When you get up in the morning, Hoopa Indian children are told, it is very important for you to wait until you get your shadow home. When you go to sleep at night, part of you -- your shadow -- takes off. The part that you've held down all day, the part that you wouldn't let live. When you go to bed, your shadow says, "Now is my chance. I will go out and explore the world that you won't let me touch all day." And off it goes. The shadow has the freedom to go as far away as it wants to, but it has one tie: You have a hum that only your shadow knows. And it can never disobey you. So when you get up in the morning, if you remember to hum, your shadow will come back home. Even though it doesn't want to. So when you get up, before you go out, give your own little hum, and your shadow will say, "Oh! I have to go home," and it will come home. And you are never ready for the day until you have taken time to sing the song of your own shadow. Some people say, "I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed -- I think I'll go back and start over." They've forgotten to hum! Or some people get up at seven, and at ten o'clock they're still saying, "Don't mind me, I'm not all here." They've forgotten to hum! So there is a land of wisdom in remembering to get yourself all here every day. This is taught to the Hoopa tribal children not by saying, "When you get up in the morning you must do this!" but by saying, "Hum your song, so your heart and your spirit come together."
-- Hoopa, retold by Sister Maria José Hobday
I think I might just be starting my days humming from now on.