Bull Elk would not let go of carrying his son, even though he was exhausted. The men traveled all day through the forest and into the night. There were several times he stumbled but he insisted on carrying the foot of the sling, while Seven Hawks carried the head. Bull Elk was carrying more than the physical weight of his son though, he carried the weight of his son possibly dying, if they did not get back to the village soon, and it was his fault. Two Wolves proved to be an excellent guide and led them through one trail and then other. The men were impressed with Two Wolves, and Standing on the Mountain was especially impressed. As he looked at the sky, through the trees, Standing on the Mountain saw clouds moving in. He was praying that the storm would hold off until they got back home.
Once night came, Holds the Fire began to unravel. She sent for Cricket in the Meadow, not because she needed a vision, or an herbal drink, or even words of wisdom. She needed a friend. She needed someone like her mother, and Cricket in the Meadow was the closest thing she had to a mother. When Cricket in the Meadow came in, she immediately embraced Holds the Fire, and let her cry on her shoulder. Holds the Fire was crying, because she thought she might never see her husband, or son again. If they did find Talking Eagle – would he be alive?
When they began to see the fires of the lodges, the men all breathed a sigh of relief. Standing on the Mountain led them in a song of thanks, to the Creator. They also wanted the village to hear them coming in. Wild Horse ran ahead of them and went straight for the lodge of Holds the Fire. As he was running, it began to snow – heavily. Standing on the Mountain looked up at the sky, and knew it would be a big one. He thanked the Creator that they were home.
Once they were in the village there was no time for celebrating. It was time for action. Talking Eagle was carried straight to his lodge where his mother, Holds the Fire, his sister Bluebird, and Cricket in the Meadow, were waiting. The young man was pale and his lips were blue. The men had done well taking care of him on the journey back, but there was no way for him to begin to heal, until he was next to a fire in a warm lodge. Within seconds of them bringing in Talking Eagle, there were at least 10 people tending to him or helping. Wild Horse went to get more wood for the fire. Women were heating up rocks, wrapping them, and then placing them next to the young man.
Bull Elk intentionally maneuvered around the people so he could be next to his wife. He knelt down next to her, where she was seated next to the fire, and holding their son. He placed a hand on her shoulder. It was a silent gesture, and one that brought with it hope. He was hoping that she would respond in a positive way. She did smile, and looked at him with relief on her face.
It took a while for the young man to return from the brink of disaster, but his color returned and lips became a normal color. Unfortunately he lost several toes, and the small finger on his left hand to frostbite. They just could not restore them. There was some frostbite on his face as well, but Cricket in the Meadow thought it would heal with time.
The crowd began to thin as dawn approached. Talking Eagle did wake up long enough to drink several warm herbal drinks. Bull Elk did ask his wife if he should sleep in another lodge. He was concerned that she was hurting still. She said, “It will take time… but please stay here with us.” “Talking Eagle and I both need you here now”. It was an act of faith really. She was still hurting from all of his anger, but she detected a change in him. There was a deep sadness now.
So they went to sleep as the sun was coming up, together in the same lodge. In that sense they were a family again. Holds the Fire had good dreams, and dreamed that she was dancing the jingle dress dance around their lodge. She also dreamt of Bull Elk having humility, asking his son’s forgiveness, and once again being a strong man, without the anger and meanness.
The next night Holds the Fire took another step of faith by moving her bedding next to her husband again. It brought forgiveness, and started the healing process. It took time, but healing came, and love was restored.
Note: The jingle dress dance is done by women, and thought to bring healing and restoration. There are small bells on the dress, such as in the picture above. As the women dance the bells (jingles) make a beautiful sound. If I find a good one I think I will post a video on the dance. Thanks for reading! Peace!
Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree