Or even remembering what mine used to be…
Last year after returning from a vacation trip to Houston for our niece’s wedding, a friend at work asked me, “Didn’t I hear you say something once about collecting feathers?” I responded that, yes, I indeed collect feathers. He mumbled something and shuffled to his desk a few seats over from mine.
A moment later he returned with a gift that surprised and warmed me to my core—a Native American dreamcatcher. I yelled, “Squeeeeeeee!” And hugged him so hard I think it startled him. He explained that he donates to a mission/orphanage out west somewhere and they had sent him this beautiful dreamcatcher as an appreciation gift for his contributions. He wanted me to have it.
I was floored, humbled, and touched by his thoughtfulness to share such a beautiful item with me. This guy has always been a friend to me, but his exterior can be gruff. He does not like people to get too close to him. I have often described him as a “cactus with a marshmallow center”!
The legend of the dreamcatcher is that a person is supposed to hang it over their bed at night. The woven web in the center catches the sleeper’s dreams, trapping the nightmares while allowing the sweet dreams to flow down the strands to the feathers below, allowing them into the mind of the sleeper.
I have always heard tell that my Mamaw’s Grandma Sayne was full-blooded Cherokee. I have never been able to verify this, although with technology evolving all the time and so many records available online now, it might be possible to do so. A first cousin I have never met in person reached out to me on social media hoping to learn more about our family, and he might be the person to unravel this branch of our family tree. Even a tiny portion of Cherokee in my lineage would make sense of a lot of things about me, how I see my world, and the things I value. Perhaps confirming such a family history would help me to remember the childlike dreams of my past…those days when I thought anything was possible.
As it is, I look at this sweet gift, a reminder of a friendship from a workplace Shinsky and I no longer share, but memories I will value for a lifetime. I will pray that both of us will conjure and fulfill new, meaningful and happy dreams moving forward. I will give thanks for his heritage and for mine, for years of shared work and a future that I cannot yet see.