Typically we would be preparing to set off for South Dakota about right now. We go to support the Big Foot riders and spend time with family and friends. This year we will participate from afar. Last year we took our friend Dr. Jesse Lopez up to the ride and spent a week supporting in any way we could. After the ride was over, we headed back home in a horrific snow storm, but that is another story. For some reason, what stands out to me is a moment from the first morning during saddle up time. It was early and it was cold. There is always kind of an excited frenzy on the first morning of the ride. Seeing old friends and finding horses, bridles and saddles, enough to go around for about 100 riders. Young people, first timers and the old veterans all preparing to make a sacrificial journey to honor the ancestors and prepare a path for the future generations. On that morning I was mulling around lost in the activity. The sun was barely up and the ground was covered in old snow and people and horse prints. I heard someone ask me for help. It was a young man probably 14 or 15 riding high above me on a Lakota horse. He asked me if I would look on the ground. A lens had fallen out of his glasses. I looked up and sure enough, there he was, glasses on with one lens missing. I thought, "This is impossible", but I said "Sure, I am really good at finding things." I couldn't believe what I had just said, because in this place at this time, to find a transparent lens among the snow, twigs and prints was just impossible! So I quickly called on St. Anthony in my silent prayer. Within 5 seconds, on the ground I saw it, as if light were shining all around it, the lens! A small miracle. I picked it up and handed it to him, feeling for a moment like a superhero. I knew this young boy didn't have spare glasses and besides, he was setting off for a 6 day sacrifice. I really don't know why that moment meant so much to me. I never caught that young man's name and didn't see him again. It is not the giant moments that define our value but the little helping we do along the way each day. The Chief Big Foot Memorial Ride is a miracle in itself. That these young people would be willing to brave the bitter cold and sacrifice any comfort at all to take a journey that reminds us what is truly important in this life. And do it with joy and with perseverance. I am humbled to serve a warm bowl of soup, gather up warm socks to give away and help with buying feed for the horses. John's Lakota grandpa taught him 'there are no small things, everything is sacred'. I sure felt that lesson as I reached down to the cold rich ground and grabbed up a solitary lens and handed it to a real superhero on a horse. God protect and bless the riders this 2020 Big Foot Memorial Ride.
For more about the Big Foot Ride, watch this moving video:
Return to Wounded Knee
Margaret (Peggy) Hill is a wife, mom, grandma, friend, sister, bird watcher, food lover, ocean soul, music producer, writer, comedian, activist, football enthusiast and is up for just about anything!
Her passion is compassion and she has stood for decades by the mantra Love is a Verb, so her main goal in writing is to inspire her readers into action. Peggy is a freelance writer and author of The Wind of My Soul, a book of poetry, art and journaling.
She is a motivational speaker and the creator of the Women of Wisdom (W.O.W.) retreats. Peggy is currently working on her personal story Solely Mine, which will be available in 2020.