Julia’s Rainbow

Another young much loved woman has passed away this last week, and my heart is so sad.  Trying to continue forward with photography and life, and stay positive.   Julia Little Brave was my stepdaughter by a former marriage, and although I am estranged from her father I have kept track of his daughter as she married and had children.  I followed from a distance, not wanting to interfere, and kept her in my heart.  This is not about me… this is about an amazing young woman and her family.
Julia had  cancer.  She fought hard, and was in remission for some few years while she returned to college and developed a career in hospital lab work. This in itself was impressive in her large Native American family, where education was often a struggle.   All this while being a great mother, and constantly cheering up others, and praying for others in her Native American Church.  Her positive attitude was amazing.  This last couple years the cancer came back, and though she fought with all she had, this weekend she slipped into that dark night and into the spirit world leaving behind her supportive loving husband Matt and their three beautiful children, along with a heartbroken sister/ best friend and brothers and Father, Mother, and a huge extended clan.

Julia’s sister in law has created a GoFundMe donation site to raise money to help the family with burial costs and huge hospital bills left behind.  Any amount you might be able to donate would be gratefully appreciated, even $1. You can find that site here along with her photo and more information.  Just click on that previous sentence in blue and the page will open up in a new tab.

This is the Rainbow I saw soon after I learned of Julia’s passing.. so I have named this Julia’s Rainbow.

Double Rainbow, Taken from Hood River Oregon, looking over the Hood River Bridge into White Salmon and Bingen, Washington on November 9, 2014

Julia’s Rainbow

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Buffalo Breath and Memories

 

 

This one is dedicated to my deceased husband David Reel… who passed away January 16, 1996 following a long illness. We had been together for 4 years when he got sick… and soon after that we had a large community wedding on Winter Solstice 1991, sort of a blend of new age, native american and christian…. a ceremony we created more or less on the spot and involved the whole crowd. The men followed David into the chapel from outside and circled the building clockwise to make a circle filling the whole room, and the women followed me in a counter clockwise circle ending up in a circle inside the circle of men… with David and I standing together with our Native preacher friend… My daughter joined in our ceremony, by reading out loud a wonderful poem she found called “Don’t you Quit!”
The ceremony was profound, I felt… and later was told that forming part of the circle was an experience for many rather like getting married all over again, renewing their own vows . After the ceremony was over, musician friends of ours in Port Townsend started playing a Polka, and David and I danced all around the room until we were breathless… joined by the others after the first few moments…

At the time, David had a IV port in his arm, and had energy for only one dance, but oh, we had so much fun! Sadly he ended up back in the hospital once more after one night of honeymoon.

The reason I chose this photo (taken on January 15, 2009) was because of a memory from our extended family honeymoon that took place in May of 1992. We all drove across Idaho camping at hot springs along the way, with David almost entirely blind at the time.  Often, after the camping chores shared by all 3 of us were done, I would read out loud to both he and my daughter before bed. It was a timeless journey, with fishing and hot springs, laughter and frustration both. We came to Yellowstone and spent a week or so wandering around… my daughter still remembers me sitting in the open door of the camper van playing my Native American flute for the herd of Buffalo crossing the road and wallowing in the dust nearby. She tells me they came closer, listening to the flute.

At one point, my girl and  I were outside the van, taking photos of the buffalo and a large moose with calf off the road a ways. David, who could not see more than some movement and light, was sitting in the van with the window down… while a buffalo was browsing in the low bushes beside the road not far away. Later, he told me he learned a new breathing meditation….. “Buffalo Breath”. As the Bison grazed, she would take a deep breathe and exhale it all out with a whooosh… so for awhile when things got rough David would practice his “buffalo breath meditation. Hmmm… now that I think of it, it was rather a lot like the kind of breathing they teach a woman to use in labor!

Back here in 2009, In this photo, it was freezing cold out, with rime frost on the trees and plants… and as the Bison breathed, their breath became the fog you see around the back buffalo. Seeing this I was transported back in time to the trip to Yellowstone.  This small herd was living on a ranch near Trout Lake, Washington, but change comes to all things eventually and the herd is gone now.

Life has never since been the same

 The “Don’t You Quit” Poem

 

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The Earth Cries

My heart and prayers go out to the people of Moore, Oklahoma as they struggle to overcome and find their lives after the tornado tore through their town and life on May 20, 2013.  The stories that are pouring out on the news are unbelievably heartbreaking.

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You can find links on the side bar for more information about my work and products along with the music of Leannan Sidhe.  Thank you for viewing, and  for adding your prayers for those who struggle.