Wilma Mankiller

This morning I watched a Red Tail hawk circle up from the bottom of the canyon and glide past, wings spread wide to catch the wind. Then a second hawk glided past, and then a third arrived in the air and was joined by a fourth.

My thoughts center on a day back in 2006, when I was among those who gathered with Wilma Mankiller, former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, and with Charlie Soap, for an afternoon conversation.

I've been thinking about how lucky I am. When I least expect it I've had an opportunity to meet and spend time with those I have highest respect for. This has happened for me time and time again, and I am deeply thankful.

“When people cease waiting for great leaders or prophets to solve entrenched problems and look, instead, within themselves, trusting their own thinking, believing in their own power, and to their families and communities for solutions, change will follow. In traditional indigenous communities, there is an understanding that our lives play themselves out within a set of reciprocal relationships. If each human being in the world could fully understand that we all are interdependent and responsible for one another, it would save the world.” —Wilma Mankiller