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My Inner Indian

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I wrote this a few years ago when I was still living on Martha's Vineyard.

When I was very young All I really wanted To be was an Indian. My mother always read to me - Stories of fairies and elves, Of princesses and ogres, witches, And brownies who did good deeds. Poems, “Wynken, Blynken and Nod”, “The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat”, And “The Sugar Plum Tree”. Books, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Colonel stories, and The Five Little Peppers. (I wonder if my grandchildren Have ever heard of any of the Old-fashioned stories and poems Which were all magic to me.) But, most of all, I loved Longfellow’s poem Hiawatha. “By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shining deep sea water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis…” I hear my mother almost singing Those magical words from “The Childhood of Hiawatha”. I could see Hiawatha growing up And learning Indian ways in The woodlands of his youth. I wanted to live in the woods, To learn to talk with animals And know their secrets. I wanted to wear moccasins And build a birch bark canoe! One Christmas my brother got A cowboy suit and hat and holsters, But I, wonder of wonders, Got a “real” Indian dress With designs of tiny beads, A fringe on the skirt, And a headband with feathers! I told my friends I was part Indian, That my great grandmother Was a real live Indian! When it got back to my mother She just said, “What stories you tell!” Although I outgrew the dress, The dream stayed with me Throughout my childhood - Sort of wishful thinking. I always wanted to Be close to nature. Much of my childhood I spent by myself, somewhat Of a loner, climbing trees, Making hideouts in the woods, Walking in streams To “cover my tracks”. That “Indian child” I was Still lives on in the Recesses of my memory. Maybe that’s why now, “grown up”, I love walking in the woods Or foraging by the ocean, Why Stalking the Wild Asparagus Is one of my favorite books, Why I love picking wild blueberries And grapes and making jam, or Digging for clams and mussels. Why I HAD to experiment with cooking Slipper shells and making Seaweed pudding and “Sumac-ade”. Of course, I realize, As well as anyone, that The life of an Indian was not As idyllic as I had once believed, But, even now, after All these years have passed, It appears that My “inner Indian” Is alive and well and Living on Martha’s Vineyard!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021




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Date: 7/27/2021 12:00:00 PM
Easily explained by reincarnation, i.e., you were an happy Indian is a previous life, and loved the life you were living. Time changes everything, including memories! Enjoyed! Imagine how "feeling" Indian values has made your current life better for everyone! Aloha! Rico
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Rico Leffanta
Date: 7/28/2021 11:14:00 AM
Almost every Tribe knows Indian "wannabes" with spiritual but not blood relationship to that tribe, which is "reasonable" when one considers all the Indians who have died on this continent, and all the "Mediums" claiming Indian Spirit Guides. Perhaps you decided to experience the "Anglo" perspective?
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Barbara Peckham
Date: 7/27/2021 2:59:00 PM
What an interesting take on the subject. Your comment is inspiring. Thank you very much. It was so nice of you to rad and take the time to comment.