Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dwell With the Lamb - Mother's Meals

Benjamin had a smile on his face for the first time since he was back. He had found himself thanks to his father. He not only could remember things that had been forgotten, he could express anything he thought. He felt free for the first time since turning into a human.

Not everything he remembered was good. He just felt good about remembering them. He remembered how his parents would argue over how to raise him. He remembered how difficult it was to live within two cultures. One on life-support the other foreign and unfriendly. That was not only a conundrum within himself, but was the recurrent theme of his parents arguing. His mother argued for a Christian life among the white man. His father argued that to lose the past was to lose who they were. He could only imagine what they fought about after he disappeared during his vision quest.
But his father had healed him using Indian medicine. Benjamin doubted there was white man medicine that could have cured him.
His family was at the dinner table, a great meal set before them. His mother said they should have a celebration. Benjamin wondered how they could afford such a meal.
“What are you thinking about, Benjamin?” his mother asked, “You seem to be lost in your own world.”
“Nothing really, mother, just taking in this sumptuous meal.”
“You deserve so much more, like the prodigal son. Which truly you are.
“It’s just fabulous that you can talk again. Now it can be like it used to be”
Benjamin had doubts about that. Too much had changed in him. Too much had changed for his parents. They weren’t the same people. They acted different than they had before he had left. He had learned so much abut life that he could not express to them as it had happened to his wolf-self and there were no human words that could describe his thoughts and feelings of his life as a wolf.
He had learned not to gag on the burnt meat his mother served and was beginning to actually have a taste for it. He took a bite of the turkey his mother had cooked for him. He had some trouble with the vegetables not being used to them yet. The red jiggling thing on his plate had him baffled. It did look like meat or vegetable so he avoided it.Partially to distract himself from the odd items on his plate and partly to satisfy his curiosity he spoke up.
“What was it like for you two when I didn’t return?”
His father spoke up, “It was terrible at first. Your mother was inconsolable. I felt so lost. Once you were gone for a week, because all those before you have returned within a week, all the men searched for you. The hunters who are very good at tracking picked up your trail, but tracing week old tracks was difficult for all of us. It took us three days to track what we thought were your prints to a large meadow where your tracks mixed with a very large wolf. Some say they saw the wolf in the trees across the meadow and claimed he was a giant. Your tracks ended there but we crossed ten mies all around that site in hopes of finding more tracks and found none.
"It was odd that there were no bones, but with a wolf that large we figured he had crushed your bones and ate them. The men gave up but I continued to search for an entire year but found no other traces of you. I finally gave you up for lost or dead.
“You were our only child and we were too old to have another child. We were both devastated. We thought our son, who we loved beyond measure, was gone for good. And we mourned for you until the day you returned.”
Benjamin was caught up in a memory of a group of humans gathering around his boulder as he watched from the other side of the meadow.
“That large wolf had to be me. I didn’t recognize any scents when I came back later to investigate.”
He was going to add that he recognized many of the scents of the people he had met, including his father, but he figured they wouldn’t understand. Humans don’t appear to have the same ability to distinguish scents like he could, even today, and to call attention to that might upset his mother.
“Looking back,” his father said with pride in his voice, “it appears you made as good a wolf as you do an Indian.”
Benjamin smiled and returned his attention to his plate. The discussion had left him with an uneasy feeling that he couldn’t quite put a finger on. Maybe it was nothing, but he needed to take his time and review what was said. Maybe he still wasn’t getting all the human words right.
He thought about Rebecca and wondered once again about her strange reactions to him. What was she thinking? Was it interest in him as a mate or that of a playmate? She wasn’t clear about anything and her scents were undefinable. He did know that his heart beat a strange pattern when she was near him. He didn’t know if the signal from his body was a positive thing or a negative thing. He did not remember having those feelings before the vision quest.