A Feather Just Doesn't Fall Out of a Bird

Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

Musings by Patricia Feager






I think it's interesting how the mind sees something as simple, as a single feather, floating on the surface of the water and it triggers memories of long ago. This is how the story goes.


It began innocently enough, purely out of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge about the Native American Indians who occupied the land where I lived, house backing up to Grant Woods in Lake Villa, Illinois from 1979 to the spring of 1997. I signed up for classes to learn about the Pottawatomie Indians, previous occupants of Northern, Illinois. Rumor had it there was a peaceful village in my yard before the developer purchased the land and built single family homes in 1973.  The elders near Monaville and Fairfield Road said they remembered the old school house next to the cemetery and while the children were in school, Indians peered through the windows, trying to learn English. Many children shared their candy with them and they received berries and nuts in exchange. People lived in harmony.


I am now about to share the facts, as I recall purely from memory. Behind my house was a Kentucky Coffee Tree. People said it was planted there by the Indians as a landmark and if you walked the trails you could see a tree, bent in the direction of Fox Lake. I was told, that's how Native American Indians created landmarks, to mark the trails to get to the lake to draw water. The lessons the children learned about the Pottawatomie Indians were passed down to their grandchildren and eventually to my teacher. Coincidentally, his name was Dallas and he claimed he was a descendant of the Pottawatomie Indians and his expertise was in teaching classes on medicinal plants in Grant Woods and share stories about the Indians. 


Dallas encouraged his students to understand, there is no such thing as bad people, but some behave badly. To live harmoniously with nature and other people, you have to learn to see the beauty within every creature here on earth. Fear and jealousy are our enemies. They are as deadly as weapons. The wind can sweep anyone and anything away and things can float in the air; then land on it's backside, as gentle as a feather, floating down the river. 


We are given choices and it's up to each individual to decide how they are going to live on earth and what legends will they leave for future generations. Will you leave the world a better place? Dallas asked the question and we were asked to take out a piece of paper from our notebooks and write with the opposite hand, e.g., if you were right handed, write with your left. It was a long afternoon, sitting on the ground under the trees of the forest. A gentle breeze rustled through the leaves of the trees and we sat in silence, slowly, writing our essays. When we were through, we were not allowed to break silence but to think about the pathway to peace and how we are we going to live from this day forward. What I learned is that we can all contribute so much to other people about learning, living, and loving the earth, living respectfully with every single person who passes our way. 



Patricia's Tip for the Day:

Wake up and listen to everything that blows your way. 

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Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Laura Cerrano - It's true! Thank you, so much! 

Have a wonderful evening!

May 11, 2017 10:57 PM #4
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

That's a very interesting story, Patricia!  When I was a kid, I shared your interest in the Native American Indians.  I'll never forget digging in my backyard, and finding an arrowhead.  It conjured all kinds of visions.

May 12, 2017 02:29 AM #5
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

You learned a lot from Dallas which you have now shared with anyone who reads your post. Thank you!

May 12, 2017 03:23 AM #6
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Patricia. I like your conclusion and the line about bad people. Very insightful.

May 12, 2017 05:20 AM #7
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Wonderful post and as humans we should be ashamed at how we are despoiling the earth. You can't fool mother nature.

May 12, 2017 05:55 AM #8
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

You have the best stories!  I always look forward to reading your posts!  We should all try to be the best we can to each other, always!

May 12, 2017 06:33 AM #9
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Thank you for such an inspiring story, Patricia. I recall a girl in my first-grade class who confided in me that she lived on an Indian reservation. I could not believe it. For starters, I didn't know enough to realize she was a Native American. For seconds, I asked if she used silverware. I can't believe that today. But I did. The only thing I knew about Indians came from Western TV shows.

May 12, 2017 09:14 AM #10
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Patricia, this is a powerful post and I read it twice to soak it all in. Beautiful and inspiring message. I took a class in college about Native Americans and the professor was wonderful. She had grown up on a reservation and shared insight to their history. How they use the land and respect Mother Nature is something I think everyone should do. We have to live harmoniously not just with each other but, with Nature too.

May 12, 2017 11:37 AM #11
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Patricia what a wonderful and uplifting post!  I would have enjoyed being in that class - so fascinating.  I have thought of how to make the world a better place quite often and sometimes it's a simple as a smile or encouraing word. It takes so little so brighten the path of others.  Have a wonderful weekend!


                                                  Featured in BananaTude



May 12, 2017 02:27 PM #12
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Anna Banana Kruchten, CRS - You just gave me my first smile of the day and it's 6:16 PM my time. Thank you, The corners of my mouth are about the length of your big banana and the smile feels so good on my face. Thank you!!!

