The Sister Letters: A Letter to a Sister, A Message of Resilience

Dear Sister,

We live in a vague time, full of ambiguities. The future is uncertain and our path is hazy.

But this is what I want you to know:

We are intrepid. We carry on.

From our youngest age, there are concepts instilled in us, ways of being, from which we cannot be separated: Respect nature, for siļa is in charge. Respect for our elders, for they have shown us the way. Sharing, for looking out for each other, we know that we’ll get by.

These values come from somewhere; we are shaped by our environment, and for us, that means being in one of the harshest environments for thousands of years.

Imagine a way of being, and some of this is still true today, where everything you did was ritualized: every motion executed with purpose, every action practiced the perfect skill in accordance with the exact way that it was taught to you. If you erred in some way, if you digressed, this meant almost certain death.

And as such, every generation that succeeded were the sons and daughters of the strongest and the brightest, the spirited resilient of the generation before.

And when strangers came, your people said “I am still here,”

and when it seemed the whole world changed, your people said, “I am still here,”

and when substances were introduced,

when dances were stopped,

when your people used a foreign tongue to utter new words,

they did so still understanding the fullness of who they were, when they said,

“I am still here.”

When Western contact hit, our families were nearly wiped out by illnesses we had no immunity to; you are descended ones that survived. You carry the might of those few who had the vigor to withstand even foreign disease.

And every measure of that strength and intelligence and boldness and cunning is alive in you still.

You have been prepared by generations past; you are already ready.

And so. I have no doubt you’ll sojourn to the next adventure in most fervent and wholehearted way.

It is the only way anyone in your family has ever known.

For more information on siļa, click here.

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