The last Saturday in October dawned sunny. After 23 years in Washington, my husband and I decided we wanted to take the day to see Ti’Swaq’ (Tahoma, Tacoma, Pooskaus, Tacobeh, Mount Rainier) up close. On clear days, we can walk down our street and see it behind our neighbor’s house, but it was clearly past time to see it up close.
What has always struck me about Ti’Swaq’ is that on all of the days that I can’t see it, I know it’s still there. There’s something blocking the view, but that doesn’t change the fact that it exists. That the majesty of this beautiful snow-topped mountain is steady. Dependable.
We decided to try a trail that was incredibly steep to get an even closer look. “Steep” is an understatement. But we carried on and stopped as many times as we needed. Every time I stopped, I thought to myself,”This is far enough. I’m good.” But then after a couple of minutes of rest, we would continue on a little further. All the while, this majestic view lured us forward. I learned that the Native American name Ti’Swaq’ translates to “sky wiper”. It does seem to literally touch the sky.
It reminded me that many times in my life, the path has felt way too steep to climb. So I learn to rest. I consider my place in the world and how I can contribute to my community. I see what’s good and what needs an adjustment (attitude or otherwise). I apologize. My strength is renewed. I get back to work.
I believe we can agree that we have work to do, that we can and should do better. I’ll be figuring out next steps for Sew Listen Here. I’m curious about how you’re doing and what steps you’ve been able to take to rest on the steep climb. Drop a comment below or message me! In the meantime, read about the origin of Ti’Swaq’ and how we can support indigenous people to change these names :
Time to Make the Rainier Name Change Official https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/matt-driscoll/article244394687.html
Why Mount Rainier was once called Mount Tahoma: https://crosscut.com/2019/04/why-mount-rainier-was-once-called-mount-tacoma
Tribal Alliance Seeks to Restore Native Name for Mount Rainier https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.phpstoryId=146501063#:~:text=Tribal%20Alliance%20Seeks%20To%20Restore%20Native%20Name%20For%20Mount%20Rainier%20%3A%20NPR&text=Live%20Sessions-,Tribal%20Alliance%20Seeks%20To%20Restore%20Native%20Name%20For%20Mount%20Rainier,name%20to%20this%20Northwest%20landmark.