by Greg Lincoln
We are so in love with this land that we live on. The beauty of the tundra, the rivers and the ocean is beyond words. I like to think that when our Creator made the Yup’ik people, he chose the most beautiful place on earth for us to live on. He provided us with the most delicious foods that come from this land for us to eat.
When we go on a trip like we sometimes do, we start to crave and yearn to taste and eat our natural native foods. Why? Because it comes from our land, the very land that we love so much. For example, the small blackfish. Blackfish eat tiny aquatic creatures and what they eat fills their little bellies. When we eat blackfish, we devour the stomachs, contents and all. The natural matter that they eat is what we eat – and that comes from the pristine tundra streams and lakes.
How does this make us feel when we are grieving for our precious loved ones that have passed on? The familiarity of the taste and aromas of these foods gives a soothing effect, it makes us know and feel how home we are and being at home is a most comforting feeling.
Looking back at those first days when our earth was shattered and our world as we knew it ended, you dearest friends and family, came to our rescue. We count ourselves so blessed to have you as friends. You are teaching us to know how important it is to care for the poor bereaved. Completely nothing about losing someone is pleasant, it is in fact, so painfully cataclysmic.
When we needed you the most, when we could not take care of ourselves, you came, and you brought our most beloved, most cherished foods along with your love and care. Quyana for always knowing what we needed at our most desperate, most painful and saddest moment of our lives.
It is too painful to think of, but think of it we do every moment of our waking days. It is deeply internalized into our beings, it dwells in our eyes, our voices, in our thoughts and in our hearts.
Thank you for your sharing. Our community is a sharing place. Thank you for helping our bereaved grieving ones. Quyana for helping us to make it through another day. Please continue your thoughtful prayers as you stand in constant vigil for us and for those who have suffered loss.