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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Scar People

Once upon a time there was a girl who came from Scar people. Scar people had layers upon layers of scars all over their bodies, inside and outside. Litha, still a child, had some scars on her face and her hands. She was born with them, and saw new scars grow fast on top of the hardened old ones.

Scars were everywhere, so no one really noticed them. People with most scars were the richest and the most powerful in her society. They had very comfortable lives. They never worked, but received the highest salaries in their country. It was really difficult to look for a medicine to cure the scars because far from the disease, scars were something that made most people feel proud and accomplished. Only Litha, in her darkest thoughts sometimes wondered.

Secretly and in fear, she spent time in tall grasses at a far edge of her village, digging a hole under a barbed wire fence that kept Scar people safe. And one day, she slipped under it.

She knew that her family went to work every day, and that work was outside the barbed wire, but she never knew what the work was all about. She was told that soon she too would have to go to work.

She ran as fast as her legs would carry her through a rolling field of tall grasses, and hid inside some berry bushes she found on her way. Her heart was drumming hard, almost suggesting that she should turn back, yet the noise of the machines coming from a nearby forest stoked her curiosity. She lay down on her stomach and like a snake moved slowly on through the grassy field until she reached a tree. Its trunk was the size of a house, and its bark overgrown with thick moist moss. On her knees, she crawled around it, and peeked inside the forest. She saw some Scar people at work. They had huge chainsaws in their scarred hands, and laughed hard as they massacred the old growth forest. With every fallen tree, a new scar grew on her skin. She knew it because these fresh ones became painful. The thick moist moss on the tree bark was soothing, but her time was up.

Litha crawled and ran back. She was very hungry when she arrived home, but the food on the table in her kitchen, she could not eat. The food was paid for with the money that came from her parents' work which destroyed forests. Pain was everywhere, in her stomach, the scars that now stretched all over her body, and inside her head. She wished she could come out of her skin. Silently, she ached through the night. Nobody, not even her own family, could help her. No one would ever understand because no one ever felt the pain.

Early the following morning, before the town woke up to a fresh new day of work, she slipped out of her bed of tears and in skimpy clothes that she could tolerate on, she ran back to the forest where frosty whirlwinds came to aid her by cooling her burnt and oozing skin.

Inside the forest, there was a huge field of stumps, some steaming from the previous day of work, while many others burnt to the ground. She ran and ran and ran across the huge graveyard of trees, and then up a soft mossy mountain where firs and their cedar friends rose proudly to the sky.

Higher up the mountain and deeper into the forest, she came across a village. People of the village were appalled to see her. Just the sight of her inflamed scars made these people sick to their stomachs that they couldn't but throw up. Scared that she would infect them with her horrible disease, they turned her away.

"Didn't you know that the trees are more than inanimate objects?" they fumed at her. "The pain of every cut tree shows as scars on your own skin, and still, your people don't get it. Trees are connected to rivers, animals and birds. Together they tell stories. This is where our stories come from. And our stories mean life to us."

Litha ran through the forest crying for the skies to open up and take her because no one else would. Neither Scar people nor people who lived high up in the mountain would have anything to do with her.

She spent her time in between human communities, somewhere in the forest. The thick moss padded ancient trees. Like arms extended in welcome, their huge boughs fanned horizontally across the forest air. Litha climbed in their embrace. Her back sank deep in the soft bottom of the tree cradle, and her plexus received everything that looked from the green heights down at her. Animals taught her about the joy of high-spirited play. Rivers, creeks and waterfalls sang arias of no compare. She talked to the sparkly waters about the plight of her scars, and the green depths responded with the icy touch of their glacial powers.

One day, while threading softly along Magic river, Litha ran into a family of eagles. Eaglets glided over the rapids, while their parents fished in a quiet, shallow pool of eelgrass water.

Curious to see what the eagles were up to, she disturbed their peace with her uninvited presence, so the mighty birds flew away. When she passed by their fishing grounds, a salmon caught her eye. There was blood on the salmon's head and the surrounding rock.

Litha felt sorry for the salmon. The fish appeared to be stuck in the shallow water. First time in her life, she picked up the fish with her two hands, and swiftly released it into a deeper pool. Salmon powerfully swished its tail, but then did not swim on. Litha looked at the salmon's face, and into its eyes. Salmon did not look back at her, and appeared content to remain in one spot. Litha ignored what salmon was telling her, and decided that she should help the salmon reach the fast flowing rapids. She would have to carry the fish over the slippery boulders to the other arm of the river. The fish would probably slip from her hands onto the rocks so wrapping it in her jacket and then carrying it like a baby to the other side was an option Litha seriously considered.

Mother eagle and its baby were laughing at Litha from a nearby fir tree, but when they saw how far she could pursue her misguided ideas, they swooped down in frustration. She felt the heat of anger when a warning squawk of the mother eagle shot over her head.

