My girl. You are one of our greatest teachers. Of hope. Love. Courage. Language. Tradition. Song. You have (and continue) to teach us to lean into who we are as we do our best as you grow into your potential and purpose. This day comes at the time of your second year - and I cannot help from thinking through the moments you have helped us grow into being your parents...and how we have all grown into each other...a family.
The first words spoken to you were in the language (Ojibwemowin) - a living and breathing language of this land. The first song you heard is one passed down for hundreds of generations...softly and intentionally a sweet welcome from those who have come before. Most every night we have a quiet moment before you go to sleep - I sing you an old song (or two) of your choice. And it makes my heart sing when you request the song in Ojibwemowin and then hum along... My heart sings. This song - one of your favorites - is one we have sang mostly as the sun sets...but also at the still hours of deep night when you needed comfort.
I journeyed to the mountain with a friend to sing your song for you - we left early in the morning and arrived to cool, clouded breath and clear skies. We set off where ancient trees stood tall and watched as we methodically hiked with the sun rising above the mountain range at our backs. Each step I felt the dull crunch of volcanic scree under my boots and tilted my ear to each chirp of nearby juncos.
Today is for you - today is to celebrate you - celebrate continuing traditions - and the song(s) we sing...the songs you may one day sing to those who will follow.
At the edge of the forest, high on the ridge near the tree line, I sing a song for my daughter...my heart sings...for you. My girl. - Baabaa aka Erik Brodt
Video production by: Bobby Cuadra