'Ike aku, 'ike mai, kokua aku kokua mai; pela iho la ka nohona 'ohana.
Recognize and be recognized, help and be helped; such is family life.
The Year of the Horse begins today. This year according to Chinese interpretation is the year of the wooden horse. Several thoughts and feelings come up for me as I consider the meaning of that. Horses: I have little relationship with them personally but respect their beauty, speed and largeness. When I think of 'wooden horse' it's my history of Western mythology and story that reminds me of the wooden horse at the gates of Troy filled with soldiers destined to storm the barricades and take what they believe is theirs. Unexpected and quick changes! That's what's possible in the Year of the Horse.
What was started long ago and what is now part of the legacy and history of family moves forward with each new generation. There is always room for change even with the knowledge of history. So many bits of history are hidden from each successive generation. Families keep secrets. As this new year begins Pete and I have had many conversations about what it feels like to be growing old. I learn more about my husband and his personal and genetic view of growing, aging, projecting into the future. We share today, have a past that is filled with adventure and the future? Well, we can't know that exactly. What I can do is to recognize and be recognized for who I am and write the story, tell the mythic journey. Weaving fact and hybrids of truth to make sense with a broad lens. Makua o'o, this blog and the practice of elder training is an application of that broad lens. My family include storytellers and upon their backs I ride forward over bridges known and unknown. Like the backbone of a strong and graceful horse, my ancestors give me the kuleana the personal responsibility to record the many journeys. The new forms of storytelling come with each day and night lived in this body -- aging border witch, sensitive woman, vulnerable being.
There's a new medicine story written for this new lunar year. It's a work-in-progress being attended by an intimate audience of friends as the New Year of the Horse begins. If you'd like to read it, the story is here. It is called The Joy Weed Journal and at its core it is about family.