My First Smudge

My first smudge was a situation in which I had no idea how to feel. I was nervous, overwhelmed, and uneasy. I was also feeling excited, eager, and curious. Overall, I felt as though I just needed to have an open mind.

Before the smudge began, Noels grandson spoke. It was amazing to listen to how highly he talked about his grandfather. It was a type of respect and admirability that you do not see enough. Following this, as soon as Noel began speaking I couldn’t stop listening. He is just a man that is filled with so much knowledge and wisdom, and I couldn’t be more grateful that I got to be immersed in his talk. The stories he told were spoken in such a captivating, truthful, personal, and beautiful way that I have never experienced before.

Before leaving the house every day I make sure that I have my glasses on my face, that there are earrings in my ears, that I complete my outfit with a necklace, and if I’m feeling really nice, I will put on a bracelet or two. Today happened to be one of the days that I was wearing all of these things. I have no idea why, but it was the strangest feeling to have to remove all of these things for the smudge. It almost made me realize how much value I put into what I choose to wear every day without even thinking about it until I have to remove it for a specific reason. When actually going up to smudge I couldn’t have been more nervous. All I could think was “I am going to do something wrong.” After I was done I was so relieved when Noel spoke about how there was no wrong way to do it. With this being said I still could not shake the feeling that I should have done something differently.

The thing I took from this talk is the fact that too often I make assumptions. Throughout my whole life I have only heard the term Elder. Because of this I just assumed that this was the only name they went by and that was that. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Noel likes to be referred to as a life speaker. I believe this term tells so much more about who Noel is and about what he really does.

Yesterday I learned that there is so much that I don’t know. I learned that there is so much that I assume. I learned that it is okay to make mistakes, because I found myself making may. And I learned that keeping an open mind is going to be essential in my treaty walk.

– Ms. S


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