Morning Lessons with Niní

The morning is quiet and calm. Niní (aspen trees) hold their pose, still as a photo, their slender white trunks and thousands of leaves remain static, perhaps in deep prayer at this holy time of day when Aan (sun) rises to light our way. Even magpie, blue jay, and squirrel, who so often use NiníContinue reading “Morning Lessons with Niní”

Back to School Hopes and Dreams

It’s back to school time for many colleagues and students. I have so many hopes and dreams for this school year. I’ll share them with you even though it feels risky to hope and dream amidst the ongoing pain, loss, and uncertainty of the pandemic. Yet, one of the lessons from the pandemic I’m carryingContinue reading “Back to School Hopes and Dreams”

Smile at Dawn

I love the peacefulness of dawn. The air is cool and still. Birds narrate morning greetings. Squirrel chimes in with a loud song that sounds almost like laughter. Sky changes colors, tone, and brightness in what seems to me a masterful meditation practice. Trees stand absolutely still. Are they meditating as well? I hear woodpeckerContinue reading “Smile at Dawn”

What’s Your Vision?

Having a vision for one’s life is important. In my Yakama culture, we have always known this. We have old traditions of sending a child to find their power in the mountains, blessed under the watchful gaze of sacred Pátu (Mt. Adams), everyone secure in the knowledge that each child would have exactly the experienceContinue reading “What’s Your Vision?”

Pacing is Everything

I did my longest run of the year recently. Long runs are beautiful, wonderful, challenging things. Hour after hour of step, step, step, breathe, breathe, breathe, trying to remember when to take in fluids, calories. Deciding how much effort to put into each uphill and downhill. In long runs, as in life, pacing is everything.Continue reading “Pacing is Everything”

Intelligence of the Heart

I love watching the beautiful deer. So elegant and graceful in their pretty brown fur coats, black noses sniffing the ground–Mother Earth–beneath a clump of trees who stretch up and touch the sky. Another deer, a larger youth, has two tall nubs, still covered in fur, sprouting atop his head. With time, he’ll grow anContinue reading “Intelligence of the Heart”

Warm Welcome

Yesterday in our Sapsik’ʷałá Seminar, Yakama Elder and “Super Auntie” Tux̱ámshish Dr. Virginia Beavert reminded us about the importance of welcoming students to our classrooms and welcoming guests to our meetings. She encouraged us to make sure people have water to drink and a little snack–something low in sugar, as so many people struggle withContinue reading “Warm Welcome”