American Indian The Beginning
It was the day when the whole family would come to the family Church for a reunion. They came from as far away as Texas and Illinois to Athens Tennessee for this event. The Church had 10 rooms, like motel rooms, for the long travelers to stay in for the occasion. It was a really important time where everyone saved the expense money to make the trip. As many as 200 to 300 members of the family would be there.
I lived nearby and went over to the church early with my Apache grandfather. There was always a meeting of the elders before everyone arrived. Me, well I just liked to go anywhere my grandfather was going and help with whatever he had to do. That day I knew there would be stuff for me to do and I also knew there would be plenty to eat. The women always cooked their best meals for everyone to enjoy.
The men were talking while I played outside waiting for instructions from them on what to get ready for the crowd. Sometimes I would get the tables and chairs ready for the meal served after the church service. That day there was something different. The meeting was in the yard in front of my Cherokee grandfather’s house. The men all seemed to be agreeing and it was obvious that something important was happening. Standing there at the side of the yard I was too far away to hear what they were saying but I noticed that they were looking at me several times and each was nodding in agreement.
At the point they had all agreed, my Apache grandfather went into the house to speak with the elder Cherokee. I was not sure what was going on, usually by this time I would be busy doing whatever they needed me to help with. Then grandfather came out of the house and went back to the group, I noticed that everyone agreed. Then my grandfather walked across the yard to where I was standing . I knew he was going to give me a chore and was ready to do my best at whatever it might be.
This time I was really surprised. He told me to go down to the church and clean up all around the outside but not to go in. He made a point of it by saying it twice that I was not to go in.
On this day all of the family youngsters would be Baptised. It was a very special occasion and that is one of the reasons why they would travel so far.
That day I didn’t fully realize what they intended. It was only later that I understood. I was chosen to be raised the Old Way by the Indians. I was to learn the ways of the Spirit.
American Indian the Beginning
There you are on the front line…