Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Teepee

Awakenings opens many windows and doors of awareness: awareness of the past, present and future. Are you aware of the enduring beauty of the Great Plains, home to the native American Indian? Somewhere back in your ancestral chain is the possibility of Indian heritage.

What is your knowledge of the teepee? Are authentic Indian tepees any different from modern tepees sold in retail stores? Is its design any different from an ordinary tent? Are all teepees the same size?

Then, of course, there is the question "Have you ever built or tried to build your own teepee?" More than likely there has been a playhouse, treehouse, backyard tent, makeshift shed but what about a teepee? Do you know or have you ever known someone who built a teepee? Last month I was enlightened by the undertaking of just such a person. In fact, her episode became a book. Let me introduce you to The 12-Foot Teepee by Marilyn Armstrong.

Marilyn started writing as soon as she could form letters and has never heard a single good reason why she should stop. She and her husband, as well their son, daughter-in-law, granddaugher and various intrepid canines, live in a setting of rare natural beauty and gigantic rocks in rural Massachusetts. Visit Marilyn at her blogsite Serendipity where there is never a dull moment!

The 12-Foot Teepee

Once upon a time, I built a teepee. I painted the door and filled it with things I loved. I made the poles, sanded each by hand, peeling the bark from each 16-foot sapling we had cut in our own woods.

Then I wrote a book about building it, and about life, transformation, and other things, some funny, some sad, some just whatever.

The manuscript for The 12-Foot Teepee took me about 7 months to write, almost as much time to edit, then a few more months to design the cover and the book. Getting it published, well … that’s a whole other story.

This was my teepee.

It stood, through all seasons for five years. This summer, the poles could no longer support the canvas, and the canvas itself was mildewed. Its time was over and it came down.

I don’t think there will ever be another. Building it was a rebirth. A physical teepee is nothing but a bit of canvas and sticks, the rest is spirit, love, and hope. I knew it could not last forever, and it lasted as long as any teepee could in this climate … especially since I left it up through the winter … but I miss it and always will. I had some of my best hours in my teepee … the only place in my world where I could always sleep.

My favorite time in the teepee was when the snow was falling and I was cozy by my fire. It was the most peaceful place in my world.

You can find Marilyn's book on Amazon, both as a paperback and in Kindle format. It is “The 12-Foot Teepee,” by Marilyn Armstrong.  Here is her book description:

Fighting the of demons of an abusive childhood and having given up on traditional paths to personal salvation, Maggie decides to find her own path ... by building a teepee in her back yard. It's a peculiar route, but her goal is simple: offload the cargo of her past and move into a future, sans luggage. Armed with a draw knife and a sense of humor, she peels poles and paints canvas until winter passes and she is free.