Last Sunday, I drove to Osceola, Wisconsin.
Early Feb. A day of pure blue skies and sunshine.
I drove straight into the sun, and found my way to the Watershed Cafe, where Julie was waiting for me.
Sharon joined us, and the three of us ordered tea, oatmeal, toast with butter and strawberry jam.
Both women are healers, grandmothers, and water protectors.
They are leaders and educators, nurturers of the next generations.
Sharon, an Ojibwe elder, spoke of her childhood.
Hunting and harvesting wild rice.
Learning sugarbush medicine.
She’s lived in cycles of migration and rootedness, following the seasons.
She spoke of her farm, growing food for healthy babies and children.
She told us: “My definition of sovereignty is having agency. To live in reciprocity with the land and each other.”
Julie and I grinned and nudged each other:
“That’s what we were just talking about! Sacred reciprocity…”
Over tea, I’d shared my Dream with Julie and Sharon:
ALMANA HOUSE, a refuge & creation space for women and youth.
Named for my Grandmother, Alma + my name, Ana.
“Refuge feels like a collective dream, that many women are dreaming,” I said.
Julie agreed, “And I want to support you and my granddaughters.”
Before we left, I gave Julie and Sharon a small gift of gratitude:
Prayer beads from my own strand:
Lava, Coral, Rainbow Moonstone.
Beads given to me by other Mothers & Grandmothers:
Irene, Janet, and Mother Pele herself.
Sharon smiled, asked if she could give me a hug.
Julie gave Sharon a beautiful birchbark basket filled with good things.
As I walked back to my car, I realized I’d lost an earring.
A silver hoop.
I retraced my steps, but no luck.
Somehow, it felt like a good omen.
I’d bought those earrings as a promise to myself.
A promise to realize my Dream of ALMANA HOUSE.
So when I lost one, on the banks of the St. Croix River, it felt like Mother Earth, saying to me,
“I hear you daughter. I support you. You’re on your Way.”
The night before meeting Sharon and Julie, I had another dream.
Of a woman mapping “prayerlines,” like our Aboriginal ancestors mapped Songlines:
the chants, laws, ceremonies, land, and kinship ties that give our lives meaning and direction.
The original Inter- and Intra-Net.
In my dream, the woman used paper and ink to map a new world.
I think that woman was me.