As a Child I Prayed, It was the Way…
The knarred pines below the mountain where we lived were like living gravestone on the land we called home; high above these pines were Kudzu shrouded caves where I played with constant skinned knees, Sargasso Sea eyes and long dark braids. I was taught that below this mountain was hallowed ground, and beneath decaying pine needles the bleached bones of my ancestors lay hidden. My Great-grandmother said the mountain was like a place of worship, it is where she took me at dawn every morning to pray. While the night shadows disappeared, we raised our hands to bless the day. Her voice was strong, she chanted in her native tongue, that of the Chickasaw. Afterwards, we would walk through emerald green grass still damp with the morning dew. We hurried to the small creek behind my parent’s house; she would always tell me that we were washing away yesterday’s sorrows. I would walk with her to the creek in the glow of a setting sun to thank Mother Earth for another day. My Great-grandmother was a proud Chickasaw, she lived to be 105 years old, and those many wonderful years she lived with my family is treasured. I was privileged to know her wisdom, her strength, and her love. When I was a child, my Great-grandmother taught me many lessons about life, the culture of her people; it was her way.
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