straight off the rez

for some reason i was thinking back to my hippie days. or as john lennon said ‘my lost weekend’. i bummed around all over the country, probably consuming way too much alcohol and drugs as a rebellion against boarding school days. i criss crossed the country many times. i covered enough states that later in life i decided i had to see the rest of the 50 states.

i got around in a number of ways. sometimes i scored a plane ticket like when i was sent to an all indian job corps in montana. other times i rode a bus like the time i was sent to oakland california on the government relocation program. it seemed every time i got on a bus; all the crazies decided to ride at the same time.

other times i hitch hiked. everything i owned was in my backpack. i had a tent and sleeping bag. it was a good thing i didnt give a damn.  sometimes they would find hitch hikers in the bottoms of canyons or in their sleeping bags with their throats slit. many of them were transients. no one missed them.

i hitch hiked up and down the west coast many times. once i hitch hiked coast to coast in a week to join the first longest walk in d.c.  from there i hitched a ride home. after that i hitched another ride. i covered several thousand miles in a few weeks. i could never top that trip so i quit thumbing after that.

i dont know why i had that wanderlust. maybe because i grew up on the rez and then later went to boarding school. i hadnt seen much of the world. i developed a curiousity about what was on the other side of the hill. it wasnt enough to hear about it. i had to see it myself.

i am glad that i did. once someone asked me why i like to travel so much. i said because maybe someday it will take me all day to walk from the bedroom to the living room. thats why i tried to see as much as i could. when i can no longer travel i will be glad i got to see what i did.

my bucket list is far from complete but i have seen the worlds second largest ball of twine. i never been to heaven but i been to oklahoma. once i sat on a mountain side looking down at machu picchu. not bad for a rez kid who in his youth had to wait for his turn to go to town.

as i got older i became content to live out my life here on the rez. this is my home. it took years of roaming around to realize that. i started out here and ended up back here. i met one of our older ladies at the first longest walk. she told me ‘go on home kid, everything you are looking for is there’. she was right.

i have lived in this government house for 37 years. some indians whine about these houses but it is far better than most places i have lived in over the years. it is also the longest i have lived anywhere. i used to think home is where you hang your hat. now i know it is where you make it.

gotta quit reflecting on the past and get busy eh.