Was camping this weekend with my family at one of our ancestral sites… when I was a kid, we used to have Camp Muwekma and our Big Feast there… So it was cool to go back and see all my family, some distant that I don’t see often, and some of my close family I see regularly.
The highlight was seeing, and listening, to the elders. Hearing their stories of strength, of struggles, and their wisdom really inspired me and motivated me. My elders represent our people, and they represent us well— they are wise, humble, spiritual, kind, loving. They represent the best of us. No one, unless spoken to, would assume the battles they went through for our people, and they don’t walk around flashing all they done because they value humility. I have so much respect for that.
My grandma, my Aunt Dottie, my aunt Jenny, aunt Lupe, Hank, and countless other elders who weren’t there… These people who were there are the most knowledge people I know in my life.
Aunt Dottie and I were sitting with other family members around the campfire and there was this feeling — something very, very real… “we are still here,” she says.
My ancestors, my brave, brave ancestors were once under the stars with the camp fire in that same place once laughing with their loved ones. Last night — we were doing the same, the elders and my generation. Being taught by them, as it has been since the beginning of time.
We said ‘good night’ in Chochenyo. In the morning, it all kept going. We keep going.