“It was said that the vibration of the air from voices prepared a silken path for a spirit’s birth into the world, and the child’s spirit chose a moment to harmonize with the tribes most sincere longing, finding their identity in that moment of being called forth. “
Solomon and Wonderment were indeed married, and married well they were. Their children were many and fine, each more keen and discerning than the last. Seven brothers and Seven sisters, first six brothers and then two sisters, another brother, and five more sisters were born, and the last little sister’s name was Lindsay, and she was the most charming of all. The big brothers cooked and sewed, the big sisters hunted and swam, the little ones just scurried everywhere, giggling and smiling underfoot, and oversnuggle.
This huge brood and her often protruding belly just made Wonderment’s smile wider. To get her attention you had to stick out, and the kids never failed to bring home surprises and amusements along with the morning’s news, told in ever amusing ways.
Wonderment grew in skill as an herbalist as well, and all her children had the sense of plant knowing that brought comfort to illness and temper. Their harmonious weavings of potions and salves kept the tribe healthy, and there was nary a whisper of dissension, physical or mental, that this wonderful group couldn’t address, and they did address all who mailed or femailed.
Now we owe great great Aunt Wonderment a lot, because Susan Forester-Riviera was our great great grandmother, and without Wonderment delivering her message to Leif, Susan’s father would not have returned to his bed with his wife Frenchie, Susan would not have been born, and none of us would be here.
In addition, Wonderment had arranged for the shy Susan to help care for little Lindsay, just on the day that Truth Plantagenet-Cavanaugh had come with a sore finger that needed a plaster. Wonderment had left the two alone while she foraged in the plaster wood, and little Lindsay had fallen asleep after a good cry in Truth’s arms. Susan had stroked Lindsay’s head and hands, rocked and rocked her, and tickled the soft pouch in the soles of her feet; nothing had worked to calm the child’s crying until Truth took her and began his song:
“Cree Cry Why o Why? Sully the sorry I am. Cree Cry Why o Why, Silly the worry Linzam. Cree Cry Why o Why? Solly ta Lindsay te Lamb!”
It had taken five minutes of singing this round for Lindsay to calm, but only a minute for Susan to join in and enfold Truth’s song with her own lilting voice. It was no wonder at all that the Lindsay’s mouth dropped open herself, for the joy of the sound of two voices melting the song together, melted the hearts of all in earshot. When Susan becalmed the song of Truth, the singing continued from all the tribe, in a low willowy lullaby. They ended with a chorus of Nana’s lullaby, and Truth and Susan melted in each other’s eyes, as Lindsay cooed and snored.
This was an auspicious pairing, the pairing of our great great grandparents, and the future of us all in this faraway place has begun with this True Story.
Susan and Truth (or True, as she called him), planned a wedding together to celebrate their love, and to announce a very special decision they had taken together. For many many years the tribe has lived on the plain together, and melded their ways of talking, their ways of singing, their eating and their drinking, their laughing and their crying. They learned to see and understand specialness and difference; they learned to help each other when they needed to, and to ask for what they needed. The tribe was one; when arguments occurred, as they do, the problems were settled fairly, as much as could be done.
The people kept each other warm and fed through all the seasons, and guarded the special gifts they had: fire, earth, water and air, all the plants and all the animals. When an animal died or was killed, its life force was embodied by the tribe, through a relic or a graph, a record on the wall of the Lodge. When a person passed on, through age or illness, their life force was embodied by the tribe, through dance and music, and the record of their name on the wall of the Lodge. There was the business of living, and the business of the dying and the dead, and these went on both day and night.
Babies were born in the Lodge, with music and dance, and sometimes a mother chose a tree or a forest matt to birth a child, but always with the grandmothers and the fathers near and singing. It was said that the vibration of the air from voices prepared a silken path for a spirit’s birth into the world, and the child’s spirit chose a moment to harmonize with the tribes most sincere longing, finding their identity in that moment of being called forth.
The walls of the Lodge became full with the stories of the tribe, and now we would say that the Lodge was beautiful. The people then only knew that this was their world, the past, the present, all melded in one, and they did not worry about the future.
Susan and Truth were children of this world, but somewhere in their love, something new was born. Susan’s dreams had long been filled with enchantment and new places that no one had ever seen. It was time for the tribe to move on, and Susan’s dreams had been the messenger to them all of a new and bold adventure into the world, away from the plain.
At the moment of wedding, with their hands clasped together, Truth stood before the tribe that starry starry night. “We have been given a sacred trust, a dream that we must follow and try to fulfil. We have been told of a sacred land across the sea, and it is there that we must go,” he told the tribe.
“Across the sea,” he said, “Lies a vast continent that looks so much like here, so green, so tall, so wide, so wet, so warm. There in that strange land, we will not be strangers, but will find others like ourselves, people just like us, so brown, so small, so thin, so soft, so real.”
“We must find them,” said Susan, “And bring them back to us, to our home. We will bring them back to here!” she cried. Tears rolled down her lovely cheeks, and Lindsay rushed to hold her leg close.
The parents were open mouthed with love and awe for their enraptured children. But Papa Leif spoke first, “You may find people, my love, my hope, but true to the whispers of our bird friends, and the crying of the wind, you may find far away, devastation and death, hunger and thirst, freezing cold and frying heat.”
Crystal Plantagenet-Cavanaugh spoke next, her voice clear and quivering: “You must let us build you a vessel, a large vessel to take your voyage in safety, with all the provisions we can find, and sturdy animals and herbs in pens, a lodge of fine skins, a flag of valour and the cloth of our love, to make sure you come back, come back to us. Bring them back, bring them back to us!” Tears shone diamond like on her face, and slid to the ground, breaking into a thousand tiny pieces.
Rings gathered them all in his arms, delighted to find the children so aligned that their bodies all melted for a moment, and the joy of that touching, warmed them and rocked them deeply. “We are blessed to have this starry night light our faces well, that we may remember with pride this moment of loving and longing, and saying goodbye!”
Anger was shaking, “NO!” he cried. “The tribe must be together. We have made a tribe, and we cannot break this solemn vow. How can you do this!!??” His voice shook with emotion and pain.
“Precious Anger,” Susan replied, “You will not lose us, it will just be change. We will be with you in the flesh; we cannot be anything apart from our beloved tribe.”
“Here,” said Truth, “Is all we know, and all we love, here in this plain, we have all been nurtured and loved, been born to a good life, with good family around us. But out there somewhere are our brethren, and they are lost. They do not know this good life. They have no family, as we know it. They have never felt the shelter of this life and they do not know how to guard the fire, earth, water, and air of our world. If we do not find them and bring them back, they will destroy our air, our water and our earth; the fire will burn out with no fuel, as we are all connected on this one earth. Because we love you and our lives, we must find them; we must try to bring them back. We must try to help them remember their sacred tribal precepts and vows. They have forgotten, and they can destroy us all. We cannot live now knowing that a part of our tribe is out there. We must go and find them, we must.”
Wonderment spoke next. “When you leave here your way will be difficult and steep, but you must remember us. Remember the fire inside, which you carry with you always. Rub your hands together four times for each of our root families, then hold your hands apart an inch. The fire will warm and radiate from your hands, and your body will remember our home here on the plain, even when your mind has been enchanted to forget. Your body will remember, and your body will bring you home. “Tears pooled in little Lindsay’s eyes, as she rubbed her hands on her mamma’s leg, rubbed and rubbed her pretty little hands.