Manataka® American Indian Council
GRANDMOTHER MAKA NUPA L. COTA SPEAKS
By Maka Nupa L Cota
The night was fast slipping away and my mind still filled with the days activities would not sleep.
She said one night, "Grammy, if we sing to the moon will she stay for a long time with us?"
I answer her, "yes as long as you love and respect her as she loves us, she will stay."
In her soft baby whisper she said, "Grammy where does the moon go when the sun is here?"
Again as in our ways we answer the questions of our children fully. I told her that the moon only appears to fall into the land but really just slips into the arms of the Mother Earth to rest for the day. She sits quiet for a while and thinks about this. I know some day she will do some good and helpful things for the people. For now she must learn many wonderful things to help her in life.
I will be there I know in spirit when she grows up, but would love to be there in person to see this happen. For now all I can do is teach her and help her understand the ways of the Great Mystery. The serious look in her eyes that speaks well beyond her years. The strong little body that will take her to many wonderful places in her life time, are now in my arms to hold. I am filled with the wonder of Creator and all the blessings that we humans have been given. I hear the words Moon Song in my mind and know that soon I will gift her this name.
Many thoughts fill my head of times before in my own land. I fly back in time, and am sitting on the canyon wall while we lit the bonding fires to signal yet another winter's passing. We lit the fires along the canyons and valley to signal our friends and neighbors that we were well and all accounted.
faded into my mind as the wind picks up making a low moaning noise
around the corner of the house. Smoke from the wood stove drifts
down and about my open bed room window. I love the smell of the
smoke and fresh air the enter my room. It make my earlier thoughts
of the canyons even more real and close to my heart.
always slept with the window open all night long no matter what the
weather. The call of night birds and insects helps me to stay
connected to the Earth Mother.
this same open window gives me a view of the moon rising through the
into one large round gold ball and proceeds to slip through the
clouds. The color of the clouds become grays and gold, with hints of
pink on the bottoms. In and out of the clouds the moon plays like
she was at the ocean running in between the waves.
she climbs once free of the clouds and is up above the house away
from my view.
keep the light from casting the shadows of the trees on the ground.
I love the pattern that they make when this happens. It creates one
very well connected spiders web across the Earth.
cry of a night bird or perhaps a frog is heard in the clear cold
night air. I have not heard the peepers yet here but in many other
places they are out singing and heralding the beginning of spring.
listened for the little pond frogs to awaken and sing. When this
happened we all knew that the smelts were running in the rivers.
handled nets, buckets, and rubber boots we came on the nights in
the full moon to net the little fish.
We sit in
our cars with hot coffee and sandwiches waiting for the right time.
Soon the person who is near the water calls out that the smelt are
scramble from out cars and trucks being careful on the muddy slopes
of the river banks.
You need no
flash lights or lanterns when the moon is full to find the path to
mouth of the river that meets the ocean the small shinny fish called
smelt come running to spawn in the creeks and small water ways. They
are shiny in the light of the moon and fill the creeks and river
with threads of light. Thousands of them so thick that one scoop of
the net usually yields your total limit for the night.
several kind of smelts the needle smelts the regular smelts and then
the ocean smelts that are more like a large sardine.
Soon we have our buckets full and pile back into the truck and proceed to warm up with more coffee.
Off we go in the light of the moon home to clean
and cook the fish. It takes hours of work to clean them but well
worth the effort. This is one of the Maine honored and well kept
traditions by the real fisherman and women.
are no bigger than a small sardine. When they are rolled in a bit of
flour and corn meal seasoned with salt and pepper and fried whole,
they are delicious.
traditional way is to be served up with a mess of fiddle head greens
and some boiled Maine potatoes.
sit down to eat this you have a feast fit for a King and Queen.
all the game regulations few people go out to net these little fish.
If we allow the rules and laws to take away this we will lose the
very essence of Maine living.
intend to brave the changes and keep the tradition for my grand
children to enjoy.
land will thaw and the blue berries will appear along with wild and
sweet strawberries. I know of sand pits that are still filled with
black berries that my babies will enjoy picking.
from Mother Earth is our heritage and our rights as human beings.
where ever you are enjoy the abundance that the Earth provides.
These are the true treasures and the memories we make to hand down
to be kept generations from now.
Blessings and love to all who seek
Maka Nupa L Cota, Copyright (C) 2011 by Maka Nupa L. Cota All publication rights reserved.
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