May 8 was Trini’s birthday. That day, this past Saturday, we had breakfast to embrace our lives together. This year, in late March, Trini and I also celebrated twenty-two years of marriage. In that time, we’ve helped raise my two older children—son Ramiro, who turns 35 next month, and daughter Andrea, 33 (they’ve given me four grandchildren, all teenagers now). And we’ve had a wonderful time in those years raising our two boys, Ruben and Luis, who will be 22 and 16 this year. They are all great children. We could not be prouder parents. [caption id="attachment_623" align="alignleft" width="432" caption="Trini and I at the Northern and Southern Winds Pow Wow, May 8 2010."][/caption] That same day, Trini and I were honored for our family and community work at the Northern and Southern Winds Pow Wow, held for three days at the Los Angeles State Historic Park near Chinatown. Tribes from all over North America, as well as Mexico and Central America (and I understand even from South America) were present to dance, sell hand-made items, food, and cultural products. The Pow Wow involved all ages, with special respect to the elders and the youth. It was a well organized, peaceful, and powerful gathering of indigenous peoples across all borders, making it a truly unifying weekend. After organizers announced Trini and I as honorees, we were given a beautiful drum, not long after Mexika danzantes did their ceremonies in the center field. Then we were allowed to say a few words. Trini evoked the ancestors; I brought in the present and future generations. Both of us addressed the age of prophecy we are living under, a time of change, of alignment, of the essentially human. And how the First Peoples are coming back to help us all gain a regenerative, cooperative, and peaceful world. Under a bright sun, with cool winds across the skies, Trini and I were brought into the center of the field, smudged with copal, the resin from trees in Mexico and Central America. Then the danzantes danced around us, again in recognition of the vitality of strong and permanent families, especially in times when so many families have been broken, divided, embattled. It was truly moving to be there with my companion, seen by the community for the work we do, and given such respect. A Native American drum circle followed this presentation, resonant chants filling the warm LA air. I had to also thank my teachers among the Mexika and the Maya in Mexico and Guatemala as well as the Dine (Navajo) and the Lakota in the US. And I must add the Quechua elders I’ve done ceremonies with in Peru. I’ve had great elder/teachers in the Native ways of this expansive land. This particular recognition will live on in me for years to come. A’ho. c/s
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