Sunsets on the shore

The best and probably the longest journey that one will encounter throughout his/her lifetime is the journey to both find and determine one’s destiny. I for one have come to the realization that we as living, thinking, loving creations of promise possess the power to define our destiny. Although there have been some times throughout my journey where I felt powerless, there was always a knowing that I did possess the power to be and go wherever my imagination would take me. It was all a matter of believing in something much bigger than myself and not allowing my circumstances to dictate my destiny.

One way in which I’ve learned to overcome the challenges that I am confronted with is  what I call, self-reflection. Self-reflection is my way of keeping everything in its proper perspective. There are times that I am discouraged and frustrated by life and by the things that I seem to have no control over. This is when self-reflection plays an essential part of my journey. When I take the focus off of me and off of my situations, I broaden my capacity to receive the understanding needed to continue on with confidence. Reflection is simply taking a moment to think about the times and instances that have bought us to the place of now, the place where we are today. This American culture is so inundated with progress and with winning the “rat race” that we have forgotten to take time to remember how we’ve gotten to where we are. Most importantly, we’ve forgotten to remember and appreciate the obstacles or the opportunities where we are equipped to grow in faith and in courage. Imagine if the challenges of today or tomorrow are our first experiences with confrontation. I have to be brutally honest and say that we don’t exist. Our first ever obstacle that every living, breathing person is confronted with is being born. A new born infant has never had the experience of seeing the light of day or being held by another human being. We have all had to learn fairly quickly to adapt and maneuver in a world, a new environment that is foreign to us. This brand new process is life’s initiation or better yet; our introduction to the journey to our destiny. No one was smart enough to write a handbook or an owner’s manual showing the best route to our destiny because no one has figured it out yet. We are responsible for journaling and remembering the steps we needed to take to get where we want to be. Since our destiny cannot be located on Google maps, it stands to reason why we are responsible for mapping out our journey, reflecting on the places we’ve been, and deciding on purpose to learn from our experiences. We must learn again to appreciate the process involved in life’s journey to our destiny.

The poem that I’ve entitled “Sunsets on the shore” expresses the reality that outside of ourselves, there are lessons in nature that teach us about life. The photo that accompanies my poem is a picture of a parcel of land that belongs to the Shinnecock Nation. To many it is a beautiful sunset on the shores of the beautiful beaches in the Hamptons. To me and to my fellow tribal members, this picture represents the gift of land the creator has blessed us with and that our ancestors died for. On the days that I am overwhelmed by life, I go and sit at the beach and just listen to the sounds of creation. For me, my land and the reality confronted by my ancestors ministers a deeper truth that will forever dominate over my current obstacles. This truth is that just as the sun rises on the shores of our beautiful lands the sun shall set every day. Just as many adverse situations in our lives shall arise, they shall set or be settled. How we respond to our situations will determine our outcome. Sometimes it takes reflection on the order found in nature to give order to our lives. Every obstacle that we are confronted with has a purpose and an order but we have to give it a purpose, otherwise it will produce disorder.

Before I end my note to the readers, I have to be honest and say that even when I get frustrated by life, I find myself wanting to take the easy way out and give up. There is always this small still voice that reminds me what would happen if I gave up every time I wanted to give up. I then start to think and reflect on the good times as well as the bad times. The truth is that I learned more during the dark times in my life because it was the darkest times of my life, the hardest times during my journey that taught me that I am bigger than my circumstances and that all I need is the will to overcome. Lastly, I would like to present all of our readers today with yet another challenge. I would like to challenge everyone that is dealing with a situation that may seem beyond human control to stop and reflect or remember what it took to overcome the last obstacle that you were confronted with. Think about the people who came to encourage you and from the outside looking in, were able to show you something you couldn’t see as you were in that dark place. The last thing I challenge you to think about is the one person who may be confronted with a situation that is darker and harder than your circumstance. Life is a true testimony of what we choose to focus on and how we choose to respond in situations we cannot control…Wishing all of our readers a week, month, year filled with peace and destiny manifest!

©Sunshine K. Gumbs 2015
©Sunshine K. Gumbs 2015


By Meesha Johnson

Gazing above the sky’s beautiful abyss is a constant reminder of LOVE’S certain joy and happiness. As brilliant pastel colors blur the heavens above one can only think of what’s gone and what’s to come ,for it is confirmed that another day is done while yesterday’s experience remains. Today’s presence abounds, and tomorrow’s future, while still uncertain, hopes of opportunity. We refrain from fear because the sultry day almost gone is comforted by a gentle breeze that whispers “just hold on.”

Beneath bare feet are remnants of childhood memories of these indigenous lands. The rigid shells of the oyster and smoother rocks once held in innocent hands ,the same ones that uncover crab shells hidden in damp sands. Marvelous sounds of waves crashing to shore while Ospreys and hawks sing in unison as part of a choir, or perhaps they are just in search of one who hears what the future has in store.

Directly across the Indian reserve man made constructs ignorant of the creator’s concepts held in trust evidence of worlds separated by an absolute truth held in our ancestors’ eyes. Yesterday’s reality becomes today’s proof as tomorrow’s destiny is an inheritance slightly obscure when compared to their outside.

Yet from within there is a history of pride never to be denied by those who believe.   For this we know, life is similar to seasons and tides and although darkness of hatred and uncertainty of lies may come, they shall not abide. For just as the sun sets the sun must rise again on our Stony shores…

©Meesha Johnson 2015