February 27 – Daily Feast

February 27 – Daily Feast

It is important to have a vision that is not clouded with fear,” said a Cherokee leader. “As children we were able to see beyond the impossible by enjoying a vision of how we wanted things to be. It required unlimited joy, and life responded freely – until we grew up enough that everything had to be real.” Sometimes the vision is truer than that which comes from it. A pattern to make anything can be accurate, and if followed perfectly, can produce the perfect model of it. But bringing something forth is the problem. We have to have a steady hand and a mind that is willing to follow precisely. Few things are spelled out for us. We learn to focus on what we need, but there is still another step: Focus on fulfillment. See it completed. This is usually left out as we adopt a wait-and-see attitude, and this step is far too important to ignore.

~ Have a vision not clouded by fear. ~

THE CHEROKEE

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

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February 19 – Daily Feast

February 19 – Daily Feast

We all discover at some time or other that it is painful to love. Caring about something, about someone, about some place is a great joy. It does make us vulnerable, easy to get to, easy to touch, and hard-pressed to hide our emotions. Some bit of us wants desperately to hide what we feel for fear that it will be taken the wrong way. But even more, we are afraid of revealing more than we are willing to share. A reserve of our own thoughts and feelings keeps us from depleting all that we are, keeps us from giving away that part of us which generates life. It keeps us able to love and care deeply. Despite all the pain that goes with caring, we would not have it any other way.

~ The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love. ~

SITTING BULL

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

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February 17 – Daily Feast

February 17 – Daily Feast

Touching the earth is a lovely thing, a feeling of once again finding our beginnings, a knowing that this place where we stand, whether to walk or plow or plant, is something created for us, for the pulse of the earth slows our own and tranquilizes our confusion. The Cherokees believe that seeing the sky in all its limitless depths stirs our imaginations and stretches our awareness of how much simple beauty is provided for us. We can see that bitterness lasts only as long as we allow it, but we have reached beyond the ceiling of our minds and are as unlimited as the sky. As currents of air stir the fragrance of flowers, we may not be able to see all things but we sense the influence and know that life is ours to enjoy. It comes by Divine heritage.

~ Ka wat lee OS, tat gat he. Peace for the Cherokees, Oh America, peace for the Cherokees. ~

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

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February 11 – Daily Feast

February 11 – Daily Feast

Many things from the past echo faintly within us – voices, sounds, thoughts. Only a few ring clear like a bell from many long ago seasons. Persistent memories call us back to deal with details – some of them best forgotten. Why do we remember? Perhaps to clarify what we feel, to help us be more objective about the present moment. Or maybe to force us to see that pattern of our own lives so that we may throw out events that have been obstacles. Sometimes we remember just so we can be grateful. Like the well-fed dog that turns primitive at the sight of a bone, we pick up on our own instincts and react before we think. If we see what is about to happen we can meet it with good humor and have less need to make everyone in the present time pay dearly for what happened so long ago.

~ I want peace, that we may……sleep in our houses and rise in peace on both sides. ~

BLOODY-FELLOW

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

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February 8 – Daily Feast

February 8 – Daily Feast

It is interesting to see someone take one little idea and make it grow into something that benefits many people. Could it be that an idea hangs before us like a worm in a chrysalis that is able to emerge as a beautiful ka ma ma – butterfly? When we reach for the stars we should remember that we are rooted and grounded in little things. The basis for success that lasts is the knowledge that slow and careful construction cannot be toppled by fickle and fast-moving tastes. So much is made to be temporary – the fast-moving fads – and people jump aboard to ride them for the duration. In the process the ka ma ma is crushed before it ever develops, and the pupa-idea must begin all over again. But it remembers its beginnings, its basic purpose.

~ I may be forced to adopt a new way of life, but my heart and spirit spring from the red earth. ~

PAINTED WOLF

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

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January 16 – Daily Feast

January 16 – Daily Feast

Use your imagination for its intended use – to create beauty and happiness and justice. If you use it for unfriendly reasons, it will eventually steal your wings and your feet. The Cherokee way of saying it is di gu yi s gi, the paymaster, the returns based on how it has been used. Do not envy another person, for your own imagination has grand gifts for you. Great suffering has been the lot of many who used their talented minds to bring hurt and pain where there should have been harmony.
~ There was nothing between him and the Big Holy. The contact was immediate and personal. ~
CHIEF LUTHER STANDING BEAR – LAKOTA
“A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II” by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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December 31 – Daily Feast

December 31 – Daily Feast

A feast is a huge banquet of wonderful foods and wonderful friends to share it. It is a time when people honor people – and many memories are laid aside for this celebration. But another kind of feast is in the heart – at the core where life is decided. It is the human way to believe himself victim of many things, and he starves at his center. He worries excessively about who will take care of him and who will feed him and if he will survive at all. Never start a day without gratitude – without an inner singing of “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!” Never start a day being sour and hard to get along with. Never talk trouble nor give credence to those who do. Never give another person reason to be unhappy….. And remember, this is your day. This is a day of celebrating new life and purpose.

~ On the other side of the river there is plenty of buffalo. When we are poor we will tell you. ~

BLACKFOOT – MOUNTAIN CROW

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

December 30 – Daily Feast

December 30 – Daily Feast

 

We move now toward a new year. It gives reason to think who we are and what we are about. Do we reach eagerly toward the future or does it frighten us with its weapons and voices and anger? Think long and hard about this, for it reveals your state of existence. A person cannot go on thinking “someday” and change anything. But to say that this day is the day to make changes and to bring one’s own personal spirit into alignment, that is an accomplishment. Some feel they are not good enough to be any different. But what they don’t realize is that making the effort to change makes them good enough. A person can’t get there until he takes an action.

