Tonight after I said my prayers I crawled into bed needing to hear from one of my spirit guides.
Even after a long heartfelt prayer, I still felt I needed something else, one last piece of wisdom to help me sleep.
Softly I called, “Juniper?”
The name fell from my mouth and then I stopped and asked, “Why did I call for him?”
I was Juniper in another life and time. That was my name as a young Lakota boy more than one hundred years ago.
I considered the strong spiritual pull I was currently feeling to go to the reservation to live and work, and then I understood why I was calling to Juniper.
Quietly he comes and sits beside me on the edge of the bed.
Something tells me to ask him about his regrets. What wasn’t finished when he died?
I remember now, I remember the regrets and it all comes pouring out of his mouth.
“You know so much, just as I did. You have to share it. Sometimes you have to say things that are difficult. Remember me, and I will be with you.”
“But…but…” I am throwing the arguments about in my head. Back and forth, of finding the courage to speak up to all people, not just the audience who is in agreement with me.
“Why do I have to go this route? Why oh why do I get to be an outsider, again?”
“The lesson is in speaking your truth, and doing all that you can, Cat, even when you feel afraid.”
I sit up and look at the mirage beside me on the bed. He is young, but very wise. Many did not want to believe in him because of his youth. Many did not want to believe in him because they were not ready to hear the truth. Many did not want to believe the end of life as they had known it was coming. But it did. The white men came.
Now I am a white woman. And I do not feel I have a right to speak up.
“How?” I look into the eyes of the Lakota man I once was. He has grown older as we have sat talking. He seems much older than his years…
“Just remember to walk softly…” is all he says, and he strokes my hair and I fall back on the pillow and close my eyes. He walks away without a sound, in his moccasins he goes.
In my dream I am in moccasins, walking quietly, softly upon the earth.
Perhaps that is all we have to do, to learn to walk softly. To leave no imprint. To be a part of all that is, without taking.
I will learn to walk softly. I will listen softly and I will speak softly.
And tonight – tonight I shall sleep very softly.