My relationship with robins began in childhood, when I used to find the most peace, outside alone. It was when I thought with the trees, with earth, with timelessness that spiritual guidance, knowing and knowledge would speak and move about in beautiful and insightful designs of revelations. Robins were always there. And when years later, my sister Margaret and her husband Gene bought that little house in Glenpool, Oklahoma right after they were married; there were robins. When I first visited, there was a sapling sycamore tree in the front yard. You can see it in the early photographs. Baby Missy and the young tree were the same height. They grew together. A family of robins live there. Every time I visited, every one, two, or three years, I would see the robins. I came to know generations of robins who lived there with Margaret and her family.

I planned on locating the unrestricted land still held by my family, and building a small cabin to live there summers, during stomp dance season. I never thought I would move back. I loved living in New Mexico. I love the light, the mountains, and how native cultures have more of an honored presence and place, yet Oklahoma is where I was born, and where my tribal nation now lives. My guiding spirit told me to move back, just after my mother passed October of 2011. By that November, I was buying and living in that Glenpool house, my sister living in our mother’s house in Tulsa that she inherited. To move back, said my spirit guardian, was what I should do, to be exactly where I needed to be for my life to unfold in the best manner. This guardian has been with me this whole earthly journey. I have learned not to argue with my spirit, though sometimes I can’t help myself. And when I don’t listen and follow instructions, I always pay. This time I listened.

After I returned, every morning I would take my flute out and play for the sun. I would also blow prayers on my flute. The oldest robin, the one who looked out over the yard watched me intently that first morning I went out and stood there in the backyard looking East. He began speaking to me. He asked, “Who are you?” I made myself his size, out of respect. “I am her sister,” I told him, “the one who used to live here with her mate.” That satisfied him. Then I played my flute. He had never heard anything like it. He had never seen a human become a bird.

He always watched me after that—whatever I did. I watched him too. I came to learn that he was the one assigned to make the speeches about the state of the robin world in the area. There is one everywhere there are robins. It is a special kind of bird-talking, like our punvkv cvpkeckv: oratory.

Now robins wherever I go seem to know me. They find me. When I moved from that little house into the Tulsa house with my husband, I missed that robin more than anything there. One morning I was very sad with the missing. I opened the front door and there were over fifty robins. No, they didn’t say anything. They eventually scattered. They are birds and we are humans after all in a world in which humans appear to be destroying this earth that is home to birds, to all of us. We used to know how to communicate more freely. We can still learn.