May 6 – Daily Feast

May 6 – Daily Feast

When we let down our guard, habit is waiting to reclaim its territory. It seems innocent and it is so familiar that we seldom suspect what teeth it has! Once we decide to change something, we can’t expect to do it in one great sweep. What has taken us over by such tiny degrees must be edged out the same way. The fact that we are taking small steps does not minimize a very great commitment. Little by little, we reform our habits, making sure we leave no void for any other bad habit to fill. If we have, a ne lo at nv, made an effort or tried to change and failed, it is probably because we tried to do it along or denied the need to change. The Cherokees believes he needs, a u na li go sv, a help or a partnership, to give him support. It may be another, v da di lv quo at nv, a special or blessed person that is grounded in the Galun lati.

~ I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. ~

CHIEF JOSEPH

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

May 5 – Daily Feast

May 5 – Daily Feast

Remembering can be painful and sometimes without any real benefit. But much of the time it helps us move ahead like a spur that tells us not to tarry but to go on and do what we have to do. It is far too easy to carry around, a u s ga nv tsv, a false guilt, a wrong idea, to override our good memories. We lose sight of the positive things we have done and the happiness we have shared by recalling a thousand impossible wishes we wanted to come true. But it does no good to dwarf the present time because the past was not what we hoped it would be. We cannot help but recall things and times and people dear to us – but to remember them with pleasure does them more honor than to focus on what we did or couldn’t do in the past.

~ Our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch of our ancestors as we walk over this earth. ~

SEATTLE

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

May 5 – Daily Feast

May 5 – Daily Feast

Remembering can be painful and sometimes without any real benefit. But much of the time it helps us move ahead like a spur that tells us not to tarry but to go on and do what we have to do. It is far too easy to carry around, a u s ga nv tsv, a false guilt, a wrong idea, to override our good memories. We lose sight of the positive things we have done and the happiness we have shared by recalling a thousand impossible wishes we wanted to come true. But it does no good to dwarf the present time because the past was not what we hoped it would be. We cannot help but recall things and times and people dear to us – but to remember them with pleasure does them more honor than to focus on what we did or couldn’t do in the past.

~ Our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch of our ancestors as we walk over this earth. ~

SEATTLE

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

May 2 – Daily Feast

May 2 – Daily Feast

It is true that if we get past this one hard place, all our problems will be solved? But each day has its share of such places – if not in our lives, then in the lives of those we care so much about. We are so interchangeably connected that whatever touches one of us touches us all. A ne lv to di, one strong effort, one day at a time, one step, one question, Are we reliable? Or do we get other people to cover our tracks so that we can go on doing what we want to do? When a hard spot, a habit, an addiction dogs our tracks, it is because we have not made up our minds to turn around and face it. Trying to make it acceptable only robs us of what we need most of all – to love ourselves and to respect ourselves. But we cannot do it alone. Only the Great Holy Spirit, and He alone, can give us the power.

~ The Great Spirit does right. He knows what is best for His children. ~

SENECA

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

April 30 – Daily Feast

April 30 – Daily Feast

Those of us who have seen a grass fire know that when one flame is smothered, another can break out in a different place. It takes trained minds to perceive where the next will happen – not so different from our daily lives. Sometimes it is hard to do anything new because of the emergency work. This is all a part of the business of living. We never quite reach perfection – not all at once. Even if we do, we are off to something else that needs more help, more work. If it were not for the moving and stretching of time, perfection might become a dead nothing. The Cherokee would tell you not to build your campfire near loose tinder. What earthly purpose is there in starting a fire with a match or a tongue, in places and in ways where we have no business?

~ No one ever saw an Indian destroy something the Great Creator gave to man for his needs. ~

RED FOX

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

April 29 – Daily Feast

April 29 – Daily Feast

Life stirs up our priorities – makes us think beyond our usual knowledge. There are enormously important things basic to all of us such as the family. The family as a whole is important, and so is each individual. Family makes us consider health and spirit and the capacity to take care of ourselves. The invisible circle gathers all we love close to us. But the final arc involves the making of who we are personally. Each person must know contentment, must be in awe, reverent toward the spiritual, recognize truth, and not go strictly by the depths and height of feelings. Searching for happiness leads us far afield when the search is for self, for a divine connection, a knowing that we are indeed divinely centered. We are a part of the earth, part heaven, one with every living thing. For this reason we love. The, ga lv quo di, the precious, the dear truth is that we love.

~ It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all nations and people must obey. ~

BIG ELK

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

April 28 – Daily Feast

April 28 – Daily Feast

How frightening to be out of touch – but how normal! There are times and places we go through that are strange – both in feeling and understanding. We experience an uneasy feeling and want to rush back to the familiar – even though it isn’t the place to be either. In growing, we go through strange places and think unusual thoughts. Fear of the unknown has made us wary, questioning, reaching for something to steady us, to give us direction and purpose. But we must expand our spirits, enlarge our thought to accept or reject what we have yet to learn. The American Indian has known the strangeness of new lands, new customs, has fought and lost – only to fight and win. Some are caught in between, but their staying power is in the Great Spirit who ever holds our hand and intercedes on our behalf.

~ I would that I could make the red people as great as the conceptions of my own mind, when I think of the Great Spirit that rules over us all. ~

TECUMSEH

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

April 25 – Daily Feast

April 25 – Daily Feast

Someday, we will know how to take living in stride, to sidestep a great many things and completely ignore that many more. Sometime, we will learn to pay less attention to the imagined and stop fussing about things we had nothing to do with in the past – and cannot change significantly in the future. One day, like the elderly Cherokee, we can say, “So long a time since I see you….I don’t care anymore.” Soon, we will rid ourselves of things we saved for no good reason – and have room for what we really want. As soon as possible, we will worry less about trouble…knowing some people need it for their security. Very soon, we will sit together in the sun a whole day and just be happy that we can sit together in the sun all day and just be happy.

~ Even as you desire good treatment, so render it. ~

HANDSOME LAKE

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

April 24 – Daily Feast

April 24 – Daily Feast

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 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 Cherokees 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 he cannot surpass himself and bloom more brilliantly in another area.

~ When we lift our hands we signify our dependence on the Great Spirit. ~

BLACKFOOT

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

April 22 – Daily Feast

April 22 – Daily Feast

In the seventeen hundreds, the Natchez mother of a young chief suspected he had become involved in a conspiracy and was being used by his elders to do wrong. She said, “Open your ears and listen to me. I have always taught you not to lie.” Liars are lost in a world of their own making. We have seen it glamorized in a world of make believe until the real world has difficulty telling the truth, even when there is no need to lie. Even the little white lies thought as harmless are barriers, wrongs, that stand in the way of honor. A lie, in whatever form, is deceit, and deceit is a major block to answered prayer, to friendship, to stable lives. The biggest lie of all is that lying is in any way harmless. Truth sees through the thin veil of a lie and all credibility is wiped out. But Truth stands forever.

~ I have always taught you that a liar is not worthy of being considered a man…. ~

STUNG ARM

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler