Aponi White Feather
In the stillness of the early dawn, Aponi White-Feather lay on her bed, her long black hair splayed like a giant fan across the white pillow.
From the corner of her bedroom, tiny slithers of light crept across the cold, wooden floor. Silently, she slipped from her bed padding across to the curtained window.
Aponi peeped tentatively through a small tear of the hanging hemp curtain. It WAS true!
After five long years she was home. In the breaking light she could just see the distant hills, an achingly beautiful amber highlighted by the rising sun.
More tears. She hadn’t cried this much since London when she heard her puppy had died.
Before leaving the room, she paused in silent prayer to Great Spirit acknowledging she had made it home safely. Across the empty kitchen and out onto the front porch, Aponi sat down on the top step lost in the magnificence of the view.
So familiar. It seemed only yesterday she sat here as a young girl dreaming of faraway places. Lost in her chores and family life, it didn’t seem possible back then.
Thank goodness for the kindness of Father Callahan who convinced her parents of her bright intellect. He was the one who rallied the local parish into fundraising for her college education.
‘Lakota girl awarded London work scholarship’ announced the local paper two years later. She was grateful for it all; grateful for the experience and grateful for her career as an art-history researcher for the museum in London.
Her thoughts drifted back to the present moment. Dropping her adopted ‘English’ name, Nicola, and reverting to her birth name Aponi felt so right.
Now, she heard soft shuffling sounds from behind. Standing up she greeted her elderly grandmother’s soft smile with a huge bear hug.
It wasn’t too late to learn the stories and ways of her people. Her heart rejoiced!