Dove Totem: Wounded Spirit, the Joining
She was growing weary and the journey was taking longer than expected. The wind that was normally her friend at this time of year fought against her, making steady progress difficult.
Journey’s start – the attack.
The day was bright and clear and a far off storm seen against the horizon was the cause of her current distress. Coming upon a dark and otherwise pristine lake, she could not see any possible threats. She was given a moments rest by the air currents rising from the chopped water and lapsed, resting into a small comfort zone as she allowed the currents to do her work for her and keep her moving and aloft. She had just started to recover from her exertions, when too late; she was struck a glancing blow from above by a young falcon. Her injury caused her to plummet toward some spruce trees and seek relative safety within their dense foliage.
The falcon had failed to sink its talons into her flesh and had made off with a claw filled with a few feathers instead. Against her weary body, the collision was more than enough to set her to tumbling out of the young enemy’s reaches who could not slow his momentum and ensure the continuation of the attack. That was enough to save her life, and the falcon’s youth had freed her from certain death. She only knew as she gathered her strength to flee, least he follow her into the boughs; that her purpose must succeed.
Body weary, she feasted on the pine nuts that were fat within the cones. Water, millions of gallons of it were hers provided the risk was worth it. She determined that as the light began to fade, she must take that chance. If fate and the Spirits willed, following her attempt she could escape back into the safety of the branches and spend the night feeding before continuing her journey.
Her time was limited, her mission – to join with her chosen and to provide her with the peace and healing that would be needed throughout her coming years.
The child was not one to cry without a good reason, in her pram she would gurgle happily, even when she could not see or smell her mother. Beautiful with, auburn hair and gray in color limpid eyes; she was a spot on match with the combined looks of her father and mother, who tended to fuss over the child though it was not necessary.
Conscious of stares, her mother often pretended to make right, what was not amiss because gossips would begin to talk. That is the often the way, when in some cultures, the values of the whole tend to overwhelm even those who see no need for them. At home the girl would begin to follow with her eyes everything her mother would do. Her nana picked up on this and mentioned it to the mother, who nodded in agreement. Yes, she has always been that way, perhaps she is just curious or she may carry something within her that will burst forth as beauty or destruction. Wisely after, counseling with one another, both decided to be aware of what they were doing in her presence.
They lived in the city; and upon moving, had chanced to move into the countryside which near where they lived was a large wood. Many trees made up the wonderful, natural habit of many small animals. Fox and mink, squirrels, rabbits and ducks, all lived in harmony within its great canopy. Many birds, on journeys to their annual nesting grounds, paused for food and water before continuing on their pilgrimages.
The young child as she became more aware of her own persuasiveness was able to begin manipulating the world around her as she began to understand the relationships and the roles that the people around played and held. Soon, day holidays to the forest were actions that seemed to aid in the young child’s desire to learn about the world around her. Her thirst for knowledge was expanding every day and she continued this interest by looking at the books within her home. Stretching as far as her little legs would reach and then moving things to increase her ability to obtain other books and magazines that afforded her opportunities to attain what she had not learned from as each day her mind and body developed.
New Friends – Mortal Enemies.
The nesting place of the bird was sheltered and not easily penetrated. The water from the lake smelled fresh and the bird was able to glide down and approach the edge.
The great crystal of the lake reflected the evening sky, moon, and stars. The creatures of the darkness walked upon the Earth Mother and made their appointed rounds of territory and animal paths. Elusive deer (Cernunnus) timidly made their way from the shelter of the trees and quietly picked their way to the waters; swift in flight if startled, when adorned with antlers were indeed formidable fighters. She felt comforted knowing they were there, and would be warned well in advance of danger.
Along the far side of the lake in the deepening twilight, a few wolf (Fennir) approached; the leader, a large oversized male standing ten hands at the shoulder was the largest she had ever seen. She was happy to be on the far side of the lake. While she could easily escape their attacks, her rapidly healing body would take a few hours to fully recover.
Silently as though floating along the surface of the ground a ferret was approaching, the bird was aware of a shift in friend Cernunnus’ demeanor, one of the young males turned and spoke to the ferret, “why are you slinking about, this water is neutral for all of natures creatures. Would you attack, the young of the friend Fennir standing across from us. Dare you to attempt foolishness on this night?” the deer pawed at the earth with his hoof.
“No, I was just practicing my stalking skills, she shifted away from the bird, see – I know the way of the water, I will do no harm, she acknowledged the bird, evening dear, bird, ah, it was you whom I saw attacked over the lake today was it not?”
“Yes, and thank you for obeying the law of the water,” she turned as she surveyed possible avenues for an escape should the ferret forget. She looked at the ferret, wary that she dare not move too fast as though she would escape.
