Meet Sialea-lea: her name means dreamer. Or little bluebird. Her name is pronounced Shah’-lee-lee.
Years ago I spent several months caring for little girls which culminated into a memory I call Sialea-lea. Little bluebirds who needed some extra love and hugs because trauma came to their home.
Their homes were usually hogans in a dry, barren land of sage and pinon. A high-country “desert.” A word that means abandoned.
Even abandoned, my little Sialea-leas brought joy, and like a bluebird, perched on the windowsill of my heart, and never left.
Sialea-lea loved to cuddle on my lap before bed, while we sang and told stories. Then she would ask, “How old are you?”
“How old do you think?”
And there would be a chorus of guesses. “Ninety!” “Forty-five!” “I know! I know! Twelve!”
Age had no numbers: they respected every age and person.
Every grandmother and aunt and uncle and brother and sister. Who may or may not be related by genetics. The wrinkled lady in turquoise and velvet, weaving intricate rugs on a large loom, was everyone’s grandmother.
Sialea-lea had love to spare. Love to span generations and cultures.
I will never forget her.