Feeling like a thief, Litha quickly withdrew. She had no clue about salmon or eagle or how nature put the two together. In the land of Scar people, rivers, where left flowing, had no fish, and some leftover forests were without wild animals. Without fish or animals, Scar people had no stories to tell to their children.

Salmon had pity on the ignorant girl.

In surprise, Litha noticed that some rocks turned pink in front of her, and then as she looked on, she saw a pink trail leading up to the top of a steeply rising precipice. Challenged to go to these new heights, Litha pulled herself up by holding onto the red currant branches that in a shape of large fish emerged from the rock. Followed by the curious eyes of mountain goats and lynx, she climbed up in the moonlight and daylight, in shine, rain and snow. It took her that long to get to the top of the mountain where she finally found her refuge in a cave.

Her "hello" echoed inside the cave, but no one came out to see her. Exhausted, she dropped on the floor and slept for what felt to be a long, long time. When she woke up, her eyes, adjusted to darkness, could see Bear sleeping next to her. The cave entrance was barricaded with a heavy pack of snow. Litha was freezing. She neither knew how to make a fire, nor was she courageous enough to seek her warmth in Bear's fur.

What else could she do but tiptoe deeper into the darkness of the cave. Quite unexpectedly inside the Bear's kitchen, she came across a pile of dried salmon and berries that replenished itself every time she took a bite. And then, turning around, her eyes grew large to see many glass bottles of fish oil. Day after day, Litha quite liberally applied the oil all over her skin. This kept her warm, but also helped her heal the last remains of the scar tissue on her face and hands.

The powerful smell of fish oil quickly filled the air and winding its way to the Bear's sleeping chamber, woke him up.

In the heart of the mountain, Litha and Bear, in a state of shock, stared at each other for some time. He couldn't see her scars, but he could smell them for the smell of the destruction of his forest was stronger than the smell of fish oil. The Scar people kept destroying the Bear's country. There was so much destruction that scars could pop out on Litha's skin at any time. No mossy forest, and no fish oil could totally heal her.

Bear lit the fire and invited her to sit down with him. Then he looked deep inside her soul. He pondered in silence for a long time. Looking at her, he sometimes appeared angry, from time to time quizzical, occasionally charmed, but most of all Bear felt stupefied to observe the joy she derived from sitting around his fires. They kept sitting around the fires until the end of winter.

In the spring and summer, Bear took Litha fishing and berry picking. Litha loved Bear's teachings.

In the fall, their bear-human children were born. Through rigorous training and natural talents, their children grew up with special powers that helped Scar people turn their ways around. Rivers started to flow. Salmon returned, and with bears and eagles, they made it to the
land high up in the mountains. Red cedars grew huge again. The forests became red and green, green and red, extreme.

Everyone lived in the silence of the ancient misty rains happily ever after!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ode to Hummingbirds

The whole forest was on fire, but her wings weren't streamlined for swift escape flights.

She struggled against her own limitations.

When the water's cool extinguished the unbearable heat, she thought she made it. ... until the panic shook her heart once again. Water pressure kept her suspended in the middle of the blue fluid, half way between the surface and the bottom before a sudden but timely, turbulent, current snatched her and pulled her up.

Gasping for air, she was alive - the one who could neither fly fast in the air not breathe in the water.

With her eyes closed and plumage looking soaked on the body still unconscious, her beak opened up, and a song so swollen spilled out from her little chest. The Songbird's melody echoed amongst steep barren rocks until it was swallowed by the roar of a waterfall.

She woke up terrified. Her wings were frozen. Was she alone in this world she could not recognize?

Songbird remained in that same spot where she woke up for some time. No one came to see her, except the lovely song of the mighty waterfall that was always there. In her ears, so sensitive, this constant melody brought secret sparks of joy, and she felt surges of vitality light up in her soul. This mysterious sparkly energy splashed around her bones and muscles, animating the heavy body that kept her down.

She managed to pull herself up and propping her wings against the earth, she balanced on her tripod feet. Slowly, Songbird waddled to the banks of a river and peeked up then down, her eyes wide in amazement and awe of the stunning views of nature.

A spray of sparkly drops with a sash of rainbow colors tied around its heavy waist, hovered in the blue sunny air. A pleasant breeze took the rainbow spray by the hand and together, they glided over and wrapped themselves around the Songbird's dull looking plumage. When she looked at her wings, she saw they glimmered in the colours of the rainbow.

Dressed in a sparkly gown with two rainbow sleeves, Songbird rose to the sky like a shiny star. Soft sound waves of her flapping wings were swallowed by the mighty waterfall. Its roar overwhelmed her whole being as she flew closer to it, giving her power to fly higher. Brilliance flooded the air where the skylight kissed the reflective glaze of the water surface. As she glided on the shine of this life-giving light, her spirit expanded, making her body light, her flight easy. She soared to yet unexplored heights, joyfully turning in the air with her eyes closed and with her belly pumping out the songs of thanks to the environment that healed her.

