Monday, December 9, 2013

Apache Dress

These Apache girls are in their full regalia.
"She needs an Apache dress," my friend said as she leaned over toward me. We were watching my daughter and her granddaughter (best friends!) dance at the Christmas powwow. And she was talking about my daughter. My mixed-race daughter with her wiry African-American hair.

Men's powwow regalia
My almost-7-year-old daughter loves to dance. She was delighted to be dancing with the Apache people, even though she was ignorant of many of the niceties of the dances. I had even gotten up and danced one dance. "Don't bounce so hard," was the advice I received during that attempt!

I was really happy that my daughter was invited to dance; I hadn't been sure if a non-Apache could join in. I certainly didn't anticipate the level of acceptance in that simple statement, "She needs an Apache dress."

Did I mention that I love this place? These people?

I do.

Traditional Apache Dress
"She needs an Apache dress," I was told again by the woman in our congregation sitting in the back row at the powwow. I had made my way back to say hello to her and her son, also a member of the congregation.

"Really?" I said. "That would be okay?"

"Yes!" she said. "The ladies of Sew-n-Sew would make her one. She needs one so she can dance."

Wow! What an affirmation that we are becoming part of the community here. We are so blessed.

My daughter and I had to leave the powwow before it was over, but when we returned from an overnight trip (missing church), my husband (who was unaware of the coversations above) said to me, "By the way, C (congregant) said that K (daughter) needs an Apache dress. She said she saw K dancing at the powwow, but she needed an Apache dress. C said for us not to worry about it, though."

Not to worry about it? I was figuring at the least, I would need to go buy fabric for the Sew-n-Sew ladies. But my husband said not to do anything, that C told him it would be taken care of.

God has blessed us so very much in this place. These people. They bless us every day, bringing us desserts at the back door of the parsonage. Introducing us to their families and friends. Inviting us to be with their families for Thanksgiving. Asking our daughter to dance.

Blessed indeed.

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