In the 60’s, I had maid service, people cooking for me, and teaching me right from wrong…
In the 70’s I had school, working from the time I was a kid and developing my sense of right and wrong.
In the 80’s, I had college, my own sense of justice and of what was right and wrong–plus the belief that I was invincible…Then I had a family of my own and got a reality check. Needless to say, I didn’t join a punk rock band like I threatened to do. I realized that it is up to me to take care of me and my family. That sort of happens when fathers leave the moms in the lurch–holding the bag. Hubby #1 left me and my oldest for a teenager when my oldest son was 3 mos. old. I married again two years later…Big mistake…I really learned that there is no such thing as a “prince”. I forgave his one indiscretion. I didn’t forgive the deceit that followed. I came out stronger for leaving that situation.
In the 90’s I finished my degree. I taught. I left that field and became a corrections officer. I used more of my teaching skills in that environment than I was ever allowed to use in a classroom. Why? Had to teach “social skills” and teach to a yearly test…NOT the curriculum. At the prison, I did the same job for more pay because the young offenders who ended up there fell through the cracks. I developed a new sense of justice and of reality. Education needs to get back to educating…Seniors that cannot fill out a job application are proof that the system is failing. More of them end up where I used to work. That tells me the problems cannot all be laid at the feet of bad parenting when these offenders (many of them) cannot even read on 8th grade level.
In the 2000’s…I came across some insight that encouraged me to seek out things about my own Native American heritage. I found peace as a result. Life may not always be the way we would like for it to be, but there is a design for things being as they are. I have learned that I don’t need anyone to “validate” who I am or to “pat my ego”. Those are not things I can leave behind when I die. However, the tracks I leave for my children and grandchildren to follow are things I can leave behind. I only hope that some of what I impart to them aids them in this life–and that the peace I have found comes full circle to them and to those who have touched my life. I have learned that there are many kinds of love and happiness. I found that on my mountain. I can always find solace there. It is my hope that someday, people I know can find their own “sanctuary” and find their happiness there. It has to come from within. I have not found it anywhere else or with any other person–but I find it in the hills where the birds sing and the crickets talk. I see it where the foxes play.
And in seeing that, I realized that I am free also. We can learn much from animals and from our surroundings if we simply listen quietly.