My Mate

When I was a young man, the Blackfoot Elders showed me that you can best tell who someone is by looking at the people with whom he/she associates. Life is not about us as individuals; it is about our relationships. The relationship that brings balance to my life path is with my mate, Lety, who is also known in Ojibwe as Minawaanigozikwe–Woman-Of-Joy.

We are as different from each other as night is to day, yet therein lies our strength and our beauty. Night and day are essential to each other, for without one the other could not exist. Night honors the day with the splendor of dawn and day honors the night with the glory of the sunset.

Lety, whose animal guide is Migizi (Ojibwe for Eagle), brings Eagle’s farsighted perspective to our relationship. A creature of the day, she soars high on broad wings, surveying everything, catching all movements. She notices things that are beyond my field of vision, she is sensitive to feelings that are beyond my sensitivity, and she can explain things that are beyond my comprehension.

I, being guided by Gookookoo (Owl), am a near-sighted, introspective creature of the night. My ears being sharper than my eyes, I listen and contemplate while perched on an overhanging branch waiting for some movement below.

Apart, Lety and I are incomplete; together we thrive. We bring our gifts to each other to make a circle which is neither she nor I, but us—one being with both depth and perspective, with a sense of direction to each step and a sense of purpose, able to give attention to detail and to the whole.