“Are you part indigenous Indian?” Asked a man waiting in line at the Post Office. A secret smile crept onto my face. I really wished I was and told him that. He said he was part and commented on my looks. No one has ever asked me that before, though I did have one boyfriend years ago, who commented on my feet and how they looked like I had walked many lands and that meant to him that I was very wise. I decided to just let that be true… for him.
I wondered what the man at the Post Office saw that made him ask. I searched my history and memories like they were typed pages holding secrets, hidden between words. When I was little I was a blue-eyed blonde with Russian ancestors. But I always thought my grandmother, who was born in Russia, looked like an indigenous Indian and wanted to know the story of her parents and childhood. I wondered how her looks came about, the tall thin woman she was, with high cheekbones, and sunken cheeks.
That small comment, that day, made me feel so special. The man spoke to my desire to be with or in as many cultures as there are people, a desire to be part of a tribe, well, many tribes.
Images flutter in front of me and I see my grandmother next to an ancient wise Indian, one whose feet have walked the earth, touched the actual soil. I see the deep sun-dried lines that suggest, wisdom and natural beauty which is simply, beautiful, worn and filled with stories.
Good pick up line, I thought. It turned me inward, into things deeper in me than I can understand. It made me aware of a ball of light deep inside that glows when I decide to look that way. It may glow all the time, even when I am not looking.
And when those words enter my thoughts I also hear, “There she goes…off the deep end… again. She is sure that is what certain friends and family are saying about her now, “Ball of light, glowing deep inside…whaaat!” That says too many years in California, for sure!
So, of course, I am headed back to California, with plans to meet old camping friends, and we will camp our way back, through indigenous lands, where I am pretty certain, no one will ask if I am indigenous Indian. And I will be back in the land where spoken words of balls glowing deep inside are more commonplace, as well as shamans, healers, and therapists.