The Seeker – The Conclusion

sunrise in the mountains

Contemporary Microfiction About First Nations People

Over the next several days there was no lightning from heaven. He spent his days walking, and praying. When he got too cold he went inside his lodge. No one had been on the mountain in a long time, so there was a lot of firewood handy. He was lonely, but that was to be expected. He had even turned off his cell phone. No one knew he was here except for his father and mother.

from pinterest
from pinterest

Something did take place though in a quiet way. He had a peace he had not felt before. If for no other reason it was good that he was here. His father had been right, he needed this. He always knew that nature brought healing and peace, but it was just head knowledge, an intellectual understanding, without having the experience of it.

As a result of the healing and peace he was feeling, his heart was moved. He began longing for his people. He wanted to be with them, and a part of them. On one cold night, he sat just outside the lodge, and looked at the stars, and at the valley below. The moon was ¾ full, and gave him some good light over his surroundings. He found himself praying for his people, his tribe. He had never done this before, and he prayed to be one with them, to have a strong sense of community. He knew the Creator was doing all this, and he was glad for it.

It was that same night that he heard the drums clearly. He knew the sound was not coming from the valley, or from some distant place holding a powwow. He could hear it though for sure, although he did not see anything. He heard songs that he had not heard since his Grandfather’s time. His Grandfather died when he was seven, so it had been ten years since he heard them. Yet he could hear the drums, and the singing softly. These songs made him long for his people even more.

While praying the next day, he began seeing glimpses of his Grandfather, not clearly but more like a shadow. He was not scared. In fact, he took the occasional visits as encouragement. He did not know how he knew it was him, but he knew.

After nine days on the mountain his father came, checking on him. He was concerned because usually a vision quest was about seven days. “I’m fine, give me one more day father.” “I will be down tomorrow night”. His father was satisfied with that, and had to hold back talking further with his son. He could see there was something different about him. His father turned to leave, but Johnny called to him, and said, “Father – thank you.” “You’ve given me a great gift!” At those words, his father headed back down the mountain with tears in his eyes.woman and horses

There was a vision. It seemed minor, after all he already received. Late that night he woke up and saw a woman dressed in white. She hovered inside the lodge, surrounded by horses, the moon, and stars. She said, “You need to be a part of your people.” “You need to sing and be a drummer of songs”. Then she used a word in his tribal language he had only heard once or twice before, and it meant, “One – who – calls – for – singing.” This was an important responsibility within the tribe, and one of great honor. And then suddenly, she was gone.

Was all this his imagination? He did not think so. One thing was for certain, tomorrow he would come down off the mountain a different person. He would be the man he was meant to be.

Thanks for reading! I have included a video that I really like. It is one of men drumming and singing, and one of the best I have seen! These men really pour their hearts into it! For me it is a little strange seeing the mixture of cultures, that is short haircuts, and modern clothing, while singing a traditional song, but I love both the singing and the drumming. Sing it brothers!

Blessings to everyone, and PEACE!

Images from google unless noted otherwise, video from youtube

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

 

The Seeker

ranch in the mountains

Contemporary Microfiction About First Nations People

Why should he even seek a vision these days? He was seventeen now , enjoying his job on the ranch, and maybe he would have his own ranch someday. Yet every day, at the breakfast table, his father asked him to consider it. “Dad, you work in a bank!” “What good has your vision done for you?!” He knew he was raising his voice, and needed to cool it. Besides that, his mother gave him one of those, “You better knock it off”, kind of looks, as she stood over him with the frying pan, putting eggs on his plate. Johnny looked at his father and said calmly, “Dad, we might as well all be Christians”.

“Son!” His father was raising his voice now, “We are Christians!” “Just because we practice the traditions of our people doesn’t mean we don’t believe in God”. He knew his father hated this part of the conversation. No one said anything, as they ate their eggs, beef bacon, and toast with lots of butter. To top it off, was his Mom’s coffee, some of the best he had ever tasted.

