Last week one of our Sundance relatives passed on to the other side. He was only 5 years younger than I.
I can’t express in words the power, the beauty, the overwhelming emotions I felt as your lifeless body was carried into the arbor by your relatives for what would be your last dance.
I haven’t and will never witness a sight so moving, so loving, so intensely profound.
That sight reminding me that life holds no guarantees for any of us and that is why our abuelitas/os and maestras/os constantly remind us that on the Red Road you live every day as if it were your last. This is not to be misconstrued into Western notions of living irresponsibly and foolishly. What is meant is that every day that we awaken and walk on this Earth we are to be thankful to be alive, breathing. That we should take at least one moment to recognize this and to love those around us fully and completely.
Is it worth holding those petty feelings against tu hermana? tu mama? tu hija? tu vecina?
Even though I was not your blood relative I had a difficult time leaving your grave and as we finally drove away the tears fell again thinking that would be your first night below the ground.
I think about you E. A. and how the light of the Sun will never again touch your beautiful brown skin. It will miss you and so will the people, the drum, and the tree.
We are told that you are in a better place… Now with mi hermanita [32 years later and I still haven’t recovered], with mis abuelitos, with our carnal, and so many others that live on in our hearts and minds.
Life shows no favoritism people. Live it fully and love deeply. I write this because I am also trying to learn the lesson well.
May you rest in peace brother, forever hearing the beautiful drum and those Sundance songs wherever you may be…