Over winter break, I thought a lot about gifts. This holiday season, like always, I was given an abundance of thoughtful, generous gifts by many, many loved ones. In between gatherings, visiting, and gift exchanges, I also took several hikes in the mountains of my beloved Yakama homeland.
I love winter hiking–the thoughtfulness I put into my layers of clothes, choosing my footwear, should I take one hiking pole or two? This thoughtfulness and care I show for myself prepares me to walk in prayer, each step of my hike a blessing for me…and the land.
Our homeland was created and gifted with deep thought and care by Tamanawi
lá and his helper, Spilyáy. In listening to an Elder tell a legend yesterday, I was reminded our beautiful mountain ranges were also created by Ocean Grandmother, who sought to protect her beloved granddaughters from gender violence. What thoughtfulness, care, and generosity we have…all around us…in the land.
Anytime we live with thoughtfulness and care, we honor our beloved relatives, all the people and beings who have done so much for us. In doing so, we also honor ourselves. We become part of the rich and blessed tradition of preparing the way, our way, full of thoughtfulness and care, for future generations.
Perhaps this is the greatest gift of all.
Photo: Winter hike on Yakama homeland. Credit: Michelle M. Jacob
Maybe you want to give the gift of writing in powerful community to yourself? The Winter 2023 Auntie Way Writing Retreat begins Friday, January 6.
2 thoughts on “Thoughtful Gifts”
Beautiful post Michelle! I bet it was wonderful to walk in the snow in your Homeland!
Big hug and much love, Auntie Marta
Thank you, Auntie Marta! Yes, it is wonderful to connect with the beauty and power of our Indigenous homelands. I am sending you a big hug! Michelle