Myths of the Veritas: Recipe, Ritual…
Many Paths muttered to herself, “Perhaps I should rename myself, ‘She Who Walks in Many Circles’.” She glanced down at the ground, still damp from the morning’s rainfall. She chuckled. No, she thought, actually, I’m walking around in the same circle, over and over. I cannot find a way to guarantee that someone won’t betray us. She sighed. Then, her awareness blossomed outwards. She heard voices. Happy voices. Tu-Swift! And, Cat Eyes! Soon, the couple appeared at the edge of the granite-bouldered clearing atop the small mountain where she had come to meditate. They walked hand in hand, smiling. When they saw Many Paths they both waved, sang her name, and embraced her.
Many Paths smiled wanly. “It’s nice to see you. I was just…thinking.”
Tu-Swift and Cat Eyes glanced at each other. Tu-Swift said, “Yes! I imagine so. After all, you have an important meeting to think about! The last thing you need is to talk with your friends!”
“Indeed,” added Cat Eyes “we had come up here to find some of those low bush blueberries to add to our lunch porridge. But we’ll be on our way. Why spoil a perfectly good dish by adding ingredients to it? Best eat everything on its own, wouldn’t you agree?”
Many Paths narrowed her gaze & pursed her lips. “I’m not sure I know what you mean.”
Tu-Swift said, “Putting different things together just complicates everything. We should eat one thing at a time. As with a song, for instance. Best to stick to one note, sung over and over.”
Many Paths chuckled. “You two are talking nonsense. That wouldn’t be much of a song. And, of course, it makes sense to combine different ingredients for a recipe.”
Many Paths stared at their faces for a moment. “But you know that. You’re … did She Who Saved Many Lives send you by any chance?”
Tu-Swift and Cat Eyes both shook their heads solemnly. “No, she did not,” they said in unison. But beneath their words and expressions, Many Paths sensed a shared joke of some sort.
Many Paths sighed and said, “I suggest you do get some blueberries. There’s a patch, as you well know, right beyond that dead tree. It’s nice to see you both, but I need to … get back to what I was doing.”
Tu-Swift nodded gravely. “Yes! I can see you’ve just about finished making your circular fire pit.” He pointed down to the circle of bare ground Many Paths had clearly been treading. “How about if we help you trample everything for a few minutes and then you can help us pick berries?”
Many Paths shook her head and chuckled. “She Who Saved Many Lives sent you. She did. Did she not? She thinks I need some one of some thing or some one to shake loose my thinking since I have been literally walking in circles and thinking in circles at the same time. Am I right?”
Cat Eyes bit her lip. “You’re right that you’ve been walking in circles. That we can see easily enough for ourselves. I say again though that you’re wrong if you think the Elder Leader sent us here. Neither of us have spoken with her today. As to whether you’ve been thinking in circles, well, that only you can tell.”
Many Paths nodded. “I have been indeed. All right. You win. I’ll tell you the problem and perhaps you two have come across something to help in your reading. Then you can return to the Tribe Mother and say you’ve helped me.”
Shadow Walker appeared at the edge of the clearing. Many Paths glanced over to see him smiling like the sunshine she so desperately missed. She smiled back and said in a tone of accusation and pleasure, “You!”
Shadow Walker strode over quickly and embraced her. He kissed her fondly and said, “Yes! It was me. I love you dearly. But you’ve been as gray as the weather. It’s time for a rainbow instead! The four of us are going to share your problem and see whether we can make some headway. I knew only that you said you were going around in circles with the problem. I didn’t know that you were — literally — going around in circles!”
Many Paths laughed. “I should have known you would be behind this scheme. Well, all right. You know the problem well enough. How do I ensure trust among the people who come from other tribes? Wait. What do you mean by the four of you?”
A strong voice came from behind Many Paths. “My legs needed some exercise so I came up to join you.”
Many Paths smiled at the Elder Leader. “Ah, you are always welcome. If you’re here…. You always seem to show up where you are needed most.”
She Who Saved Many Lives smiled. “I wish that were true. But I did bring a considerable number of hickory nuts to add to the porridge. That’s my contribution. If only we had some honey.”
Shadow Walker held up a wooden bowl filled with honeycomb. He smiled at Tu-Swift who said, “I say that five of us pick some berries and we will have a fine lunch indeed. Then, we can talk of more serious matters.”
“Yes,” said She Who Saved Many Lives. “Serious indeed. But serious need not be grim. I think a pleasurable meal, jointly prepared, and joyfully shared is always a good prelude to serious thinking.”
Cat Eyes added. “Indeed. If we share a meal and everyone brings something which everyone eats, that in itself would build some trust. Would it not?”
Many Paths nodded slowly. “You’re right. Of course. We should begin with a shared meal. I can see much wisdom in that.”
Tu-Swift nodded. “Me too. Speaking of which, I’m hungry! And the Tribe Mother is right. Serious doesn’t mean grim. Recall some of the weapons that we came up with by playing around? Make the meeting festive and joyous, not grim. In the books we’ve been studying lately, there are some suggestions for some rituals that might help as well. I’ll describe some. After lunch. Now, let’s get those blueberries.
Many Paths smiled at her “little” brother. He no longer struck her as little at all. She began to look forward to lunch. She took the Hand of Shadow walker in one hand and that of the Elder Shaman in the other and began walking toward the blueberry patch.
The sun peeked out from the clouds and sparkled on the wet leaves.
The Myths of the Veritas:
The Forgotten Field