“We will brook no violations of law here, said another voice, and all eyes turned to see a great grizzly bear amble to the water, lo’ there friend Cernunnis a tasty treat was to be made of an arrogant six point male two days past, but he escaped my grasp, perhaps tomorrow my fortune will improve, he shifted his weight to his rear legs and began to drink his fill, who knows; but I am content with the sweet berries near the mountain, if anyone is interested.” The other animals said thank you, politely, but refused to acknowledge whether they might take up his offer. “Ah, there is a special visitor this night, he sniffed the air and turned to see the new visitor, hello little bird, where might you be bound?” She was hoping to ignore all and just blend into the darkness and with a little misdirection throw off the scent of weasel, who might decide to attack away from the waters edge.
“Mighty friend, guide, and bear (Gaoh), may the blessing that you bestow upon the land be multiple for my journey,” she moved closer to him and slightly away from the wily ferret, “I have tired myself almost to my limits, but have recovered enough now. I seek a young and very charming young girl whom by now is woman enough to understand the bonding.”
“Is this your first, kind and wise little bird,” he asked as he made a slight subtle movement and was able to position himself between bird and ferret, “yes, and I am very excited and honored to be the chosen.”
“You are very wise and she will gain much by becoming joined with you, I see within you cunning, wisdom, and patience.” He paused and sniffed the air, “unlike a certain creature that skulks close to the ground; my apologies to the snakes; waiting to attack any would be passersby.
“Meant no harm, she looked wounded, too.”
“All the more reason to leave her alone; did you not think to ask?” the great bear snorted.
“Perhaps, I could have been cleaning up what I perceived as a mess; still warm, mind you.”
“Friend ferret, you and your cousins are seemingly always cleaning up messes,” the bear looked across the lake, and raised his nose high in the air sniffing, “ready and present to clean up eggs from parents whose only desire is to feed them and grow their young.”
“Make them take turns, so that the nest will be guarded and the eggs will have a better chance to survive.”
“Duly noted, ferret,” said the bear and several witnesses nodded in agreement; “but, what if your cousin forgets and devours a fully adult bird and then the eggs?”
“Hmm,” said the ferret “that might pose problems.”
“Indeed, it would for you and your kind.”
“Hey why has this always got to be about me.” protested the ferret while edging a little further from the bear. “Seems like every time we meet for water the subject always turns to me.”
“Aye, right you are little ferret you and your kind can not help themselves, but it would behoove you to try harder,” he turned his head to stare at the creature, “much harder.”
“I will pass your wise counsel to my relatives, great Gaoh; perhaps one day we might return the favor.”
“Perhaps.” “Dear bird, what do you make of this?” “Most have only your best interests at heart; at least most of us. But, what would you and your kind say to genuine concern being exercised on behalf of your species?”
“Great Gaoh, it is with humility that I tender my words.” She turned to survey all but wisely kept distance between the bear and ferret, “It is an honor to be in the presence of so many of my noble brethren, I have long desired to become one with the human female creature that displays humility, honestly, love; and is not an overt aggressor even among it’s own kind. Many days have passed since I was called to make this journey; I hope not to fail as my end might set back the development of the kindred spirit I was tasked to help.”
“Mine was not an ending, rather a new beginning; a fabulous awakening of myself and a spiritual melding with my chosen. If I am accepted, then a new and budding awareness will spread through all of you. We as kindred spirits are tasked with keeping the nature of the past and the present Earth spirits touching. This is not a task regarded lightly. Many animal spirits have not accomplished the task. Some have become predators, some soar like the great birds that are kin to me; but, have since lost their way and forgotten their chosen.”
Great Gaoh, nodded in agreement and shook his great shoulders causing ferret to move back out of possible reach. “Yes, that is understandable when you see the obstacles before the spirits today. Man’s own desire for expansion has decimated the natural trails whereby our ancestors migrated over centuries.”
“Mighty lakes have been overused, drained, neglected, or just filled in to provide sport or homes for the sprawling developments that have peppered, then overwhelmed the plains, valley basins, and mountain sides. This includes natural river valleys or even dry washes. Very foolish that.” he looked away through the forest as though he might read an answer within the trees.
“Not many of you who stop for drink understand the importance of your role as contributors to man’s existence. Our ancestors recounted the great tales of survival and selfless sacrifice accomplished by your forebears. I am one who is called upon by the Native Peoples for wisdom, courage, and strength.
“I might put the strength first, if asked,” grumbled the ferret.
“Never mistake compassion for weakness, or wisdom for perfection; there are times when strength will fail, or not be required for a situation. Sometimes courage without the good wisdom required when using it, will not prevail, friend ferret.” The bear smiled as he looked at the others. All nodded and spoke in hushed tones to each other.
“Great Gaoh, your words I will carry to my chosen, the lessons learned from all today I will apply and cherish as loving wisdom from all of my brethren.” Friend ferret stood taller from the ground and finally sat up as a full spiritual brother. “Yes, all of my spiritual realm wanderers and chosen as yet to be,” she turned even her back to friend and foe alike for the time was now for her to complete her journey.
Dawn was breaking over the distant clouds as with a farewell and safe journey to all; the dove lifted from the lakeside to complete her journey.