i also begin to feel mournful as the weather turns cold, but recognize that it is not my sadness. i guess this comes from losing so many to the winter marches west during the forced migrations.
at any rate, it occurred to me to place something for them on my egun altar for thanksgiving--or, as many indigenous people refer to it, the day of mourning: some beautiful indian corn i got at the farmer's market, cornmeal, and tobacco (which i keep for my ancestors anyway since so many of them smoked).
they have touched me in dreams and waking visions. a woman taught me a "heartsong". when i almost forgot it, she came and taught me again. i have remembered it ever since.
i used to have dreams of a shaman dressed in a flannel shirt and overalls who would do readings for me.
in another dream, a group of men i somehow recognized as "cousins" invited me into their circle to drum with them. i politely refused, thinking i'd be intruding, but they insisted. i did not drum with them, but, upon waking, i immediately wished i had. i thought, "they were family...". to this day, my desire to own a drum hasn't left me.
this morning i offered their gifts with a prayer close to this one:
to my ancestors who walked this land before me, i give thanks. many of us do not know your names or your faces, but we know your blood runs through our veins. we thank you.
please do not be mournful: be joyous! come and teach us, let us learn from you about caring for the earth and honoring you. come into our dreams so we may learn your ways. we love you.
i thank you for your guidance and the work you do in my life. may you continue to be a force of goodness and strength.
the very particular way the wind whistled past my ears as i walked back home signaled their acceptance.
they have so much to teach us, and many of them think they have been forgotten. but just as many native people are going back to the ways of their ancestors, so are we.