She was worried about Songbird and Two Wolves. How could two young people be so much in love and yet be so young? How did this happen, and why? Did they really understand what love was? Was it just infatuation? Sky could not understand it, so she turned to her mother for answers.
Sky, explained to Cricket in the Meadow, her concern for the young couple, as they ate their evening meal, next to the fire, “They are only fifteen, and too young to marry, and everybody says so.” Cricket in the Meadow was quiet for a while, and stirred the fire, like she often did while she was thinking.
Finally she said, “You mean you don’t know why this has happened?” Sky, responded with a surprised look, “No, why?” Cricket in the Meadow explained that there were two main reasons, and probably many more. “First, it is so that our concern for them will result in caring about them, and then praying for them.” “We should always pray out our concerns.” “It is the Creator placing the people on our heart.” “This has always been so.”
Sky felt stupid that she did not understand this before. It was so easy to see when she explained it that way. “Mother, what is the other reason?” The answer came quickly, “It is so that we have an opportunity to help them, meaning in some tangible ways.” Again, the wisdom of Cricket in the Meadow baffled her. She made it so easy to understand.
The next day Sky went to see Songbird, to not only see how she was doing, but to become a better friend. They worked on making clothing, as they stayed close to the fire, in her parents lodge. Her love for Two Wolves was very clear, but she also displayed a maturity, and a strength, that surprised Sky. Songbird had an inner strength, that came from a determination to love. Songbird said in whisper, so that only Sky could hear, “We are not on fire for each other, not yet.” “Holding back makes us stronger”. Sky blushed at this, but envied the young woman.
She had come to Songbird thinking she could help her in some way, instead it was Sky that was doing the learning. She left that afternoon with a lot to think about. This waiting…..seemingly terrible waiting…. was actually causing the young couple to grow and become strong. To be truthful though, she was glad that she and Wild Horse, her husband-to-be, would not have to wait long at all!
Sky was also learning about herbs, and their uses. Everyday, Cricket in the Meadow, spent hours with her, teaching her nothing but herbs. She spread out a deerskin, and took small amounts of each herb from pouches she had stored away, and placed them neatly in piles. First came the lessons on what each herbed looked like, smelled like, and tasted like. Then for days Sky had to learn what each herb was good for. Sky knew some of this already, like all the people did, but it was in much greater detail.
The most difficult part to learn, came with which herbs should go with which other herbs, and how much, depending on the ailment. She was convinced she would never remember all the combinations! In the back of her mind Cricket in the Meadow knew she was pushing too hard, and she slowed down when Sky seemed overwhelmed. She was just trying to teach Sky all that she could….before…..well…. before leaving this earth.
Sky’s learning about helping people was put to the test one afternoon, when several of the men came carrying her husband-to-be, injured, including with a bad cut to his leg. They had gone deer hunting and a mountain lion scared their horses. Her husband-to-be was thrown from his horse (the stallion was always difficult to control) into a pile of broken tree branches. He was badly cut and scraped up.
It was Sky that cleaned the wound, applied the herbs, then cleaned the wound again, and did the stitching, as her mother watched, saying nothing. Wild Horse could see she was doing a good job. More importantly he felt her love, as she worked on him with tears streaming down her face…….
Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree
Images from google. Original painting by Jessica Crabbtree
Thanks for reading!