Long ago a grandmother I do not remember clearly, took a cutting from my mother’s dress the day I was born. She fashioned a rounded square into a small pouch with cords to pull it closed and a longer one so I could wear it around my neck.

As long as I can remember it hung up high on the wall where I could not reach it or touch it. But I could see everyday.

On my seventh birthday I was given a gift in tissue and ribbons. It was my spirit pouch, just for me. And for the first time I was able to open it. Inside were stones and small scrolls of paper, each with a date. The first one was today.

I carefully opened the scroll: Luna, girl of my heart, today you are seven. Your mother has labored hard for you to come into this world and you must always remember that. There may be times that you forget how much your mother and grandmother love you and how we anticipated the day you arrived to change our lives forever. Maybe at seven you think you almost know everything, but you must remember there will always be someone older than you, someone younger than you, someone to listen to and someone to give guidance to. Live in the present. Be brave and do not fear darkness.

The pouch is a robin’s egg blue with red thread running all over the edges, symbolic of the blood of my ancestors. I am told to remember them. Seven tumbled stones gently rub against each other: rose quartz, jet, jade, aventurine, citrine, crystal quartz, and amber. Each year a new bead is sewn on to the fringe and sometimes we forget and many beads are placed on at once.

After much moving in my life I have lost this precious pouch and the letters it held. But I still remember that first letter and the smoky smell of sage. I will try to fill in the gaps my grandmother meant for me to know. I can only wonder how my grandmother tried to imagine me as an old woman, even older than herself. Dreaming my own life into being.

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