our youth, our songbirds

“Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

songbird feather

Michael Meade tells the story about the young people of the Masi. He shares that young people go through an initiation, or rite of passage. Among other things, one of the rites they perform is to collect feathers from the largest array of songbirds they can find. The young people, called Morani, then place these feathers on their head and fashion it is a colorful display. Not unlike our youth’s display of color and spiked hair, these young people have songs and feathery ideas.

The Masi have designed a tradition that encourages and acknowledges their youth for their inner spirit — their song, arising from within. They would have the young people act out what is happening internally and display it on the outside rather then having to process it internally.

Another tradition held by the Masi is that whenever the elders are unsure of what to do, they turn to the young people and ask them to sing. This is a beautiful tradition because when the elders are stuck they rely on the young people. In essence, elders are acknowledging that the young people are “their song”. In turn, the young people know the value of the song waiting to be sung within them.

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