Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota.
a place that's beautiful no matter what the time of year.
There's brokenness to be sure -
just as there is on every reservation -
but if you concentrate only on seeing what's wrong,
in ANY place,
you'll miss seeing the strength and beauty that's there too.
I spent two days working with a mission team,
cutting, splitting and stacking wood
to be used by the elderly during the coming winter.
We also took in the pageantry and beauty of the Fair and Wacipi.
I left my 'good' camera at home,
hoping that a wildly talented local artist/photographer,
would post his images on line.
And he did!
Sitting, soaking in the sounds and sights -
without changing lenses and trying to get all the shots I wanted -
was a totally new experience for me.
I loved it.
The Sicangu Lakota, the Brulee,
are also know as the 'Burnt Thigh People'.
As I understand it,
their tribe was forced up against a bluff during a prairie fire
and, in order to survive,
they had to go out through the fire
resulting in burnt thighs for the survivors.
I loved how this dancer (above) honored and paid tribute to their history.
I feel like a proud Aunt.
I've watched this one grow up since he was a toddler!
To see him as this proud, strong, beautiful dancer -
the Champion in his age group in Grass dancing -
was such a treat.
They may say
"The road to the house of a friend is never long"
but they'd be lying.
It was long,
but it's always worth it.
Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.
All things break. And all things can be mended.
Not with time, but with intention.
Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.