This year has been a year of growth and change on a personal level. For all of us, change is "life." But every now again, it is something else, something more profound. For me, this year brought "another" spiritual death as I pushed towards a crucible of understanding again. Fortunately, I recognized it and struggled to try and understand its message. It did not, however, make it any less painful knowing what was happening. Often, I wanted to give up.

Often, I would think, oh no, what's to come...

Years ago, I went through a tremendous "rebirth." As all rebirths, it entailed great loss and then a "coming together" of a new me; dis-membering is re-membering. This year I moved my 90 year old mother in with me and right from the gate, it was war. For months, I have been struggling to understand our lifelong battle of wills and spirits. My mother has always been a person who could feel things for herself, but lacked empathy for others or the world. I could never understand her lack of empathy and in my own ignorant way saw it as selfishness. I could not understand how a human being could be so self absorbed. And now, we were in the same house, locked in a hall of mirrors together.

Witnesses to our relationship, were horrified by our "cold war." My heart turned to ice to survive it. The ice spilled into every aspect of my life; I was spiritually dying. I knew what was happening. I knew I had to endure it, see it as a transformation, a little death, my own, and also as a gift and to let it happen. But at what cost? Again, I knew it would be the "falling away" of things no longer needed. But loss, any loss, is never easy. So, I worked, forced myself actually, to open a path of understanding.

By tradition my mother is "white" and I am native; we live our lives by different standards in all things. But, I privately made many ceremonies and reached out to the spirits; I went backwards and forwards in time searching for the root of the conflict. I searched for the parts of my spirit that were missing; things I no longer were conscious of. I removed Asekis on a daily basis (angry thought forms.) I went to other traditional Medicine Makers at first, then took responsibility for myself. I worked it and I worked it, alone, looking within my inner realms each day. I knew I had to heal our old and no longer serving wounds before time ran out and my mother was no longer in the physical realm.

I have been working with the Blue Jay for a friend's healing; the spirit of Blue Jay, that is. I have been reaching out to the Jays studying their ways and symbolic lessons.

Then: Last week, a Blue Jay got caught in my hair.

It was a strange day because later, I took my mother for her daily walk as I always do, war or no war. And I noticed one of the Jays had died; owl had come to recycle via death which brings new life. I put the feathers into the stream and said a prayer and asked what this was about "symbolically." In that moment my mother heard the cries of the other Jays; they moved her. She said "I have never heard such a sad sound; they're mourning a death." She turned to me and shared a secret, she said she felt she once was a plant in another life. As I stood looking into her eyes, stunned to core, I noticed she was wearing a little beanie hat, brown with a tan rim. My mother looked just like an acorn to me in that moment. I smiled at the ridiculousness of it all. It was the first time she had ever alluded to my native traditions, my blood traditions, as valid things, in my entire life.

But there it was. The Blue Jay death had brought the message; here is the place where it all ends and begins anew. My mother's secret had revealed an aspect of her personality symbolically. Like a plant, she responded to outside emotions but had no understanding of the emotions of others. A solitary creature she thrived with light and warmth but could only give "life" in return. Something she had done with me and that was where it ended. That was where the nurturing side of her ended. She was who she was just as The Creator intended her to be.

Seeing her as a plant, symbolically, gave me a deeper insight and new compassion for her. That is the beauty of Spirit and "Nature's Language." The Acorn, the symbolic seed of her spirit, her very core, was speaking to me in that moment. "I am like a plant. Do not despise me so." And in that moment, instant healing happened. I could no longer blame her, or curse her, or feel as if she'd deprived us all of our childhood needs. I become an adult in her presence for the first time in my life after 58 years. I had no idea I was living such a lie, but I was. But it is only my perception which has changed. It is the symbolic spirit of the Jay that brought me insight.

For us, Blue Jay traditionally means "stop gossiping." But it has another meaning as well. It's said Blue Jay will come into your life when you are about to endure a great change; they are resourceful and relentless. They tell us to keep on through hard times and finish well, in this symbolic meaning.

The Blue Jays arrived the very first snowfall of our moving into this house just as my heart was freezing over in preparation for my own personal winter which lasted all Summer and long into Fall. I remember thinking, "Oh no, what's to come." But because of my traditional understanding of how spirit works, and the message Jay brought with him, I have to say, on some level... I knew it was coming.

How beautiful today was, and how beautiful "Acorn" (my mother) looked on our walk today.

Adisi Waya