Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Prairie Story 7
Pictured:Compass Plant, Common mountain Mint, Arrowroot, Three-legged Barn
The children’s mother was really thrilled with the flowers they brought to her. When they told her about the departure of the People who had been such good neighbors, her smile faded away, leaving a blank and sullen look. Why would our government make them move? How could anyone leave and not say goodbye. Maybe it was in their culture, but they had been such a big part of their family, helping and sharing through the years. Who would she chat about womanly things, there wasn’t a family within miles now. Dinner was very quiet that night after she discussed with her husband what the children had seen while playing that day. He checked with the sheriff the next day, and found out more about their relocation. Going over to their first home, he relived many glorious times with his prairie companions. He looked at the corral they built, many times getting bruised breaking in new horses. On one corner hung a silver ornament he had bought for one of their children, who had helped tame pony for his children. A tear formed as he put it in his pocket, why did this have to happen?
The next night the family sat around their table still sad. Each realized what had been lost with their friends leaving. The oldest boy was really quiet, which was real unusual. He held his thoughts in his heart, for he had lost his first true love. Many times they had met at a favorite place and would listen to the stream. It was almost a song, and it lulled them into each other’s arms. The touch was very special, and it only took her gaze and smile to warm his heart. He went out and stared at the sky, wishing on the first star that they could be together again. He held up his hands to the heavens and imagined touching her face. There was no saying goodbye, only his wish to the stars that they would be back together again. If his family would let him, he would go and look for her. It was harvest time soon, and he would be needed for that. He could feel her touch, in fact at the same time she felt his. Her heart felt as if it had been ripped out when they had to leave. She heard something in the brush nearby and hoped it was him. It was her grandmother coming in from a nightly walk. She looked at the girl and told her she knew why she was crying. She told her of a love she had lost, and asked the stars to bring him back. They both held each other tightly, singing to her a chant, which had been their tribes song of the prairie. The girl sensed the power and truths shared, and knew someday that they would be together again. The breeze dried their tears into a lasting memory.
The next spring her father looked worried. He had seen some men walking through with some strange tools, and wondered what they were doing. This was how they had lost their old home it seemed, government people plodding through their land and lives. Not that he had found their new home as nice as what they had before; it was still their home where the tribe was regaining strength again. His good horse abilities had gotten him work breaking horses for the Army. Two sons left on a cattle drive, hoping to buy some livestock with the money they made. He missed his old neighbor who had a special touch with cattle. When he got home that evening his wife held up a tattered letter. It was from their old friends, but nobody in the family were able to read at all. He knew a pastor’s wife nearby that had helped someone else with this. He stopped the next day and she said she would come over the following day. When she arrived the family all gathered around to listen.
The letter was actually from the oldest son to the young girl, but she told the pastor’s wife to go ahead and read it. If he spoke of his love, she wanted everyone to hear. It began with stories of a good harvest and getting new crops in, and how everyone in his family missed all in the tribe. His sister was seeing a new boy and his father had bought most of the land they had stayed on at auction. He said it would always be their land to his family, so they would care for it well. Then his passion broke lose, and he told of holding up his hand to the heavens in her direction. He hoped she had received his message of love, and told her he loved her with all of his heart and soul. The young men started pushing each other around and smiling. It was hard to say who was more crimson, the pastor’s wife or the young girl. All the ladies around had a glow about them, for they had or always wished for this unrequited love. The pastor’s wife finished the letter, handing it to the young girl. She held it tightly to her chest and her father came over and gave her a big hug. He held her back looking into her eyes and told her how proud he was for her, and began to sing a blessing. First an uncle, then a friend, and soon all joined into the chant. It then became another story of life, carried melodically on a gentle breeze.
Peace be with all who care
Sharing the spirit everywhere
Still holding on to every friend
Taking them into our hearts
Again and again.