Monday, October 17, 2011

Dwell With the Lamb

[Many of you noticed that I didn't update the blog yesterday. Sunday being the Sabbath, I don't do any work. I will update the blog on every other day]

The shaman lead him down the hillside and around a scruff of rocks. There was nothing but wilderness ahead. She walked with authority, she had been this way many times before, though Benjamin could see few tracks.He followed her deep into the woods.
They traveled for several hours. He became aware of people shadowing them and was on alert, but he had learned to trust the shaman and he saw no discomfort in her posture or movements.
The shaman stopped and addressed Benjamin.
“Today you will meet our people. You may remember them, then again you may not. In either case do not be afraid. They are your tribe, your pack, no matter how they smell to you, we are all one. Remember that.”
Benjamin nodded, but his brows showed distrust, not for the shaman, but he knew that the shaman would no longer be in control. The father, or chief would be the one making the decisions from now on.
The territory they were traversing was familiar to him. He had often hunted in the area during the winter months when small animals would move away from the deep snow and travel in the thick woodlands. The northern edge of the woods was the limit to their territory. Beyond belonged to the humans, though they didn’t mark their territory, their smell was easy to discern.
The shaman reached the edge of the woods and continued on. Benjamin was hesitant, but followed after a few false steps. She approached several men who were sitting in front of a trailer.
The shaman said, “My task was successful, as I predicted.”
A large leather skinned man in well used jeans and a plaid shirt wearing a felt hat with a thin leather band that held a single eagle’s feather looked at the shaman and then at Benjamin.
“This is the boy?” He asked.
“It has been several years remember and he has been working hard to stay alive.”
“I’ll bet he has,” the man then spoke to Benjamin, “How did you survive alone for so long? And why did you not return once your vision quest was done?”
Benjamin shook his head.
The shaman intervened, “I’m sorry to say the boy has lost his ability to speak. He spent a long time without speech, it is no wonder.”
“We sent the best trackers out for you, boy. You outsmarted them all. I wish you could tell me why and how you did it.”
“I can tell you that,” interjected the shaman, “Weyekin himself came to the boy and entered into him.”
“Oh, come on old woman! That is a pack of horse shit. There is no Weyekin and you know it. It’s just fancy fairy tales for children.
“And yet you, yourself, had your own vision quest. And you send all the boys, like Benjamin, on their own quests.”
“It is tradition. Besides a boy learns a lot fending for himself in the woods, learning to depend on what Mother Earth shows him and what she prepares for him. I was never visited by a Guardian because they don’t exist.”
One of the other men, much older than the rest spoke up, “That is not true, John. When you returned from your vision quest you were no different than the other boys. Your eyes were open wide and you wouldn’t stop talking about an eagle that spoke to you.”
“Well, I was hungry. I either ate the wrong mushroom or lack of food and sleep caused me to hallucinate.”
The old man looked to the heavens and laughed heartily.
“Old Eagle Eye doesn’t trust his own eagle eyes anymore.”
The other men burst out laughing at that, even the shaman joined in on the laugh.
John just gave everyone an evil look, and changed the subject.
“Okay, Beverly, lets hear your story.”
She recounted the story for the men who were appreciative for the most part of her explanation of his miraculous disappearance and timely return.
While she was telling his story, Benjamin looked around the small group of trailers. He noticed small dirty children peeking through screen doors at him. Every time he looked at them they would look down not making eye contact.
He looked through another screen door and saw a tall slim woman who stared right at him even as he stared back. He felt his heart beat faster and stronger as they locked eyes. He looked away and his heart returned to normal, he looked once again and the doorway was empty, but he couldn’t get the woman or her eyes out of his mind.
John interrupted his thoughts, “Benjamin, Your parents will be glad to hear of your return. They feared the worst when you failed to return.”
He hadn’t thought of that before. He had parents of course. He tried to conjure a memory of them but nothing materialized. How could he forget his own parents?
“Well, we have a returning vision traveler, that means a feast tonight. Although you will have to describe his quest for him, since he has forgotten how to speak.”