Yá’at’eeh T’ąątsoh: Season Awakening

by Jaclyn Roessel

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On my list favorite things are: magic, surprises, unicorns and seasons changing. I recognize how child like this love list is but I am continuously taken over by how much magic you can find when the seasons change. It is incredible how complex our environments are and how they have adapted to changes in environments.

In the past couple of years, noting the seasons change has made me feel more “grownup”. Every time I notice a change in environment – leaves changing, the early rise of the sun and it marking the start to a new day – I think of my elders. It was something my grandparents and aunties and uncles would note – the moments of surprise found in a day and how we as “five-fingered people” are just a small part of the world around us.

In Navajo, each month in the start of the year relates to the earth shaking off the cold hibernation of winter. It’s a time filled with new life and beginnings. From the “birth of eaglets” (February) to the time of the “eagles’ cry” (March), the month of the “tiny plant leaves” (April) and now May or T’ąątsoh, the time of “large plant leaves”. I enjoy the reference each month indicates throughout the year. In the spring especially, revival is what is underscored with the start of new life.

Too often we forget the many intersections in our life. The points at which our paths cross one another, the connections to our community, the effect we have on our environments. As we prepare for the next change in seasons we should challenge ourselves to see not solely how we are distinct from each other but most importantly how we are connected and how we can help one another.

This month’s love list encourages you to connect with others’ causes and stories, enjoy.

SHOP. May is host to Small Business Week, a time to bring to highlight small businesses make to our community. As highlighted in this post from the White House blog, “this country’s 28 million small businesses create nearly two out of three jobs in our economy”. The amount of Native owned-small businesses are at an all-time high. New to my computer’s favorites bar is the online store Rezonate Art, an Indigenous Arts Collective representing seven different artists from different mediums. This collective not only elevates the work of talented artists but it plans to invest in community impact projects to further the power of dollars spent by supporters.

LISTEN. In the latest episode of schmooze my partner Jovanna and I interviewed our moms. Though I talk with my mom all the time, having a special conversation in tandem with my soul sister and her mom was a treasured moment shared. Too often we forget we all come from women and how much can be learned when we take a moment to absorb each other’s stories.

PLEDGE. This week marks National Womens’ Health Week, hosted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, it’s meant to remind women to make living a healthy life a priority. Take a moment to pledge, along with other women across the country, what you want to improve about your health.

SEND LOVE. As the Naaltsoos Project shows, Grownup Navajo loves snail mail! One of my favorite sites is the The World Needs More Love Letters. An organization dedicated to sending love notes to those who need an extra dose of support and encouragement. This month make time to send a note to someone in your life whose helped you lately or someone you miss.

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