We hang up a dream catcher today. For Ooljee. The community hogan, that gathering place of gossip, work, and laughter, buzzes with the joy of completion. Grandmother Doli, her skin lined with laughter and love, beams at the praise. Such skill. Such power in her gnarled beautiful hands.

Ooljee is a daughter of the moon, born when the lunar tide was cresting. An ominous sign. Ooljee may bear the taint of darkness, but her dreams, her spirit, must be calm and peaceful.

Our other daughter, Nascha, never slept. She cried at all hours, drilling her shrieks into our ears. Nascha was relentless, like an arrowhead assaulting a hare. Her spirit was never happy; it couldn’t settle. Nascha had a wandering spirit. It demanded to hunt, to flee, to soar through the night sky. One morning, our Nascha was gone.

Ooljee’s third month is approaching. We hold our breath. Is that laughter?

The First Laughing Ceremony is nigh. We gather in the hogan, all the families, to plan this joyous day. At last! At last our Ooljee is part of our world. Her spirit is content here, settled. We mourn for Nascha, but we know her spirit now circles the sky.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Flash!Friday:

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