Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Passamaquoddy

For the month of April I will be taking part in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I will be using two tools besides my trusty computer - my imagination and my dictionary -The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition.. I will turn to the letter of the day, flip the pages and let my fickle finger of fate find the word. Then I'll write - might be a story, might be a rant, might be a poem. Who knows! Do let me know what you think. To go to the list of other participants go here - There's a heck of a lot of blogs and there are many more signed up below me. If you make a comment I will do my darnedest to check out your blog and comment. Spread the love around!

Passamaquoddy n. 1. A tribe of Algonquian-speaking North American Indians, formerly inhabiting Maine and New Brunswick, Canada.

The Passamaquoddy also live in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, and maintain active land claims but have no legal status in Canada as a First Nation. Some Passamaquoddy continue to seek the return of territory now comprised in St. Andrews, New Brunswick which they claim as Qonasqamkuk, a Passamaquoddy ancestral capital and burial ground. - from Wikipedia

It was during the warm fishing time that I met the white boy and began my secret life. We'd come down after a long winter to where we always came -where the fish, mussels and lobsters  were plenty - and we could leave easier than in the harsh winter when food was scarce.

I had gone off by myself, my sister being in her time and so unwilling to leave the place where we'd set up camp. I wanted to go to a place where red berries had always been found and looked forward to a time where no one's chatter would interrupt the conversation I had in my mind. 

I was close to becoming a woman, being just five seasons younger than my sister, and I saw what that meant for the first time. I hated the restriction of it. I wanted to be free to roam and play with my cousins. We did our work, of course, but then we rambled and made mock battles and hunted without the constant censure of our elders. Once I had my bleeding time I would have to stay at home and work with the other women. I would be given to a young man, perhaps even from another tribe. I would spend my days sewing clothing, cooking and caring for babies and the ancients. I would not be allowed to run, to take out a canoe and slip along beside the otters and the porpoises. I knew it was coming so I relished every moment of my present freedom. But then I met the boy named Simon and set my life on a different course. 

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I love the perspective of this story! It so gently but clearly tells of the leaving-behind of childhood. Beautiful!