Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud
Girl who runs from shadows, she was called by the Elders, timid and shy as sister field mouse; every noise caused her to jump, loud words caused her to tremble.
In total darkness she was born, that silent time before the dawn, in the moon called “starving” time, when so many new ones did not survive.
Lean and hard the next few months, waiting for the green to come, her mother’s sisters helped to nurse her, their own new ones did not make it.
Haunted by bad dreams from the start, slow to walk, and slow to talk, many shook their heads with sadness, offered to the winds perhaps would have been better.
The People needed all their women, this was their strength, the growth of their People; with the little one they were gentle, hoping she would outgrow it.
Small for her age and far too skinny, tiny face with eyes like owl, she tried so hard to win approval, but with the others she could not keep up.
Little girl so shy of people, could pet wild deer at the water, she never danced or joined the Circle, but she was there to tend the Elders, quietly and humble.
Never once a fight or quarrel, at first sign of trouble she ran for cover, harsh words would make her cower, and in the night she woke up screaming.
One only knew her dreams, one alone understood her pain, ancient one herself a loner, held great magic healing power – it was she who taught her.
Night terrors told in whispers; of human blood filling the rivers, of her People dying in numbers beyond counting; of old ones and children crying.
Born, the old one said to bring a message, she took the child before the Elders, listen well my kin and learn, within her is both warning and wisdom.
They could not bring themselves to believe, for what she told made no sense to them, what kind of human killed women and children, who could bring such slaughter.
On the day they first came, Girl who runs from shadows was watching, into the forest she ran, in blind terror her heart pounding, here were the faces of her dreams.
When the first screams sounded, hands over ears could not drown them, people running, falling, dying, the strange ones chasing, laughing, howling in madness.
It was when the old one simply stood there, arms raised in silent prayer, soldier standing over sword raised high above her; the young ones heart stopped beating.
In that moment courage was born, before thought came she was running, not away but toward them, and with the heart of a lion she fought until death caught her.
A woman died that day with the wrong name, her story told by those who survived, tiny one born in the dark, lived well and died strong in grandmother suns golden light.
Beloved memory lives on, in the heart of timid ones, all have a reason to bema right to live and smile, one day you too will see, strength lives in hearts not words.
Perfection lies in Creators eyes, beauty in facing trials, strength is not beating down but lifting up, stutter, limp, blind, or deaf, weak, smaller than the rest?
Creator alone has the right, life or death belongs to Great Mystery alone, do not see what is on the outside and judge, look beyond into the heart, the greatest gift of all may be held by that imperfect child!
©Copyright January 16, 2007 by Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud