Enjoy the journey jellyfish
Oklahoma is green, hot and humid! In an attempt to cool off today, I slid down a sandy bank of the North Canadian River to submerge myself, fully clothed, in warm water.
A few minutes later we were back on the road, soaking wet and mildly refreshed, when we crossed over a little bridge bearing a small, green sign that said Quapaw creek.
Quapaw! I know what Quapaw is! I’m excited because this is the first and only time I’ve ever seen the word Quapaw being used out in the real world, not just on a website from my research.
My great-grandmother, Consuela, was born on the Quapaw Indian Reservation in Oklahoma. I never knew her, but I feel a familiarity in this moment.
A quick google search will tell you the name Quapaw is a derivative of the tribal term Ugakhpa, meaning “down stream people” and these people belong to the Dhegiha subdivision of the Sioux.
And so, suddenly, as I started feeling a little more human after a spontaneous dip in the river, I also serendipitously drifted a little closer to home, as I like to think.
Y’all are my tribe, and wherever you are, is where I roam. Sometimes, I want to cling tight to your roots and stay put forever. You wouldn’t mind, would you?
We all live downstream. We face common problems, share common interests and look to each other with a common history.
When I’m struggling to relax and go with the flow, as we all do at times, I can hear my niece Annabelle, an amazing travel companion, say: Enjoy the journey jellyfish!
For me, enjoying the journey means more than just having a good time, it’s an active practice in being more mindful. It’s about simple awareness and paying attention to what is hidden in plain sight all around us.
It’s the joy of spending time with my people and following the streams to get there. It’s the smile that creeps over my face when I realize I’m home. Because, #homeiswhereyouparkit!
You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born free should be contented to be penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. – Chief Joseph (Nez Percé)