I have seen classes on Native American History in years. It's too bad. Theirs was a unique culture that should be studied. We could all learn a lot from their history. 

Anna, I really do believe you are making a significant difference here on earth and I am blessed to have you as a friend here on ActiveRain. Thank you, for the feature. It was so kind of you. 


May 12, 2017 04:20 PM #13
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Patricia thank for sharing that part of your past.  It is experiences like those that shape who we are.

May 12, 2017 05:47 PM #14
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Enjoyed reading the story . . . . and the step back into history.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

May 12, 2017 07:51 PM #15
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Patricia,

Did you know that Pottawatomie are fire keepers or flame keepers? I am still learning about the Algonquian tribes. They were widespread. Around 1670 there used to be an Indian fort near where I live. That was how far west the English had gotten by then (east of Washington, DC). I am sure, there would be much we could learn, if more native folks were still around in this area. There is the occasional pow wow at the Verizon Center in Chinatown, but other areas in the US have much larger populations, so it is easier to run in to each other.

May 12, 2017 07:59 PM #16
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Story telling is a powerful way to communicate, and the story is often long remembered.

You are a great story teller.


May 13, 2017 04:32 AM #17
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

George Souto - I agree! We are shaped by the environment in which we live and it's the people in our culture that influence our behavior. The point that Dallas made strongly was there are no bad people, but some behave badly. 

May 13, 2017 06:41 AM #18
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dörte Engel - I did not know that Pottawatomie are fire keepers or flame keepers! That's interesting! Since they were a peaceful tribe, I can see them sitting around the fire long into the nights telling stories and keeping watchful eye. I'm not up to date on the Algonquian tribe either. Unfortunately, I think most of the stories come from Hollywood movies like Wagon Train, The Lone Ranger, and Dances with Wolves. 

When my dad took my family on picnics, we saw lots of Indian ceremonies. I remember the dancing in circles, their colorful costumes, headdresses, and the beating of the drums - it was a thrilling moment! I didn't know it at the time, but my father must have been teaching me respect. When we gathered around the circle, we were never allowed to talk, laugh, or make noises. Our job was to look, listen, and learn. As a kid, I thought he wanted me to dance and I remember going back home dancing around in circles, like lots of kids did in my area.  

What you shared with me about how far back the Algonquians went in your area was surprising! I hope you keep digging up information and that you'll write a post about it too. We cannot afford to lose American history. I hope that if Bruce Walter reads this and has any additional information to share that he would. 

Thank you much!



May 13, 2017 06:59 AM #19
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

John Wiley - Storytelling is an art! A good storyteller can have a profound effect on other people. It reminds me of summer camp, sitting around the fire listening to stories or singing songs. I miss the days when songs sung like a good story. Those were good traditions. One person spoke; the others listened and took turns talking. I was struck by the warmth of the people in my circle around those camp fires, their humor, and ability to string together words into a story that kept me mesmerized! When you think about it, Native Americans camp fire stories were equally as informative as the Internet. Only their stories were based on truth, education, decision-making, and general council to solve problems. 

Thank you very much John. You really do bring value to members of ActiveRain.

May 13, 2017 07:09 AM #20
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


I stopped back to bookmark your post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

May 13, 2017 07:10 PM #21
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Patricia, thanks for the heads up, as I always enjoy reading your deep and meaningful reflections on events you observe around-past or present!  Indiana and Illinois have a rich and many times tragic history with the Native American populations.  My brother used to live in Park Forrest right on the Cook-Will County line south of Chicago, and I would alway take the back way using the Saulk Trail, an old Saulk and Fox Hunting Trail.

Our area is rich in history and I have seen some of those marked trees with the branches.  We still have some massive 200 year plus white oak trees on the site of The Battle of Tippecanoe that were silent witnesses to battle that was a contributing factor to war between Britain and the US in 1812.  It was fought by Native American allies of the British and forces led by future President William Henry Harrison.  

Your wonderful musings show a different side and there is so much we can still learn from the Native American cultures that we just bulldozed through with westward expansion.  I think the natural medicines are particularly overlooked and needed in today's overmedicated legal drug culture.

May 14, 2017 05:55 AM #22
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That was a very interesting story.  It's really a shame how the natives were treated in their own land... and it's still happening today... Standing Rock for example.

My stepdaughter has legally changed her name to Whitefeather and it raises a few eyebrows.

May 17, 2017 08:13 PM #23
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