18 June 2011

Drums in my heart

I hear drums in my heart.  I feel the damp settle into my skin.  My toes are curling as the cold starts seeping in my wet moccasins.  My jingles are clinking with an added tone from the raindrops.  Spirits are dancing with us in the rain.  People are drawing together to get some warmth, or heading for shelter under the awnings around the vendor stands.  Now there is more room for the dancers but none display their best.  Ahh.  A chill breeze swoops through the arena.  Heads turn in all directions finally settling with faces pointed at the sky.  Trying to judge if the rain will keep on, is that a break in the clouds?  Should we go inside?  No, the sweet smell of sage, cedar, tobacco reminds us we must finish where we started.  

Vendors are making coffee, hot tea and the aroma entices people to get some.  The brief heat encourages a dance or two.  Moccasins are wetter, should have changed to tennis shoes.  Slowly change to street clothes.  Looking around and see most have jackets, sweaters and hoods are up.  

Powow season is fully under way now.  There is one every weekend from Memorial Day til Labor Day.  Three days, four on holidays, means a lot of traveling.  Most travels occur within five hundred miles of home in all directions.  Many have a set itinerary the whole season long.  Others decide as the weekend approaches.  Some like contest powwows, other are strictly traditional.  I prefer traditional powwows, less competition, more relaxing.  

The dance is winding down, people are packing their belongings, getting the kids gathered.  Some few are getting one last look at the vendors, trying to decide if one more item is worth the few dollars that they've earned through dancing.  Furtive looks as they check for parental locations, bouncing up and down as the pro and cons of the purchase are weighed, fidgeting as the traveling song is announced.  Too late, they have to hurry before the hand of doom drags them away from goodie land and into the day to day world of "no, you can't...." and smiles turn to frowns as the inevitable trip home is suddenly here.  Dancing eyes as the hand of doom turns to the hand of generosity; carefully, their dollars are tucked back into pockets.

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