Someone mentioned the idea of the circle during the last pipe ceremony with Celinda and it has really stuck with me. The idea of the circle: to really have no beginning or ending. Or at least to have a beginning that is constantly refreshed. And as I look back through my time in this class there is a constant reminder or recognition of the circle.

At pine ridge everyone sat in a circle in the sweat lodge. One side the women and the other the men.  Even if we were separated by sex we still entered the sweat lodge and left together in a circle. I felt that this was a physical representation that together as a whole we have completed a journey that had connected everyone’s prayers, strengths, and love together. And like the circle, our walk into and out of the sweat lodge will continue again the next day. For some like the Lakota residents, the refreshing of their circle will continue everyday in the sweat lodge. But as soon as they leave the ceremony of the sweat lodge they will continue their lives outside the circle. Until they come together again.

Another instance when I found the motif of the circle to pop up was when Emma and RJ read their spoken word poems to the class. RJ’s words flowed and rhymed connecting one thought to the next. And in my mind I saw many small circles of struggle, strength, insight, and newfound happiness that developed his poem. For Emma’s poem, I felt like her poem was spinning with confusion and strong energy. Her thoughts of confusion of being at Pine Ridge and her impact circling continuously forever. Will we ever figure out our true meaning for being at pine ridge?

Lastly, I saw the image of the circle during our last pipe ceremony. Again, as a class we sat in a circle. The feeling of this pip ceremony to me was entirely different then the first one. As we went through this class, each and every one of us, I felt, has grown close. I noticed either by renewing friendships or creating new ones. We all have walked a circle together and are now connecting it with the final pipe ceremony. However, like the circle I hope that our friendships will continue and to flow again and again.

It has been a great class everyone! I am so glad I have gotten to experience this journey with you!

~Becca A

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