MOTV – Recipe, Ritual, and Recitation
Shadow Walker wondered whether the sense of foreboding he felt simply reflected the cool, damp weather. He took a deep breath. It felt good so he intentionally calmed himself with more deep breaths and rather than chase after an explanation, which, in his experience often scared explanations away, he determined to be more like a hunter waiting in a blind for the prey to come. He sat on a cold flat rock and let his thoughts drift. As he did so, his eyes chanced upon the Sixth Ring of Empathy — the one that only he and his love, Many Paths, had won. Touching it often seemed to give him comfort and he tried that, grinning as he did so. He immediately felt sunnier. Better, he knew exactly why he had felt morose. Many Paths had been worried for days about the upcoming meeting among the tribes. He had felt left out of her worry. She had not really sought his counsel, and he realized that, so far as he knew, she had not sought anyone’s counsel lately; not even that of her predecessor, She Who Saved Many Lives.
A smile came upon the face of Shadow Walker. A plan came to him and his smile broadened. Confidence returned to his step as he marched back to the Center Place of the Veritas. Immediately upon entering The Sacred Circle, he spied the younger brother of Many Paths, Tu-Swift. He and Cat Eyes spoke quietly and seriously. Beside them on an oaken table, a number of what he now knew to call “books” were spread out in front of them. They were concentrating so intently they failed to see him approach. While all of the Veritas were trained in the ability to walk silently, Shadow Walker had perfected the skill better than anyone else in the tribe. He felt no need to startle his friends, so he announced his presence intentionally. “I see you two are continuing your studies.”
Tu-Swift and Cat Eyes both smiled and moved so as to allow space and offer invitation to Shadow Walker. He smiled back, but rather than join them, he quickly explained his insight and suggestion. They both assented quickly. Cat Eyes nodded vigorously while Tu-Swift said aloud, “Wonderful idea! We’re leaving now. But — are you sure that’s where she is?”
“No, not completely sure. But reasonably sure. If you find her, can you bring her back here? Meanwhile, I’ll see whether She Who Saved Many Lives will join us presently.”
Cat Eyes glanced up at the grey clouds and decided to put the books into boxes and cover them with the rock-weighted rawhide cover. Then, the three dispersed. The youngsters strode off to find Many Paths while Shadow Walker walked over to the cabin of the Elder Shaman. Halfway there, he saw the slightly bent figure of She Who Saved Many Lives walking toward him. He chuckled. Many Paths had several times mentioned how often she had sought to find the Elder and gain her advice only to discover that She Who Saved Many Lives was already en route to her.
Shadow Walker approached and bowed his head slightly out of respect. “Well met, Mother of the Tribe, I had something I wanted to ask you about.”
“Yes, I also think it’s time to help She Who Finds Many Paths to Avoid Asking for Help.”
Shadow Walker was taken aback. “She Who…? Ah, yes. Exactly. But how…?”
“Oh, my, Shadow Walker. Books are not the only things which may be read.” She said this in such a kindly tone and with such a twinkle in her eye, that Shadow Walker could do nothing but shake his head and chuckle again. “Many Paths has cautioned me that you can read minds. Now, I see she is right.”
“Would that I could! I cannot read the mind of a tree, but if there has been no rain for days the leaves are all wilting, I know the tree wants water, and so too, do you, as signified by the Rings of Empathy you earned. I should think. It’s not much different with reading people than it is with trees. You and I both know Many Paths is rightly concerned that this upcoming meeting go smoothly. There is a time to keep one’s own counsel, surely, but now, I think, like you, it is time to stir the pot!”
Shadow Walker offered his elbow to the Elder and they slowly made their way back to the Center Place of the Veritas.
Myths of the Veritas:
The Forgotten Field
The Tale of the Three Blind Mice