...my Cherokee Warrior Sister is often far, but always near to me.
*Once upon a time, there were two sisters. They were not children together, nor did one know the other’s name. This is not because they were separated at birth, but rather, because they were born on opposite ends of a continent. They both lived many different lives growing up, and one sister was older than the other. The younger sister had a sister, by blood, whom she loved dearly. The older sister had two brothers, by blood, whom she loved dearly.
But other aspects of the sisters’ lives, specifically concerning family, were not so typical, and they spent their growing-up days picking up the pieces, saving the day, and figuring out where they belonged in the world.
When the rest of the world would sleep, these sisters—the younger one and the older one—would count the same stars and go out exploring by the same moonlight in secret. They swam in the same oceans, watched the same sky, went to sleep by the same sunrise, talked to the same animals, and both could hear the lullabies sung by the four winds. They even dreamt in the same color: sparkly pink.
One day, when the stars were aligned, the sisters met, right on schedule. They learned they were both Cherokee Indians and uncomfortably confined by a common define; both were called introverts, but they each knew they were much more. The sisters started where they left off, which was long, long ago, when their ancestors were born to a Cherokee Indian Chief. He had two wives who birthed on the same night at the same time. The winds were blowing opposite directions and the stars shined bright. The sisters grew up together and lived free, as mighty warriors. They rode horses and studied nature and painted what they saw on rocks and buckskin and wet earth. They went to sleep one night both dreaming that the world would be very different and so would they. They dreamt the world would need them to remind its people of the ancient ways and help bring them back to those ways, sometimes by being invisible and sometimes by not. The girls did not want to be separated, but The Great Spirit told them it would be so. He promised to return them to each other, one day, but only if they fulfilled their destinies and allowed themselves to be carried away by the opposite winds, which first brought them together and to earth.
The sisters agreed to this, and so it was.
Ages and ages passed and the world changed, just as The Great Spirit for-cast. The sisters had been apart for so long, they almost did not recognize each other when they met again, but the Great Spirit made sure the winds still blew and the stars still shined—the same ones they first saw and felt together for the very first time, having just been borne to a great Cherokee chief. Then the sisters remembered. Their unspoken words and secrets and adventures were restored. The younger sister consulted a zebra she knew well, and he confirmed so, for the older Cherokee sister was the only one, besides herself and her blood sister, the zebra would accept as his kin. Zebras know what it written in the winds and the stars, too.
The sisters live on now, far apart, but together, learning of their destinies and diligently helping the other fulfill hers. Sometimes they teach each other life lessons, and both have the wisdom that only being ancient can bring. The older once reminded the younger that family are just people—people today who need guidance and were not there with them in the olden days, long before now, to know any better. Blood is strong, but winds and stars are stronger, as they were created first, and so the younger went to sleep that night knowing her older Cherokee sister was written there. She took great strength from this and decided she could save the world. One day, the older sister became very sick and the younger sister reminded the older sister that The Great Spirit made a promise to keep them together, as warriors. The younger sister told the older sister something she did not know. The younger said to the older that The Great Spirit made her especially strong and beautiful and brave, and that in fulfilling their destinies as they promised, they would also fight the sickness, too. The older sister, being very strong and very brave and very selfless, just as it was written, found great courage then, and even though she was still sick, she decided she would save the world, anyway. That is also when a part of her sickness was fought and became gone forever.
Today is not long after those days of the sisters finding each other again and remembering their strength and wisdom warrior ways. The sisters continue to live apart, but together, under the same stars and by the same winds. They share knowledge and adventures and secrets and ancient blood no one else can remember. Each day in a new adventure, just as it once was when they rode horses and studied nature and painted what they saw on rocks and buckskin and wet earth. Each day, they help each other piece together a little more of the other’s destiny. They know that their separation has bound them to opposite sides of the world and opposite peoples, and it is their binding sisterhood that will make the world whole again. They still have their blood sister and brothers nearby to love on their respective sides. When they are alone, though, as they prefer to be, they are strengthened and they know this is how they were made. This, too, is written in the stars and the winds. This is what it means to have a sister since the days of the ancients before the world even was.