His father finished eating first, and made one more comment as he was getting up from the table. “You need to think about the spiritual side, son – and you need to be connected with the people”. Johnny said nothing, but he finished, thanked his Mom, and headed out the door.

highway drivingAs he was driving to work that morning, he glanced over at the mountains. They had been calling him for a while now, he just wasn’t telling anybody. He didn’t see the need for the supernatural, not these days. It was all about working and making money. Ok, and besides that there were girls, and maybe getting married, but there just wasn’t a need for the traditions, or to “hear from the heavens” as some put it.

Driving the old pick up into the gravel lane of the ranch, for some reason made him think of his Grandfather. He had been a medicine man, who was loved and respected by all the people. He also hated their last name of Caldwell, and he refused to use it. He was Bear Medicine, and would not accept any other name. He also refused to call Johnny anything other than the name he came up with…..what was it……it was…..something to do with a hawk but he could not remember.

As he parked the truck and jumped out, he decided he would ask for some time off to go on the vision quest. If his boss said yes, he would go, and if not – then so be it. He had a good day at work, feeding several herds out on the range using an ATV. When he did finish for the day, he asked his boss for the time off, and explained why. His boss said yes, and the same thing his father had said earlier, “You need to be more connected with the people…”. Johnny laughed and told him he sounded like his father. Privately though he was starting to get the point.

from pinterest
from pinterest

A day later, he knew it was crazy, but he was in the mountains. It was only early spring, so it was still cold. His father had insisted on a buffalo lodge, instead of a nylon tent. They had a small one, and he would be able to build a fire in it, and would be warm. It took him hours by foot, to get about half way up Cougar’s Paw Mountain, where he found a good spot that was open, but bordered by pine trees. The trees would protect him from the wind. There was no sense in going any higher, it would be too cold there anyway. And the view from here of the valley, was spectacular.

After he had set up the lodge, he wasn’t really sure what he was supposed to do, other than pray, and fast. He would be drinking water and that’s all. He sat in front of the lodge and just took in the view. He was feeling calm already. There was a presence here…..what was it? He could sense it – he just didn’t know what it was. Was he sensing the earth like his Grandfather had talked about? He took several deep breaths, and could hear his heart beating…….or was it…… drums he was hearing?

 

drums

The conclusion of The Seeker, very soon!

Thanks for reading!

PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google except where noted

Sky Stands Her Ground

ShiningLight by Alfredo Rodriguez

Historical Microfiction

Her mother, Cricket in the Meadow, had warned her there would be conversations like this. Still, she didn’t feel ready, she was not even married yet. And yet here she was, with her mother, listening to this type of conversation, with Holds the Fire. It was all about her love life with her husband. Was it hot in here? She could not do it. She could not listen, so she grabbed her buffalo robe, and ran out of the lodge.

In the cold air, she could breathe again. She walked to her favorite place, near the forest, close to the horses. A short time later Cricket in the Meadow followed her there, and she was not happy. Sky was ready though, and let her adopted mother have it, before she had a chance to say anything. “Mother, it is not right for me to listen to women with these kinds of questions!” “It is too much!!” She was yelling now. It was the first time in her life she had ever yelled at her mother, but she felt she needed to. They both stood there looking at each other, not saying anything.

Cricket in the Meadow, began to soften. She knew that she clearly had made a mistake, but she wanted to put it into words, as to why. “Daughter, you need to learn these things so you can help the people, in particular, the women.” “You will be a healer.” “Women have questions about all sorts of things, and you will need to help them.” She was speaking softly now, “Daughter I will not be here on this earth for much longer.” “I was simply trying to prepare you.” There she said it. It was out now.

“No mother”, came the reply. “This is something I can only learn from experience!” “That is thefrom allposters way you learned it – and that is the way I will learn it”. Cricket in the Meadow was stunned. Truly, Sky was a strong person. She saw that now, like she had never seen it before. But Sky was not finished yet, “Mother if you leave this earth, (and I hope you don’t too soon) don’t you think the women can help each other?” “And also – if you leave this earth the Creator will still take care of us.” The anger was beginning to subside in her now, and she began to draw it to a close. Cricket in the Meadow hung her head, realizing her daughter was right, she was very, very right, and it stung.

All of her pushing to prepare Sky was wrong, because it was based in the idea that she had to be the one to do it. She had to pass on all that she knew, before it was too late. It was based in wrong motives. Her pride (the wrong kind of pride) had taken its toll on her daughter, and she knew that very clearly now. It was a long time before she looked up again. “I apologize”, was all she could say at first. She asked Sky to walk with her. It was an extremely cold day, and her mother needed to get out of the cold.

After explaining to her daughter what she had learned from her today, she apologized again. Her daughter embraced her, and told her how much she loved her, and appreciated her. Cricket in the Meadow responded with, “You were right, the Creator will take care of all of us”.

With that they made an agreement. Sky would still learn about childbirth, so that she could be a birth helper. They headed over to the lodge of Hawk in the Sky, and Redwing. Redwing was the only woman in the village that would deliver soon, and they both wanted to be ready.

 Mother and Child

Original Painting at the top – Shining Light by Alfredo Rodriguez

Additional images from Pinterest

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Thanks for reading!

PEACE!

Sky – More to Learn

from jessicacrabbtree

Historical Microfiction

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.”

campfireSky 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!herbs from google

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…….

mountain lion from google

 Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Images from google. Original painting by Jessica Crabbtree

Thanks for reading!

PEACE!

The Vision

from Y Travel Blog

A prequel of historical fiction about the early days of the Tsi people.

In the early days of the Tsi people, Cloud Seeker sought a vision. There were a number of signs given to the people during that time that he could not understand, so he traveled to the north to be alone. It was a land he had never seen before, in the late winter – early spring. This was during the time of Standing on the Mountain’s, grandfather’s, grandfather.

He leaned over instinctively after they had come to a stop, and rubbed his horse’s neck, apologizing for the long distance. They had gone a long ways, in a short amount of time, and she was tired now. He jumped down, and speaking quietly to her, he led her to the stream they both had been eyeing. They both drank in Warrior and Painted Horsegulps, while he used his hand for a cup. She was his favorite horse, and he needed to be more careful with her. Holding her bridle, and rubbing her nose, he apologized again. He was already beginning to sense the Creator, and he could feel the calm. He looked at the world around him he breathed in the goodness.

Three days later, and still traveling north, the land had changed. The plains were giving way to a few hills here and there, and even some trees. There were patches of snow and it was colder. At night it was much colder, and he was thankful for the buffalo robe he carried. In the distance he could see some trees on a hill that would make a good camp, and he aimed the mare in that direction.

During his journey he had been asking the Creator for direction, and what all the signs meant. He sang, and contemplated the nature. There was also his pipe. Smoke from his pipe took his thoughts upwards, and his used the special pipe that his grandfather had given him. This night, in the small patch of woods, he fell asleep by the fire, wrapped in his robe, dreaming of lying next to his wife. He missed her warmth.

He heard a twig snap, and bolted straight up. He reached for his knife, but everything had changed, the air was hot like summer, and was filled with fog. There it was! A noise again – an animal he guessed, moving in the bushes. Instead of the knife he reached for his bow, and very quietly, without a sound, he slowly took an arrow from the quiver, and placed it ready. He silently went from sitting up to crouching, and waited. Although he could not see it, he could hear the animal, moving, and coming closer.

from google
from google

It was then that he saw the largest buffalo head he had ever seen, pushing its way through the fog, like a child being born. It was massive, and only a few feet away. The huge animal looked him square in the eye and said: “Are you Tsi?” It was a deep voice but not threatening. He did not see the animal’s lips move, yet he heard the words.

The animal asked again: “Are you Tsi?” Cloud Seeker was no longer afraid, so he replied, “Yes I am”.

“You do not belong here; you should be with your people”. The massive head spoke again, “The land they are in, is for them to use, and you will have many years of peace. Other people will come to you, do not be afraid of them”. Some will be suffering from terrible war, and will seek the peace you have. They will become Tsi and will add strength to your people. Do not be afraid of them”.

Cloud Seeker said nothing but listened. The massive head spoke again, “In the winter go to the great forest. There is a valley, on the other side of Old Woman Mountain. The entrance is on the right side.” He thought about the Ulani living there, but the animal said, “Do not be concerned about the Ulani, they have moved to the south”. The buffalo continued: The forest will keep you safe. When there is trouble you can go there, it is a place of safety.”

Suddenly, Cloud Seeker heard another twig snap to his right. His neck shot his head there, but he saw nothing. When he turned back, the buffalo was gone.

And then he woke up. He bolted up again, only to find that he, and everything else was covered with a fresh snow, and the air was cold. The only sign of any animals, were tracks from a rabbit. He had dreamed the vision, but he knew it was real.

And that is how the Creator directed the Tsi people to where they live now.

warrior from the Lakota Nation 1892
warrior from the Lakota Nation 1892

 This is a rewrite of a story I wrote some time ago, so those who have been reading awhile, might recognize part of it.

Blessings to everyone, and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from Pinterest unless otherwise noted

Sky Takes a Chance – The Conclusion

from pinterest
from pinterest

Historical Microfiction

They talked all night and did not go to sleep until the sun came up. Most of the people were wondering where they were during the day. After Cricket in the Meadow and Sky woke up, there was more talking. Sky had learned a lot form her mother, and thanked her with tears in her eyes. She needed some air and time to think, so she went for a walk, with a very large buffalo robe wrapped around her, and extra coverings on her feet.

She walked along the paths the people made, towards the great forest, and around where the horses were kept, thinking about all that was said. She did not realize she had been angry with her husband-to-be. She was using this term now, in the Tsi language, not out of wishful thinking, but from a deep sense of knowing. Her mother had shown her that the anger she felt was destructive, and once she dealt with it, the insight came. She did love him, and was moved by him in a strange way.

There was so much to learn! Cricket in the Meadow, had never been given the title, “medicine woman”. The Tsi did not give titles like that, even though that’s what she was. All the people referred to her as a healer, and once in a while Sky heard the term, “one who sees”, but these were just practical terms. Everyone loved and respected Cricket in the Meadow. They all knew, she was the one to go to if someone was sick, or injured, or if there was grief in the heart. She always knew what to do, or what to say.

Last night, it was Sky’s turn. Cricket in the Meadow told her that one day she would be a healer, and a seer, but that it was not for Sky’s benefit this was happening. It was happening for the benefit of the people. It was the Creator’s way of taking care of the people. Cricket in the Meadow made it very clear that pride had no place in the life of a healer. The weight of these words weighed heavy on her.

from google
from google

As she walked through the herd of horses, they moved aside. She noticed their breath coming out and wondered how they could live out here in the extreme cold. Her own pony came up to her. He was a spotted one and she loved his coloring. She stroked his nose, and spoke quietly to him. She reached into a pouch and pulled out the wild carrots she had been saving. She fed him and closed her eyes to pray.

Could she do it? Could she learn everything about herbs, and their combinations so that they brought healing? Could she learn all about wounds, and how to keep away infections? All the women of the village knew how to sew up a wound, but no one knew how to like Cricket in the Meadow. No one knew how to clean a wound like she did. No one knew herbs like she did. And then there was the spiritual side, and prayer. There was so much to learn!

As she walked along the path, back towards the village, she was shocked to see her husband-to-be coming towards her. She was nervous, and her palms began sweating. As he drew close he said “Hello!”, and took her hands in his. Oh! Her heart was racing – how she loved him! But she knew this was her chance, so she took it. “You hurt me!” “You hurt me by pulling away, and by being so….so….polite!” “Why did you do this?!!”

He looked down, looking for words to say. He looked at her now, and said, “I didn’t want to get in the way of your healing”. “I didn’t want to be a distraction to you”. She was stunned. She had not thought of that. All she could say was, “Oh.” She realized now, he had cared about her the whole time.

