In this Legendary Time, Each person treasured each and every person, and none ruled or served any more than another. Principles of collective wisdom and consensus came naturally to The Tribe, for these natural principles are natural to the earth and all that it enfolds. We each take care of each other, and the more we care, the bigger the measure of our happiness, and this was the Law of the Land.
The HueMan Lodge exploded with activity and giggles as the animals and people danced through the chores of the day. Cows were milked, straw was now swept and replaced with clean fresh straw, and baby animals were cleaned and nested in a safe pen near their mothers. When a new baby was born, human or animal, the entire community would celebrate, and take turns feeding the mother spoonfuls of delicious creams to help make rich milk for the breast, udder and the babes. When the babes cried, someone would hold them and rock them and the cries didn’t last long as the breast was always near.
So, Will and Laurel made Auralene and Beauty Cavanaugh-Forester
Bayron and Vera made Francis and Theresa Forester-Cavanaugh
Sally and Stream Made Waterfall and Piscina, Freda and Jack Riviera-Cavanaugh
Crystal and Rings made Sadness, Truth, and Passion Plantagenet-Cavanaugh.
Russian and Blessing made Fugue, Frederick and Portence Riviera-Plantagenet
Leif and Frenchie made Clover, Solomon, and Frankincense, and later Susan Forester-Riviera.
Amethyst and Oak made Rainbow, Melody, Sensen, and Ojai Forester-Cavanaugh.
Shirley and Pond made Purity, Chastity, Thomas, Steven and Selene Riviera-Forester.
Little Jade even found his match with Ella, and the beautiful Tracy, Lizbeam, and Wonderment Cavanaugh-Forester followed.
Anger and Judy made five lovely children, who were loud and clear: Samuel, Tripet, Fantasy, Justine and Earl Plantagenet-Riviera.
The Elders were now the Children of The Four, and The Four were feeble, with their wives, and saw how the old wives resembled Nanas Sun, their old grandmother.
Elder Riviera wanted to return to the river, and asked the blessing of his children and grandchildren that he and his precious wife could leave the tribe home. The tribe wove a special vessel for them, a sliver of silver barks and light bamboo, tied with cow gut, and sealed with the wax of a thousand tiny berries, boiled and skimmed. They draped woven reeds for a roof and tied ground tree bark for walls, and captured a spark on a tiny oil and tallow lamp nested in a stone from the high mountain caves. The whole tribe sent their gifts to the Rivera’s, and toiled many days to make the vessel sturdy and waterproof. On the day of their voyage, the Rivera’s cried and cried, as each child brought the gifts they had gathered for the voyage provisions. They hugged the children so hard that the kindness rubbed off, and the children cried too.
“Do not leave us, do not leave us, Dona Riviera Donya Riviera! How will we remember the calm and the cool you have always brought?
“We will give you our blood, which runs in your veins; you will remember us whenever you feel your wrist and see veins, for they shall be blue like me,” he said. “As you touch your pulse, we will touch you back, and calm will flood your whole being.”
The moon rose and the couple sailed away, as the tribe sang their evening lullaby:
Nanas Oh Na Na
HeLa Na Na Ho La Na Na
Na Na Oh Na Na
HeLa Na Na Ho La Na Na Oh.
Grief in Leif, transformedu>d
Leif Forester climbed all over the Lodge, fixing and tying his lashings of branch. His father and mother had long ago left the husks of body behind, and risen to the sky, as had Nana Sun. Dona and Donnya Forester had returned to the tree of their origin and birds had carried them to the sky god, piece by piece. Leif and the other Forester children were all Elders now, and the branches for the Lodge were gathered by his sons, and nephews, and bark was pealed by the most careful of his daughters and nieces. Many hands soaked the branches to make them pliable, and then lifted them to Leif as he perched on the roof, readying the Lodge for another freezing winter on the plain.
