My last entry I wrote of a feeling of impatient irritation in reading “FAKE” or “REAL” news, that feeling continues however I have not had time to post; please excuse me; the mind or body did not cooperated these past few days . My depression sometime has a life of its own that I cannot win.
I told you of my great-grandmother who was the “Keeper of the Memories” for the family. Everyone called her “Ma”; I spent many hours sitting next to her rocking chair just listening. You read of her father Fosee, her grandfather and grandmother, all Native Americans living in Alabama Territory.
(Ma as the storyteller continues) However, Fosee like all of the boys in his vision could not wait to go on his Vision Quest. Early one morning his father woke him it was time to find his own Totem. At the edge of the forest (this would later be known as the Black Warrior Forest), he was shown a path that he must follow, yet, to find his own path in life. Somewhere down that path, he would discover himself.
On that path he saw many signs of small animals, he found a bush with his favorite berries; quickly pushed his hunger out of his mind, he could not eat until he discovered his path in life. Mid-day he came upon a clearing Fosee lay down in the tall yellow grass staring at the sky and watching the clouds drift by; he drifted off to sleep. It was in that sleep he dreamed that his grandfather was with him; Fosee smiled when he looked at the leathery chiseled face with deep furrowed lines and the long white hair cascading around his strong shoulders. Then he heard his grandfather calling his name, Fosee jumped from his warm bed of wild wheat and ran toward the river, he had much to do before dark. Fosee carried rocks and cedar branches to the top of a large flat rock, the made a circle placing twigs in the circle, he used flints to light his fire and was soon fast asleep.
Fosee did not move from the flat rock where he drifted in and out of sleep both day and night, he was hungry; one day led to the next. On the third day, he leaned over looking at the river below; then he thought that he heard his grandfather. Then, he saw him, sitting across from him, the smoke stung his eyes and it was like a thick fog, but he could hear his grandfather talking to him, although his mouth never moved. It was the spirit of his grandfather.
On the fourth day came and this would be his last night on the rock, floating in and out of consciousness. The eastern sky looked like the forest was on fire, the western sky a full moon seems to be dipping behind the cliffs that edged the river. Suddenly, a Hawk with massive wings glided over the fire landing next to the circle of rocks. The Hawk spread his wings pointing at one of the rocks saying, “This is where you life began”; then he spread his wing around the circle saying “This is where you life will end”. There was one rock missing. Fosee returned to the path, the Hawk followed him, and then swooped down landing on a fallen tree. When he looked back to the path there stood his father and they returned without talking to meet his mother at the cooking fire. He turned to the center yard saying, “I am no longer Little Bird, my name is Hawk”.
Resource – Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton”
1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was
Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything,
It was her body that was ready for death; she lay
down for an afternoon nap and woke only to
say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father
Post Writer – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree