Archive for October, 2010

The Season Of Miracles

Posted in 1 on October 9, 2010 by naimahfuller

“Now listen child while I tell you how this here pot has been in our family for too many generations to count.  It begins with the story of how the world got started.”

Little Caroline sat on the ground, her big brown eyes wide and wonderingly waiting to hear her great-grandmother’s story of their prized family heirloom, the old black pot.

Long ago when the earth was still a new place, there were only two seasons in the world; a dry season, and a rainy season.  It was a time when there was no time, when a day lasted for months, and a season lasted for years.  It was during such a season that the sun parched the surface of the lands, making them so dry, that the whole world was waiting for what would be the longest rainy season ever known.  When it finally came it rained, and rained, and rained year after year after year, overflowing the mountains, flooding the grasslands, and the valleys.  The winds blew thousands of new seedlings that spread everywhere.  When the rains finally stopped the earth had shifted on its axis, and for the first time in time, the middle of the earth was aligned with the sun.  It was the beginning of the longest, hottest dry season in the story of the earth.  As the story goes, the sun’s atomic rays poured like liquid nitrogen mixing with earth’s slushy soil caused by the rain.  This rich mixture caused gigantic trees to sprout everywhere and the earth’s first forest wrapped itself around the belly of the world.  The new forest grew so fast and furious, all the trees in the new forest grew so tall, they reached all the way to the clouds.  As a result, many of the seedling remained in the soil, sheltered by the shade from the new forest canopy.  Over time the intense heat from the new dry season, made the earth firm again.   It was the combination of all these events that caused a new magnetic energy to stir the air that began pulling all those dormant seedlings laying beneath the forest floor causing them to burst from the soil.  From this powerful pulling, thousands upon thousands of flowers of every color, shape and species appeared everywhere, and something magnificent happened.  For the first time in the story of the earth, a third season came into being.  It was the first Season of Flowering

During the first long season of flowering, thousands upon thousands of new species of flora appeared on earth for the first time.

In this new season the world transformed itself into a natural garden bringing forth abundant life everywhere, and all around this vibrant setting, ferns and scrubs, grasses and grass-like plants appeared.  There were woody vines that brought forth an endless array of flowers of every conceivable color; white flowers, yellow flowers, red flowers, violet and blue flowers, black, orange, pink green and brown flowers, and mixed in with these were trees heavy with fruits of all kinds, ripe and ready for plucking. As the rain waters made their way through these new place, streams and creeks, rivers and lakes appeared, bringing with them fishes and frogs, and every variety of aquatic life imaginable.

Complimenting this enchanted place, were the confluence of all manner of living creatures, including countless species of the feathered and furry kind, butterflies and birds, and an endless numbers of infinitesimally tiny crawling things, all living under the cool canopy of this splendiferous garden world, the rain forest.  It was in this lush vibrant world that the first forest people made their appearance.  No record was ever found to tell when they arrived, or where they came from.  It was as though they had always been there.  Nor was they anyone among them who could offer even an oral accounting of their history, due to the fact that they never found a reason for cultivating a memory of past events, nor did they have a inkling for thinking about the future.  In fact the only story they ever told was the story of the longest rainy season in the history of the world that came to prepare the place they called home; the forest.

It was common knowledge that these first people lived in the forest from the beginning of time.  The obvious evidence of this was the length of their lives, of which an average lifespan of Forest People exceeded well beyond a thousand years.  They measured their lives in seasons, rather than years.  A year to Forest People was like a day, and so their lives evolved around the seasons. However notwithstanding the ebb and flow and the up’s and down’s of long living, the Forest People were an industrious people, without an inkling of complacency to be found among them, not even among their elders.  They possessed a zest for life that was inexhaustible, and second only to their thirst for knowledge, evident by their wealth of wisdom concerning the many cycles of forest life.    And because they lived such long lives, they knew nothing of superstitions, nor did they posses any notions of heavenly worlds. And because the forest provided an abundance of everything they needed to sustain life for time immemorial, the thought of gods, or any supernatural beings never entered their minds.  In fact their thinking processes were so absorbed in the here and now, there was no concept resembling even the idea of thinking.  For Forest People, being alive in the forest world was so exhilarating, the idea of dying never occurred to anyone.  However, when this rare event actually occurred, it was simply taken for granted that such an act was intentional, that the deceased had finally made the decision to live without the use of a physical body.  As such, this final act was considered an auspicious event, and it became customary to bestow the highest honor upon those who made the decision of passing on into the invisible world, who now became eligible to be among those most honored beings known as Spirits of Nature.

In essence they were simply a simple people content with the joyous and ceaseless lives they lived within the confines of the forest.  And like the trees, their lives were endless cycles of dry and rainy, and flowering seasons, and death was a rare occurrence in the space between seeding, gestation and rebirth.

Over a span of many eons, their gratitude for their forest home evolved to such heights of compassion they could no longer reconcile the slightest imposition upon their beloved forest, and so their entire race made the decision to become invisible beings who would continue to dwell in the forest, living without the need for physical bodies, therefore eliminating the slightest possibility of harming their beloved forest home.

This was the story Beyengoomey recited to her great-granddaughter Weyengoomey on her thirteenth birthday, the eve of her initiation into womanhood.

“Say her name again Big Ma.” asked Little Caroline.  “Weyengoomey,” answered the old woman.  The sound of the name enchanted the child.  It fascinated her that her great-grandmother knew someone with such a wonderous name.  She whispered it to herself.  “Weyengoomey.”  This would be the first of many times the name would cross her lips.

As the story goes, it was upon the disappearance of the first Forest People that ordinary people eventually arrived in the forest.  From the beginning these ordinary people knew powerful invisible beings also inhabited the forest.  They knew that these great forest spirits protected them from harm.  And so with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude,  they took only what they needed from the forest.  They hunted and fished, and gathered the vegetables and fruits that grew so abundantly, along with the varieties of wild rice that grew in the marshes.   And because the forest provided everything they needed, they were content living their lives in their  little forest villages, made up of tiny thatched huts fashioned from giant leaves that fell to the forest floor from ancient trees.  Happily sharing the bounty of the forest with one another, while respectfully maintaining the stewardship of their forest home.  When the Spirits of Nature saw how these ordinary people were living in harmony within their forest world they were pleased, and little by little they began blessing them with special little gifts.

No one quite knew how it came to be, but over time these ordinary people began to posses the knowledge of the inner workings of the plants in the forest.  Consequently they became the creators of some of the most powerful natural remedies ever known to ordinary people.  It was due to this knowledge of plants and the simple life they lived that the Spirits of Nature eventually decided to give them a very special gift by asking for their daughters hands in marriage.

The drums carried the news across the Savannah of the grand wedding between their daughters and the Spirits of Nature.  Soon the entire forest was alive with an air of excitement.  Young men were sent into the forest to gather bamboo to build the new wedding huts, and in every direction, the little village was busy with activity in preparation for the big wedding day.  The women were cooking their best recipes, while the men brought out their vats of palm beer.  When the new wedding huts were finally complete, and the last touches of forest flowers arranged around them, the young brides were brought into the village circle; twelve young brides for twelve Spirits of Nature.  Three for fire, three for air, three for water, and three for earth.  Everyone gathered waiting for the grooms to arrive.

As the Spirits of Nature approached the village, the vibration from their drums shook the ground as their rhythms felled the air.  When they appeared at the village gate, everyone stood motionless with their eyes stuck looking up.  These Spirits of Nature were as tall as the trees, and their drums were talking back and forth between each other.  The people stood in awe, and as the tall grooms danced to the rhythm of their drums, the beautifully colored pelts they wore of leopard, tiger and antelope moved with them.  On their heads the wore long flowing feathers that went all the way down to the ground, and with each step they took, flowers appeared at their feet.

The people of the village were mesmerized as they watched these incredible Spirits of Nature perform dazzling acrobatic feats that left them suspended in mid-air, all to the dizzying amazement of everyone.  It was the most spectacular performance anyone had ever seen.  When the performance was finally over and everyone was assembled in the center of the village, the Spirits of Nature presented their gifts to their new brides.

Twelve new black iron pots.

The pots were pressed around for everyone to see and touch.  No one had ever seen pots made of such material before.  Up until then the only pots they possessed were made from plants and leaves.  The Spirits of Nature explained that these pots were made from a special material that came from the deepest depths of  mother earth herself and as such, they contained a source of power that by merely speaking a wish into the pot, any desire would immediately be made manifest.

Everyone was so pleased with the offering of the magical pots, a swell of cheers went up to the tops of the trees, and the drummers began to play.  The tall handsome grooms took their young brides to the middle of the ceremonial circle and began to dance.  They held them around their waist, and with each beat of the drum, they pulled them closer and closer, caressing their stomachs, taking their passions higher and higher.  Soon the young brides fell under an erotic spell, and one by one, the Spirits of Nature took their young brides up in their arms and carried them inside their new wedding huts.

While the newlyweds made passionate love, the people of the village celebrated throughout the night; eating, drinking and dancing.  It was the most glorious night of their lives, and the celebration continued until the last drop of palm wine was drank and everyone finally fell asleep.

But the next day they was awakened by sound of women crying.  It was soon learned that the Spirits of Nature had disappeared, leaving their young wives alone and in tears.  The people were sad, and confused.  They refused to believe the Spirits of Nature would marry their daughters, and then desert them.  So they went into the forest looking for them, but  in the middle of the search, a wicked thunderstorm began to pour.  The ferocious thunder and lightning was so powerful, the people ran back to their village, and hid inside their huts, for fear that the Spirits of Nature had become angry with them.

The rains poured, day after day, after day, after day, and the more it rained, the more depressed the people became.  They couldn’t understand why the Spirits of Nature had played such a terrible trick to them.  Why had they promised them great blessings only to abandon them?  But instead of answers, all that came were the unrelenting rains, and one by one the people began to succumb to the dreaded sleeping fever.  The more it rained, the more the sleeping fever spread through the village, and as hard as they tried to resist it was hopeless.  Before long the entire village fell into a deep sleep.

Days passed into weeks, and weeks into months, and soon the entire village disappeared under the growth of heavy vines, and thick forest foliage.  Soon even the forest forgot that the little village ever existed at all.

And that’s how the story of the people who lived in the forest and the sleepy little village ended, until one magical morning, one by one the people were awakened from their long sleep by the sound of babies crying and women laughing.  One by one each of the daughters who were wedded to the Spirits of Nature, began coming toward the old village circle, carrying their black pots and their newborn babies.  The people were amazed that everyone had awakened and that each of the infants bore the same birthmark on their foreheads.  It was the mark of seeing and healing.  To their further amazement, each of their daughters had given birth to baby girls.   When the people of the village saw the birthmarks on the babies, they realized that the Spirits of Nature had placed themselves inside the bellies of their daughters, and were now reborn as baby girls.

That day the little village came back to life, and everyone was happy again.  They began dancing and rejoicing around the new mothers.  In the midst of the celebration, suddenly the everyone stopped dancing when they saw a field of energy flowing around the new mothers sitting with their newborn babies, and their black iron pots between their legs. On one moved, and all was silent.  And as the field of energy disappeared, each of the women one after the other begin to speak of the powerful attributes that was contained in their pots, an attribute of representing each of the Spirits of Nature: one for faith, one for hope, one for benevolence, one for compassion, one for humility, one for courage, one for prophecy, one for knowledge, on for wisdom, one for healing, one for charity, and one for love.  And for the first time since the beginning of time, the Spirits of Nature were back in physical bodies, but this time they were back as women.

And so it was that these women became the most honored people in the story of the forest.

One by one the villagers came forth with bowed their heads, whispering their silent prayers and wishes inside the pots.  Some prayed for good health, some prayed for longevity, some prayed to abundant crops, and to their amazement, all their prayers were answers instantaneously.  And for the first time in the story of the earth, a forth season came into being.  It was The Season of Miracles.

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