DREAM OF THE ASHWALKER
Tales of the Fire
In the dark of the night,
the man’s eyes are lit bright with the brilliant spectacle of the summoned fire’s elder dance; gathering energy and growing hotter and brighter, until at last, the fire settles, and is ready to tell the man stories of the burning wood. With the hungry flicker of brilliant flaming teeth, cracking the dried bones of the gathered wood, the feasting fire first tells a story of how this burning wood was of a tree, whose mother had been a fish!
Long ago, when the wood had stood tall and alive as a fig tree, giver of life, feeding all that were hungry ~ even the fishes in the river were fed the tree’s fine fruit ~ by monkeys tiptoeing through the long branches that stretched over the river’s edge. In this way, the tree had been reborn countless times, again and again, as fish who ate of the fruit and seeds ~ then swam the river and delivered the seeds elsewhere. And so, to the tree, the river fish were still remembered as mother…
And for a brief flicker, the man is looking not at the talking fire, nor the burning bones of the wood, but rather, the burning bones of his mother. He remembers being a young boy witnessing her cremation fire. And for a while more, the experience of her burning memory is all that he knows…
Later in the night, when the man is ready to listen again, the fire tells a whispering story ~ that is barely heard, but felt and it ended with a chilling fear of how all living fires die of starvation. And though the man feeds the fire’s hunger with some more wood, he still ponders the hidden meaning of the fire’s words, knowing the fire’s stories always mean something more…
And somewhere away from the fire, hidden in the dark, the surrounding animals are talking too. Frogs clicking, rick~rick, rick~rick, and elephants trilling, with grumbling groans to each other. And there, a lonely jackal cries. And out there, amidst the blackness, lions call across the night. And out more distantly the wily whup~whup of hungry hyenas, answer a challenge within the night! And the hyena’s eager talk, is the most significant, reminding the man, tomorrow he will return to Enali and her people, the people of the Red~Tailed~Hyena. For Enali and her people, he will bring the Lotus.
To be continued…
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