It’s a vague memory – the day the Native Americans came to my preschool.  I do remember making our costumes.  Brown, paper grocery bags were fashioned into vests and headbands, which we painted with colorful designs.

photo Jessica Dofflemyer - all rights reserved

We sat with the men in a circle and though I can no longer recall their faces, I remember sensing their sincere presence as they sat among the preschoolers, granting each one of us our own Native American name.  This name-giving ceremony felt special and I soaked mine in with eager reverence.

Now at age 37, I’m flipping through my journal when I come across a random doodle from a few weeks back.  Suddenly my name comes flooding back to me:  Shining Branch.

Don’t know what it means, but there it is.

illustration by Jessica Dofflemyer - all rights reserved

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