When I emerge from the blue mist, I at first have some challenge recognizing my clothing.
A faint voice calls, “Kaaaaaaay….kaaaaaaay….Kai-An…….”. It seems that I am morphing from a middle-aged woman in a forest, to a tall man in armor, and then it settles into seeing my bare feet. My skin is brown, legs are strong, and I am a twelve-year-old boy. I wear what feels like a finely woven fabric wrapped around my torso that falls mid-thigh. I feel agile, full of vitality and very light-spirited. The word “happy” doesn’t convey this lightness of being. The year feels/looks like/sounds like 900. Then just as suddenly, I am seated on a large rock amid what looks like a small, gently flowing river. Pine trees line the banks, but the air is warm and feels quite wonderful on my skin, warmed as it is by the almost noonday sunlight that flows through treetops.
A Time Beyond Time
I am inside a magnificent canyon, held in place with pristine sounds: gently moving water with a barely perceptible gurgle and an occasional crow.
There are others with me, and I know immediately that here are my father and mother, and my younger siblings, a boy and two little girls. The smallest girl lies asleep in Mother’s arms, and Mother strokes her shoulder and back. I hear my name: Kai-An, but no one is speaking. We are having a marvelous time of it, sharing thoughts and feelings telepathically. The faces look at me with such love, tenderness and respect.
Younger brother tickles me, and that is when we break our silence with laughter. I have this complete sense of being loved and cherished, and there is no concept of distrust, lack, or fear. What feels astonishing is being able to fully communicate with my family in complete openness. Amazing.
I move to later that same night and I am surprised to see us sheltered in an indentation of rock.
I had expected a teepee. I see that we are away from our people, our tribe, but not too far. Father and I have hunted earlier. We are sitting by a small fire, getting ready to eat the game turning on a spit. The smells of the roasting bird (wild hen?) are tantalizing, and I am so, so happy! This is the first time one of my arrows has fed the family with such a big fat bird! I have just turned twelve.
I look to see another bird, wrapped and prepared by Mother. Such abundance! Father rubs something between his palms. Opening them, he reveals small rolls of smashed leaves that have given up a chalky white powder. He projects pictures into my mind’s eye. He tells me in this way that talking is precious. We choose our words with care and precision. This has been handed down from the star elders. It feels totally natural that my wise Father conveys this mentally to me, without using a word, or even a sound.
He spreads the powder on my forehead, around my eyes, down the center of my face, then uses the last bit of it by making a dot just beneath my lower lip.
Mother softly smiles as she begins to hum. The rest join in, softly and rhythmically. They all hum a blessing to me. It is my turn to bless the food, and the bird comes off the spit. First Little Sister giggles. Mother puts her finger gently on her mouth. This is a teaching for First Little Sister. There is no admonishment. Even the little children are accorded great respect. Little Brother gazes at me with adoration, Second Little Sister still sleeps, and both of my parents eyes sparkle with “kindness crinkles”.
I ask to go to an event from that lifetime of great significance.
A body lies covered on a pallet. It is Little Brother and a bear has killed him. This is unusual, since our people have had an understanding with the Bear People. Medicine Man says that now our People have Bear Magic, because the Bear People have given this as sacred trade for Little Brother’s life. The entire tribe is there, and I realize that I am now in my early thirties.
The rest of my family sits by the pallet as drums beat out the crossing song. A solitary flute sounds, and the feeling is both somber and beautiful. Father is Chief, and a powerful one. There is great love, and a sense of completion and great thanks for Little Brother’s great sacrifice.
I know all this, and still my heart aches. I feel the great sadness Mother and Father hold, not to mention my own, and that of my sisters. Little Brother’s wife stands with a child in her arms next to both of my sisters, their husbands, and their children.
I am soon to become Chief
I feel the heaviness of responsibility that comes with that. I vow mentally to Little Brother that we will ask our totem, Crow, how to incorporate Bear Magic with that of Crow’s. I pray, “May your sacrifice bring great honor and merit to your son, Little Eagle Who Sees The Morning.”
Father is looking at me with dignity and steadfastness. I hear, “In Kai-An Spirit is Great”, inside my head. Mother’s head is bowed. Father’s gaze holds my own as Little Brother’s pallet is lit by a torch. I feel a shaft of energy running through my body from above my head, into the earth.
I die a peaceful death, of old age, more than disease. My body just stopped – and I was very, very old.
“You leave them with Honor”. He smiles, and his teeth are the fangs of the bear that killed him.” “I recognize Second Little Sister at my side, and she is in her nineties. As I leave my body, Little Brother comes and takes my hand, and both of us embrace joyfully. I hear him say mentally – in this etheric space we’re in – “You have done it. You leave them with Honor”.
He smiles, and his teeth are the fangs of the bear that killed him.
I am filled with great awe, because I remember his supreme sacrifice, and I embrace him again. We leave that earth place with our arms entwined, and a great sense of Peace.