Somewhere down my mother-line, the women relatives sang as their sister, daughter, niece, and granddaughter drank down wináwizi čík’ala, wild licorice root, and hummed the baby down.
Instead, I was the lone buffalo, moaning in the grass–grass covered in my blood and my water. I think even my blood wanted to know–where did the women go?
All I knew, and know, is that this way, is NOT our way. And like the buffalo, who are being returned to their homelands by the ones who hear the call to remember their allegiance to protect and preserve, I too am being called to return birth and motherhood to their homelands.
When and if my daughter chooses to birth, she will NOT be alone in the grass, bleeding. She will not raise her children in isolation. She will not doubt her wisdom to the point of collapse.
I will sing to her the sweet gutturals of our mother tongue, and wipe her brow with cloth washed on the rocks of the river.
~ Rebecca Lee, Indígena Project resident-participant-collaborator