Alaska, home, kenkulluci, saying goodbye, Toksook Bay, Uncategorized, yupik


There is so much beauty here in this little Yupik village-the bay, the water, the mountains and the snow; the fish, the northern lights, the ravens and seagulls and geese.
We had only lived in Alaska a short time before there was the first funeral. A child younger than my own who had died in a house fire. A few weeks later, an elder. Followed several weeks later by another child and a another elder and this week, another elder.
This is a small village. That is a lot of grief.
But here, there is even beauty in a sunset.
For several days after the death of a community member, the village stills. basketballs stop bouncing and the community center is quiet. When the funeral comes, everyone will come to say their goodbyes. When the funeral is over, there will be a feast. The family will pass out gifts to those who attend.
Let that sink in. the family will send guests away with gifts.
I find myself deep in heartfelt thought.
I am writing as an outsider. A guest here, nothing more and nothing less. I watch these things, feel these things with an open heart, gratitude and wonder.
Absolutely everything here seems by design a way to stay connected and in a spirit of caring for one another. Everything always centered on loving back and forth, around and around in a circle of connectedness. It is admirable, it is amazing. It is sacred, but empowering and humbling.
Today, please remember, you too have something to give.
Kenkulluci-love one another.


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