Our Midwinter ceremonies are over. Midwinter ceremonies are a great time of celebration of life and the gifts that our Creator gave us. It lasts a better part of a month and when finished, you are usually exhausted and rejuvenated at the same time. But being together every day in the Longhouse you get an appreciation of the closeness that we had in the olden times; the times that our elders talk about.
This Midwinters I could not help be remember a few of the elders that we lost since the last Midwinter ceremony, Stanley, Betty, and Gonwaianni. All three were integral parts of our ceremonies and some of the faces you look to see when I would walk into the Longhouse. Since I was little, these leaders (Stanley was a chief and Betty and Gonwaianni were both clan mothers) were always there, participating and teaching. They all had their special ways of connecting with the people around them, talking, nurturing, guiding people to make sure all was done to the best of our abilities. informing them of the old ways that needed to continue.
I know that they were missed these Midwinters. But I also know that they would have been proud that Midwinters carried on. The time they spent teaching and guiding the young ones paid off.
But I still miss them all.