~ Some of our people have gone from here in order that they may have a change. ~

SPOTTED TAIL – SIOUX

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

December 20 – Daily Feast

December 20 – Daily Feast

We view life with our hearts – and if someone does not have it in his heart to see something very beautiful, he will see only the hardship and distrust. Two people in nearly identical circumstances can wake up to the same news, the same information, the same landscape – and see it in totally different ways. One expects trouble to pass – and gives it time. The other sees problems pouring in faster than she can solve them. One sings, the other cries. We have to check our reactions and then check our hearts for corrected vision. This is our privilege – this is life meeting our expectations.

~ We took an oath not to do anything wrong to each other or to scheme against each other. ~

GERONIMO – CHIRICAHUA APACHE

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

December 18 – Daily Feast

December 18 – Daily Feast

I watched her in the woods circling a red cedar not much taller than she was. It was her gift back to the woods that had given her so much peace and comfort – even when life outside the woods could be trying. She laid garlands of popcorn and cranberries over the sturdy limbs along with burr acorns and suet in mesh bags. Scattered beneath the tree were sunflower seeds and millet that cardinals and would attract unusual guests – miniature marshmallows were scattered in and around the tree, a sweet touch for woodland friends. A sweet touch, the best part of the gift. She gave, and peace would be given back to her.

~ Sometimes we prayed in silence; sometimes each one prayed aloud; sometimes an aged person prayed for all of us. ~

GERONIMO – APACHE

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

December 16th – Daily Feast

December 16 – Daily Feast

Like anything else, if one is prepared to meet winter rather than cower at the thought, it is an excellent time to be happy and alive. When we are warm on the inside and we have no excessive fears, we can lean into the wind and pace ourselves to breathe the cold air and taste the snow without absorbing it. We were created to take domination over these things and it is time we proved it. But as long as there is one other person who is not warm, who does not see beauty, we can’t be too comfortable not immune to winter.

~ I will ask him (the white man) to understand his ways, then I will prepare the way for my children. ~

MANY HORSES – OGLALA SIOUX,  1890

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

Like anything else, if one is prepared to meet winter rather than cower at the thought, it is an excellent time to be happy and alive. When we are warm on the inside and we have no excessive fears, we can lean into the wind and pace ourselves to breathe the cold air and taste the snow without absorbing it. We were created to take domination over these things and it is time we proved it. But as long as there is one other person who is not warm, who does not see beauty, we can’t be too comfortable not immune to winter.

~ I will ask him (the white man) to understand his ways, then I will prepare the way for my children. ~

MANY HORSES – OGLALA SIOUX,  1890

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

December 12 – Daily Feast

December 12 – Daily Feast

Misery seems to justify making someone pay – but there is sweet revenge in finding our own inner spirit can expand quickly to push out unfairness and bitterness. Who doesn’t have the right to be bitter? A hard thing to forget, a mountain to overcome – but such peace follows. Peace spreads like warm honey across a hot biscuit and permeates all the little places that capture and hold it. The heart lifts its hands in praise for relief from the darkness of bitter memories. All of us can do it – all of us must if we are to be well and have something to share. Just let it go. Life will balance the books, it always does.

~ While living I want to live well. ~

GERONIMO – CHIRACAHUA APACHE

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

December 9 – Daily Feast

December 9 – Daily Feast

When the first snowflakes catch on leafless trees and crisp cold wind sweeps our faces, we know winter is in earnest. It turns the bright green canes of the wild rose to gray and sprinkles hickory nuts and walnuts on the path to the woods. The entire landscape seems to be one color – but the variation is so subtle and low-key that it takes a little while to see the green lichen and the misty blue haze that hangs over the tiny stream. Life sometimes appears to be at a standstill, and nothing is beautiful – no color, no shape, no hope. But if we refocus, if we are sincere and we use wisdom, we will move toward a new spring, just as does the season.

~ Whatever the fate of other Indians, the Iroquois might still have been a nations. ~

WA-O-WO-WA-NO-ONK – CAYUA CHIEF

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

December 5 – Daily Feast

December 5 – Daily Feast

The Cherokee calls this month U Ski’YA – the Snow Month. A dusting of snow softens the rustling leaves and defines the edges of rocks and trees that are hidden in heavy foliage in other seasons. This is the quiet time, the sharp edge of winter adjusting the land unto itself. The woods would be gray if it were not for the blue mist that hangs like soft gauze drapery through every glen and cleft in the hills. Evergreens thrive in soft leaf-matted ravines, and cottonwoods stand stark against the dark woods. When the winds lay down in late evening the horizon clears to show vivid colors and every window is gilded gold until the sun disappears and the blue hour comes. It is as quiet as when the earth was created – and then an owl calls.

~ I stand here upon this great plain with the broad sunlight pouring down upon it. We shall be brothers and friends for all our lives. ~

RED CLOUD – OGLALA SIOUX

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

December 4 – Daily Feast

December 4 – Daily Feast

Early December has rich earthy color that stands for strength and durability. Hundred-year-old oaks stand guard over a multitude of younger growth and bear the brunt of cold winds and heavy snows. The little creeks hollow out from rushing waters and refill with sand and stones washed down from the hills. Everywhere are signs of longevity and power. Huge boulders tilted on end or covered by moss and lichen harbor the fox and possum. Regardless of how cultivated the land may be in one season, it returns to nature in another. No time shows nature’s raw strength like winter – and few things have to be hardier than people.

~ The Great Spirit and giver of light…..has made the earth and everything in it…. ~

PONTIAC – DELAWARE

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