Now it was his chance, so he took it. He was still holding her hands and said, “Sky you are so spiritual, and I am not!” “I’m just an average man”. He smiled and added, “But I am a great hunter!”, while pounding his chest. They both laughed, and this allowed them to talk freely. He whispered into her ear, and they both undid their buffalo robes, drew each other in close, and wrapped themselves in the robes like a single caterpillar in a cocoon. He could feel her heart beating. She whispered, “I love you too”, as the snow began to fall.

As they held each other, she had a vision of their wedding ceremony. It was spring then, and everything was green. Could they wait that long?

from google
from google

 PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Sky Takes a Chance

from pinterest
from pinterest

Historical Microfiction about First Nations people in the 1700’s

She could love him now, and she knew it. Since she had experienced freedom from fear, she knew she was more free to love. Sky felt she was ready. But he seemed hesitant – he was holding back. Instead of taking her hands in his, or instead of embracing her, like he had before, Wild Horse simply talked to her politely. Politely?!! She refused to be afraid though, even though she was hurt. Surely he must have seen that he confused her. Didn’t he see the hurt in her eyes?

It snowed most days, and many nights. There were not many bad storms though, and almost no wind. The snow was peaceful, and the people of the village were content. They visited a lot with each other, and went from lodge to lodge. Sometimes whole families would visit other families. There was indoor work to be done as well. This was the season for making clothing, and weapons and tools, for hunting.

When she, and Cricket in the Meadow visited people, the strangest thing was taking place. She could sense things about them. Since the night she had fought the monster of fear, she was also having dreams and visions, mostly about people. She could see things as she was praying! Was the Creator speaking to her? She thought so, but this was very sobering, and serious. She refused to be proud about it, and she kept everything to herself.

Sometimes she would see someone in the village, and she would sense what they were facing. Or she would pray for them and see images in her mind. For instance, she knew the love that Thunder Speaking and Bluebird shared was very special. It burned like a strong fire, and Bluebird was now pregnant with a baby boy. No one had told her this, but she knew. When she prayed for them, she saw pictures of a sky on fire, a sunset. She did not know what it meant, but she knew that it was about the baby they were expecting.

She also had dreams in her sleep, that told her the marriage between Bull Elk, and Holds the Fire, was healing. Holds the Fire was now loving her husband in a different way. He was more humble now, and showed great tenderness towards his wife, which was not there before. It was as if, their love was new. Even though they were older, with grown children, she knew they were also expecting a child.

Sky was consumed with thinking about people, and with praying to Dark Horse in Snowunderstand what this was all about. The simple question was why? Why did she have dreams and visions and know things? And what was she to do about Wild Horse? Did they love each other? She thought they did, but why was he acting so strangely? After trying to answer the question of why on her own for days, she realized she needed help. She did the only thing she could do, she talked to her adopted mother, Cricket in the Meadow. Sharing the same lodge made it easy.

It was late one night, but Sky knew she would not sleep unless she talked about it. She spoke softly to her mother to see if she was asleep. “Mother?” “Are you sleeping?” “I was…” came the answer. From the tone in Sky’s voice, her mother could tell she needed to talk, so she sat up. As soon as Sky mentioned Wild Horse, and that she was angry at him, Cricket in the Meadow knew this would be a long conversation. She immediately put some more wood on the fire, and stoked it. Cricket in the Meadow, thought Sky should take a chance and talk to him. She said, Sky needed to express how she felt, even if it turned out badly. They talked for a long time, about taking chances when it came to love.

When Sky started talking about having dreams and visions, and that she could sense things about other people, a realization struck Cricket in the Meadow, like a piece of wood. Everything made sense now….the Creator had been showing her that she would not live much longer on the earth. Soon she would be joining her husband in the spirit world.

Cricket in the Meadow knew, she was talking to her replacement.

 

Blue Scottish Alps

 The conclusion of Sky Takes a Chance will be tomorrow! Blessings to everyone! Thanks for reading!

PEACE!

 Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree