The Legend of Holds the Fire

Perhaps there have always been healers and seers among the People, but one in particular is still talked about today. All the People could see she was a very special child from the moment she was born. To this day her mother says that when she was born, Holds the Fire sang instead of cried.

No one understood the language, and some said it was an ancient one from when the People were first created from the Earth.

When she was 3, Holds the Fire ran to the injured Songbird, when she was attacked by a bear. At first, Holds the Fire was pushed away, but she snuck through the crowd and touched Songbird. Everything changed from that moment. Holds the Fire’s beautiful brown skin changed to red and then orange, glowing as if embers from a holy fire.

It was in her hands. Healing was in the hands of Holds the Fire. Songbird, who had been screaming in agony and fear, immediately calmed down. Healing washed over her as waves from the sacred lake. And Holds the Fire spoke in that ancient language again, the language no one could understand.

When she was older there was much work to be done. Rattlesnake bites, war wounds and emotional trauma took their toll. And no man was brave enough to ask her to marry. Maybe she didn’t want that type of life anyway.

To this day though…..all the People know….. she is their Mother.

Writing Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed, image public domain c.1900

Note: I’m bringing an early Christmas present today! This is brand new. Merry Christmas!

Storm in the Night

Blackfoot Lodges c. 1900

Lightening cracked open the sky, and thunder shook the earth again. The storm was on top of them. Most of the men and women were outside now, even though it was the middle of the night. The wind was getting stronger and was playing havoc with the lodge flaps, so the people were busy closing them, tightening the lodge poles, and gathering in what they could. Anything they could not grab was tossed into the air. Children were crying, mothers were screaming, and the men were busy giving commands that nobody heard.

A few of the men tried tending the panic stricken horses. Herding them into a small space worked well in spite of the noise. Another crack, and more rumbling from below. It seemed as if the earth might break open with the shaking. The men stayed with the horses as long as they could, until the hard driving rain forced everyone inside.

No one could sleep. Young lovers took advantage of the time, parents held their children, and some worried about the damage to the village. Would the horses return? They would have to wait until morning.

There was one person that was not awake or asleep. He went to live in the spirit world that night and left his body behind. Lone Horse had been an old man, loved by all the people. He had wisdom from the Creator, and usually after a council meeting people would say – “Lone Horse thinks….” or, “Lone Horse says…” Now there would be an empty seat at council meetings. It was a great loss for everyone.

His wife, Cricket in the Meadow, would not find him until morning. They had been married for more than fifty years, and the people would worry if she could survive the loss. Her health was frail, but fortunately there was still the sparkle of light in her eyes.

Their one child died at a young age from the fever. They carried this pain for the rest of their lives, but it gave them both a vulnerability, a sensitivity, that brought out love in all they did. The people would wrap their arms around Cricket in the Meadow, holding her tight, enveloping her with their love, for as long as she needed. They would get through this somehow, together.

Still, it was a dark time.

Writing Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed, Image public domain

A Stream Flowing Over

When my mind is still, my heart can listen, a silent warfare against the noise, the disturbance of a distant wind.

I will never understand the whirlwind, but in the forest there is shelter, a wholeness waiting,

saying, “Here is the way”. A softer tone, a stream flowing over,

and sending me into the far away,

and back again, at the same time,

drifting, and following the light

through the trees,

allowing my heart to listen.

When I am still, I am alive.

Poetry and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Wisdom from the Doe

He was there when the fog slowly lifted. And the doe, in her boldness walked by and looked at him from under the shade of the oak trees. She was unafraid yet watchful, knowing full well this was her home and he was intruding.

He normally came here to write, yet on this day he needed the mountains to quiet his heart. “Sit down”, the doe said, “Let the peace wash over you, only then should you start with your notebook.” She was bold but it needed to be said.

He did sit down. In fact, he did exactly as the doe said. It was at least an hour before he reached for his pad of paper.

He smiled, having his heart song, once again….

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

The Survivors IV – Guns and Sex

From the Apocalyptic Journal – 83 years from now.

In the foothills before the mountains, the earthen lodge wasn’t even visible. Even the cooking fire could be mistaken for mist from the stream, flowing into the river. In the lodge baby Jay was sleeping.

“Ok, the shotgun is ready!” Why was he yelling? All he had done was cleaned it, now wiping it down with an oily rag. What was it about men and guns? Ridiculous. He didn’t realize it, but Brie was thinking the same thing.

They sat outside, across from each other in the morning sun, today was weapons cleaning and inventory day. He reached for a .38 caliber revolver to clean it, the kind the police used in the old days. He loved the way the chamber spun.

“Grey…” She had taken to shortening his new name and he loved that…. especially when she said it softly, like now. He looked up, putting down the .38. “Can I ask you a personal question?” Uh oh, he thought. This sounded serious. He nodded and she asked, “Why haven’t you made a move on me?”

He looked perplexed, “Made a what??” “Made a move on me….you know….S.E.X.” Did she really need to spell it out? It got worse because she continued with, “When you first saw me, isn’t that what you thought about?”

He looked at her silently, which for her was excruciating. She waited.

“No, not at all”, he said flatly.

“What then?” she asked. He shifted and recrossed his legs. “I was thinking, thank God for a human being that was alive and well!” Tears welled up in his eyes. “And I was thinking, thank God there is someone I can talk to and not go insane. It took me 4 months to get out to this wilderness and I hadn’t seen anyone!”

Ok note to self she thought, this guy has a heart, not like the slime bags she had known. A few tears did make it down his cheeks, but he wiped them away quickly.

That night was the first night they slept next to each other. Nothing happened, but they both felt a need….just to be close.

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed