It was her wedding day, so yes, she could smile again. It was true that she was young and her husband was a little older, but he loved her deeply. He was kind and gentle, like the others of her tribe. Somehow, because of the terrible times of the past, they were all aware now of how important it was, to be loving. They longed for there to be peace, and love always.
It was a new day, the salmon were running again, and her husband was not only a good hunter, he had started working at the lumberyard. All the men said it had to do with the Great Chief in Washington, showing the first people respect. He loved the wilderness, and hunting so much, he placed great pieces of land aside, to protect it, and to keep it sacred. It was a good sign.
And here it was now, her time to be married. She looked forward to the future, and all that the Great Spirit had in mind. This picture was taken just after she had prayed for many strong children, and that she and her husband would love each other – always. She knew that it was good. It was very, very good.
It was cold the day they were married but the sun was shining brightly. It was unheard of to get married in the middle of winter, but for this couple it was right and everyone knew it. The Creator had placed them together and that could not be denied. Still, it was difficult to know how to celebrate.
A large fire was built in the center of the village and the people gathered. There was some singing, first in Tsi, and then there were some songs in the Grie language. A few people danced, but then covered themselves again in thick buffalo robes due to the cold. At first the young couple were standing only in their clothing – she in her white and blue dress, and he in his traditional red clothing, but several friends on both sides insisted they be covered with thick buffalo robes, so they were.
Thunder Speaking was nervous, but not just because of the great love he had for Bluebird. Something important was happening in the village today. Different peoples were coming together as one. There were the Tsi people, the Grie people, and himself, the lone person from the Ite (pronounced Ee-teh) people. It was a wedding for all of them.
Bluebird was not nervous at all, in fact she was bursting with anticipation. She wanted to be married and right now! In fact as the women were helping her to get ready, and helping her with her wedding dress, Bluebird had a vision. She had a vision of a bright orange flower in the summer time that had been closed, but opened up, baring itself to the strong, bright rays of the sunshine. She decided not to say anything about it though. She would tell her husband when the time was right.
After the singing and dancing, Thunder Speaking spoke for the first time publicly in his original language. Actually he sang a wedding prayer for his wife, that went like this:
May you always live with happiness,
live with happiness,
may I always be worthy of your love,
worthy of your love,
may we always be protected,
and may we have a very long life,
a very long life,
He sang it in the Ite language first and then the translation came as he sang in Tsi. He had been practicing this for a long time, and at the end he thought it went well. Many people thought his original language sounded like water flowing over rocks.
Cricket in the Meadow shared the blessings of smoke, which touched each person there, and they sensed the presence of the Great Spirit. Standing on the Mountain said a few words about the blessings of marriage, but due to the weather he made it short.
As he stood watching his daughter getting married, Bull Elk had mixed feelings. Where did his daughter go? She was just a girl the other day, running and playing, and now here she was, a grown woman getting married. He was sad, and yet the love these two shared was special. He looked over at the face of his wife, Holds the Fire, and saw tears streaming. Yes, love was good he thought, and right. Everything made sense with love.
Bull Elk also performed the Grie custom of tying the young couple’s arms together, one arm from each, symbolizing unity and oneness. And then came the tradition of putting one blanket over the two of them, and the ceremony was over.
A strong fire was burning in the lodge of Thunder Speaking and Bluebird that night, along with a great deal of tenderness. They both flew high many times on the wings of love, and they went far above the clouds, into the heavens, and then down again.
They both fell asleep dreaming about warmer weather and going for long walks with each other. At one point she woke up, and covered his bare chest with the blanket they had been given by the people. She placed her hand in his, and fell back to sleep.
Note: More to come in this series, in a few days! Thanks for reading! Peace.