawks, always circling up above. It's meaning came to be revealing as well.
A stop at a cute little park for the kids on our way out of town was the culmination of a wonderful journey and so simple and almost touristy that it was a bit surreal. Oh sure...we made a quick run through Mt. Rushmore monument park too in which I stifled my opinions and mumbled my way through for the better good. Those men might have meant well but they had no right carving their faces on that mountain. A mountain that was NOT theirs in the first place to do anything let alone blow dynamite and send creatures fleeing too and fro for eons.
My mood on this final morning was jovial and I was wanting to squeeze out whatever extra fun we could before heading home. I welcomed a little good old American family literature experience at the Story Brook park which with all the Disney character statues it was downright magical for our children.
Upon arriving at the parking lot of this Park we quickly realized we unfortunately didn't have a lot of time to explore it.
Seems this park needs a large staff to operate and so isn't your typical "Park" in that respect, and therefore it had actual "operating hours" with only a half hour to go before closing time. A park full of Winnie the Poohs, Snow Whites and Dr. Seuss kiddie rides to boot. We can hike through quickly we thought not letting the obviously huge time constraint get in our way as we made our way to the entry. The parking lot was nearly empty.
Above us we noticed the hawks again. Circling above us. This time there were more of them. I looked at Paul to see if he saw them. He looked amazed and decided to
count them. 18 hawks circling above! Beautiful!
This is a good story isn't it? I have many feather stories but this one is special. This is when the first feather came. One day I'll tell you the others and one day I'll tell you the angel story. Both of them. But in this case I mean the physical angel we spoke with at the Blue Moon cafe in Winnipeg. I say that now because the air had the same feel about it. The air, my skin and my dry throat. Like something was about. And you know that end of the day, closing time, no ones here but we're not "really" closed kinda feel to it.
The sun was trying to peek through at about midday already with a good long drive back to Fargo ahead of us but we didn't mind as we made our way over the Story brook stone bridge like the Griswolds about to head into Wally world.
We saw a turtle on the edge of the embankment under the little stone bridge and took a picture. Yet another wonderful memory in this very Native journey. Turtles mean good luck to the American Indian. I need all the luck I can get I thought as I stopped to appreciate this one who warming his shell with the glorious sunshine.
Once over the cute little stone bridge we were on the path straight ahead to the park ...just a short few steps before the entry arch, kids happily in tow!
Suddenly my beloved soul partner and husband stops dead in his tracks and starts kinda giggling and stopping.
"Do you see what i see?" He asked playfully.
I looked up just above my head to where he was looking and saw a beautiful white feather.
Not just hanging in mid air...But twirling! Yes twirling! And there was nary a breeze my friend!
It must be hanging perfectly on a spider web I thought.
"Look at that!" I said to the kids
Then I thought I'm just going to grab it. Semi-expecting there to be nothing there to actually physically grab!
No spider web. No nothing. And nothing that it could have been hanging "on" anywhere near either. We couldn't stop smiling.
I protected that feather and held it gently.
The rest of the playtime in Story brook park I was waiting for more magic. It just had that feel about it. But the feather was special enough.
I put the feather in a special place on our journey home. And when we returned to Fargo, I emailed an American Indian friend from a Native Forum. I couldn't wait to share what had happen just because I knew he too would realize how wonderful it was. His interpretation and wisdom of our discovery is now placed in a beautiful frame where we have this magical feather to remember our trip- a deeply moving trip "home" for my spirit. Even the lady who framed it was moved to tears. "I want a feather story" she whispered to me after holding it and hearing the instructions for the framing it and the words from my Native friend.
I always think when I look at it that whatever or whomever placed it there for
us to see must be very pleased that we would give it such loving care. We believe it is an eagle feather.
Here is my Apache friend "Billy 2 Dog's" words----So eloquently describing exactly what it is we felt and why it is we treasure it so. I hope you enjoyed the story.
THE FEATHER APPEARING OUT OF NOWHERE,
TO ME IS THE SPIRIT OF YOUR NATIVE ANCESTORS...
TELLING YOU THIS IS SACRED GROUND YOU WALK
HONOR IT AND ENJOY IT
BECAUSE IT IS FOR YOUR SOUL, MIND AND SPIRIT IT COMES TO YOU.
YOUR HEART IS GOOD...THAT'S WHY THIS HAS COME TO YOU
IN THIS MAGICAL WAY!
A MESSAGE FROM THE GREAT SPIRIT!
ALSO, MANY NATIVE AMERICANS BELIEVE
THE FEATHER OF THE BIRD CARRIES WITH IT
THE STRENGTH OF THAT BIRD