The long road back …

I took it easy today; slept in and decided to stay around the rectory. I had a few phone calls from folks who didn’t get the chance to see me, and two people dropped by to say hello.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I took it easy today; slept in and decided to stay around the rectory.

I had a few phone calls from folks who didn’t get the chance to see me, and two people dropped by to say ‘hello’.

Mildred presented me with two beautiful star quilted pillows. “This is gift of thanksgiving that you made it through your surgery,” she said, “and I’m praying for your continued healing.”

Romey also wanted to check in. His first question was not about my health, but he asked, “How are those Bears going to do this year?” We talked a little football and a little family … in a way that was so familiar and comfortable.

The Saturday evening mass in Eagle Butte brought some more reunions. One Sunday a month the parish celebrates that month’s birthdays. We had a potluck and birthday cake and chance to hang around for fellowship.

One young man came to church after having been away for eight years. “What is it that brought you back today?,” I asked. “Emptiness,” he answered, “and wanting something more.”

I knew him when he was a child growing up in Cherry Creek, and he couldn’t believe I remembered hiking up to Holy Hill with him and groups of youngsters led by Sister Cheri. We’d look for tinpsila (wild turnips) and give the kids some fun time away from struggles they may be having in their homes. He has been struggling with drugs and alcohol, and I know it’s a long road back. I encouraged him to keep on the good road, and continue to look for people who can be of support and encouragement.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph’s Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

5 thoughts on “The long road back …”

  1. The young man who came back to church after so many years will be very much in my thoughts and prayers, as are all those you serve so faithfully.

  2. You bring them back..! How neet is that..? You have the “gift of God’s faith..the sweet light of His love..” THAT’S how neet it is !
    Maybe the young man will become a priest..? But one thing for sure..you led him in the right direction, and he knows that. There couldn’t be a better gift !
    And..YOU never slow down..your speed is a continuous “salvation express” speed…I bet you even sleep it..and it is not heavy for you..it’s your joy..your fun..and you help the rest of us to gain through what you give everyone..and you never seem to really notice what you do..and give..
    Keep it up..! We all need it..!
    Father of Thousands..
    Our Love and Prayers are with you
    Always..
    Mia and Bob

  3. Fr. Steve- Looks like you are getting out some and thanks so much for visiting us at church. It put my mind at ease to see you in person. I hope that you continue on the road of healing and always know that our prayers are with you.
    The Reuman Family

  4. Concerning the young man that came back, after 8 years; –We were all his age at one time in life; and IF!! we would only LISTEN to our elders, meaning anyone that is older than us…..Allot have already been down that road….and are wiser with the words given; I never experienced it,DRUGS…; (myself)….; But I do remember something my Father always told us;
    “”YOU ARE THE COMPANY YOU KEEP””….and Believe me I WISH that I had also listened.
    God does not cause things, but he does allow, as he allows US our own choices….
    “”LISTEN TO THE WISE!!!!!!!!!!!””

  5. Hello Father;
    I , too, have this emptiness. I, too, have tried using drugs to dull the pain- but, it’s not the answer. It’s never enough- it only masks the pain for a little while- then- everything comes back.
    The only way to truly find peace within yourself, is to soul search and find what the problems really are, and address them.
    When I was small, no one wanted to hang out with me. My parents split up when I was 6 years old. And, with no one to turn to, I turned to the earth mother for companionship.
    And what I got in return was magic.It was as though the earth mother felt my anguish.
    Every tree, every plant, every leaf, every stone or rock, even the water in the stream. seemed to be speaking to me, clamoring for my attention.
    I would lie there, crying my eyes out, and I would hear rustling in the leaves. So, I would jump up, run to where the sound was coming from and check everything. Only nothing was there- now I know it was the fairies.
    This wasn’t the only part of this forest, there was another part- all the pines were planted in rows, and the pine needle carpet had to be inches thick- as it was old growth forest by this time, and it was right beside a really old grave yard. I would walk through this forest, looking straight down the rows of trees- and I would occasionally see spirits ducking back behind the trees. I’m sure they were really curious about me because no one else would go in the “haunted forest”. But I loved it there- I felt so at peace. Not to say that the spirits didn’t increase my heart rate quite a bit- because I knew that I was seeing things few others ever would. And even if they did, it would scare them to death- they would never embrace it the way I did.
    So, to this day- when things get rough, and I feel like I just can’t take anymore, I will find myself heading to the forest- even though it’s not the same forest- to find solace. There, I can cry, scream, fume- whatever- and the earth mother still takes my pain away, and transforms it into something else. A kind of peace that I cannot find anywhere else.
    And when I wound up in an abusive relatioship that lasted for over twenty years- I would find myself in the woods, trying to escape the madness, hiding from this jerk who made my life hell.
    Well, the earth mother would hide me from him. She never let him harm me there.I was always safe in her arms- because I just knew the power she had, and I trusted her completely. I never questioned that this was where I was supposed to be. Now, I haven’t always had access to her, but anytime I do- she never lets me down.
    So, you see, in my lonliness and anguish- I found a true life long friend. When I thought I had nothing, I discovered that I had everything- all along.
    I am incapable of living in a city environment- surrounded by nothing but concrete and glass. It just drains the life out of me- and I find myself contantly wondering, When can I get out of here?
    I must have the grass between my toes, under my feet, and the sky above me is what space there is between the mountains I am surrounded by.
    okay, I know that I’m running on here, but my point is that your never really alone. All you have to do is reach out, and someone or something will always be there, even if you can’t see it. Allow yourself to feel it, be open to it and it will come.
    Reach out to the most basic of things, as your culture teaches, and you will never be alone.
    Also, the Creator never meant for us to be alone here- it is understood that we as humans are far from being perfect, and we do require assistance. So each and every one of us have angels, and spirit guides to help us, if we but ask. So, when the emptiness comes- fill it with your natural surroundings. Confess your every thought and feeling to the spirits around you, and in return you will have solace.
    Let Fr. Steve guide you, and, of course, your elders. Chances are they have been on the path that you now walk, and they can help point the way, and guide you through the rough spots.
    With all sincerety,
    Yours,
    -Dark Owle
    P.S. Never give up on yourself, your spirits won’t !!!!! Just ask your elders !!!

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