Leif’s carelessness long ago had tripped Anger, and he now spent much of his time high on the Lodge roof watching to make sure that no stone was turned and no branch left hanging. When he saw a dropped stitch or a missed turn, he would call with the voice of a whippoorwill, and on the day his father and mother rose to the old tree, he whooped for a day and a night. Only he had seen the large taloned birds swoop down and carry off his mother and father. Only he had known that the sky vessel lashed high in the tree was now empty. Only he had wept alone on his perch, without the arms of his loved ones there to enfold him and his grief.
Night came swiftly with a shiver and purple/orange dusk at its edge. Leif curled his tired body on the mat of animal skins that Tripet Plantaganet had woven for the focastle of their Lodge, a rough window for light as the skins bleached in the sun, long since scraped of the fur that might have made him warm. Leif watched the moon’s crescent disappear over the horizon and the stars shone out to him, warming him softly with light mixed with his tears.
Night was when he missed his little brood and his tribe the most, for the songs of the nanas would waft up to him, and touching their music made his heart ache with longing. He could not return to them until his tears were dried, however, for to cry in their arms would betray his promise to his parents – he had promised to be happy and celebrate their victorious tree vessel ride to the sky god. All he could see, however, was the huge birds ripping and tearing their flesh, and he knew the flesh had been devoured long before the birds reached the sky god; this made him deeply despondent. He could not allow sleep because his dreams were bloody, and he awoke screaming. He could not scream because they would know his terrible secret.
On this night, Wonderment Cavanaugh-Forester climbed carefully up the lashings of branch, with a special brew cradled in the sling of her babies bunting. The tribe had eaten meat from wild turkeys that had strayed too close to the compound. The heart and gizzards had been boiled and mashed, combined with sweet herbs and berries, and this brew is what she carried to Leif.
“Oh, Dona Leif,” as she was wont to call him, “Please pull me up to your rooftop, pull me up! I have great news for you and a special delivery from your wife Donya French.”
“Ah, sweet Wonderment,” he cried, worried that one so tiny might fall from the lashings. “I will pull you up, but your news cannot be new to me, as I see all from my perch. You have wasted your climb!”
As he pulled her up, he continued, “I know that you and my son Solomon are close to your wedding day, and I know that Solomon has sent you to get my blessing on your match. Your dangerous climb has proven you foolhardy, not wise. I cannot bless a union of foolishness and pride!”
“Au contraire, dear Leiflee, hear my news and you will share my urgency for this mission. You must know what all below have been hiding from you for we cannot live this deception a minute longer!
She took a deep breath and began: “First you must drink this brew and your strength will fortify, and Second: your tears have watered our Lodge for the last night. You must know that your parents’ souls have come to me in a dream, and they have said that you mourn in vain. They have joined with the Sky God and their parents, and the alliance is borne on the wind, in each breath that you breathe. You are not separate from them at all, but they are a part of you, every living breath, every day, they feed you and fill you with the life of the sky. You breathe in the millions of atoms that have been here since the start of time, the pieces of living earth that are particles, vibrating, alive. You breathe out, and again more particles from your body move out into the sky, particles that feed the trees and the earth, as only your breath could do.
“You have thought,” she continued, “That your parents became birds and flew away from you, but their flesh only became bird flesh, and even then, they return to you now in this brew: so Drink, drink, and let this body return to the ground of our tribe, join us again, for another child is beckoning to be borne of you and your French wife. Her name is Susan and she has asked me to bring you back to her mother, so that she can be born.”
“Ah, Wonderment,” said Leif, “Your news floods my heart and tears of joy are falling.” Where each tear landed, a tree grew, tall and thick to shade the Lodge through hot summers and to keep the frost at bay in the freezing winter. Susan was born the following autumn, and she was tall and willowy, with golden hair and a sunny disposition, well loved by the whole clan as the symbol and star of her beloved families’ restoration.
Leif taught all his children and nieces and nephews the tricks he had learned with the wonder of breath. Breath in, think Take In. Breath out, think Send Out, and this was the blessing that the tribe still passes on to their children as they grow and face challenges: Breath In, think TAKE IN. Breath out, think SEND OUT. With every breath, we are anchored to all creation that is and ever has been. It is not our special gift; it is just our gift to know.