When Songbird opened her eyes, she saw misty fog swirling around what may have been the highest peaks of a giant thrusting cliff way above the clouds. In her nostrils, the mist felt like a fluid made of crushed grainy dust, that also compromised her recently acquired palette of protective colours on her feathers. All she could see inside the foggy belt was white darkness.

Feeling that she could become completely fog-blinked, Songbird flapped her wings so frantically that she flew over the cliff and stormed down the other side of the precipice. As she reached the place where the fog broke into fluffy clouds which bounced on the bungee cords of sunshine, Songbird relaxed a bit, yet remained aware that even on the other side of the cliff, she was the only bird in the air – alone the way she had been ever since she escaped from the burning forest.

Regardless, her spirits sparked up again when she noticed her rainbow gown fluttering around her against the backdrop of the golden-orange warmth. She sneezed to clear the last remains of the grainy fluid dust from her airway, and sneezed again and again. And then, it became worse. She started to cough and flashbacks of the forest fire flooded her.

After surviving the fire, her breathing was very sensitive. Even a thought of her traumatic past experience made her gasp for air. This time, however, it was real. As she flew closer down to where the cliff smoothed out into a valley, she became entangled into drifty wisps of smoke. To her surprise, she realized that the smoke was not a result of fire, but that it emerged from water. This smoke smelled medicinal to her, so she followed its spiral down to where the water seemed to boil.

Songbird didn't know that it was steam and not smoke that rose in the air. Coming close to the water to satisfy her curiosity, she burnt her beak. Flinching in pain, her wings took her up and backwards, and without seeing where she was going, she bumped and fell in a dark green bush of a plant with silverish sheen on its pillow-like leaves. When she rubbed her beak against the leaves to relieve the pain, the plant gave off the medicinal smell that had attracted her to the boiling waters.

Her heart was pounding. She was previously unaware of her ability to fly backwards to escape danger. In disbelief she looked at her rainbow wings. For the sheer sake of an experiment, she tried rotating her wings in various directions. She could fly backwards and sideways, she discovered.

Carried away with her newfound abilities, Songbird hardly noticed that her tripod feet were becoming coated in resin-like clusters of beads. Being transparent, she, at first, did not notice the plant's seeds on its leaves until her feet started to feel sticky. Trying to avoid being stuck to a surface, she relied on her wings to keep her in the air at all times. Without a break and with so much practice, her wings became fast and with this skyrocketing speed, the number of her flaps grew exponentially. The movement of her wings started to appear like a still picture of eternity suspended in the air. Wide-eyed, Songbird remembered that she had seen hummingbirds fly in the shape of eternity, but never expected that she herself would have such skill to move her little wings into shiny blue stillness. Her propeller wings knocked down the silverish leaves of the fragrant plant and she observed them drift down into the geyser.

She followed them and the sweet smell of the steamed leaves became stronger. The longer she flitted around the hotspring, the more its temperature became hospitable to her presence, so she managed to get very close to the steaming waters.

Songbird glided onto a rock that held its face above the bubbling wetness, sat down, gracefully fluffing her feathers like a ballerina would her skirt, and plunged her feet in the geyser. The resin melted off her feet, and a plume of smoke rose up in her face. Of medicinal potency, the mellow smell of herbs sent her flying higher than ever to a place of discoveries and spiritual growth, where she started to feel at home.


Her life broke into splinters when a sudden storm jolted Songbird into a different reality. The waters that once had been blue and sparkly turned dark. They rose in the air and flowed backwards to disappear in their own wells. Howling winds knocked Songbird into the raging waters that tossed her around and pulled her under. She responded by tickling the tummy of the giant, mean waves. As they laughed, their muscles relaxed and became springy. She jumped on their stomach, which became like a trampoline, and hurled herself high up above them. Reaching the air, she gasped and opened her eyes. All that she could see behind the receding waters was a parched and broken landscape.


She woke up in front of a tiny bird who was crying.

Humongous tears swelled under his eyelids and rolled down the dusty tear-streaked cheeks of this shiny purple blue beak, whose wings' flutter she recognized to be in a shape of eternity. His sighs were audible, and she could not help but feel them in her own heart. When Hummingbird finally opened his eyes, he noticed Songbird. It was a miracle to see another bird in the hostile environment.

They found themselves in a long silent dialogue, feeling like one, the two birds that just saw each other. Sensing, however, that it was the end of time, painful grief overwhelmed the Songbird's soul, for she had to say goodbye to this love before it could even begin.

Tearful, Songbird broke the silence and spoke in a soft tune, which appeared to be familiar to his own ears. "I marvel at your wings," she told Hummingbird. "When I lived in a land with lights so brilliant and waters so sweet and healing, I could move my wings fast and in full circles, just like you are right now."

Listening to her, Hummingbird started to have a funny feeling that they may know each other in ways unrevealed.

"I used to live in a forest which was engulfed in fire that incinerated homes of many animals,"said Hummingbird. "They scattered and fled to a safer place. I myself stayed doing everything I could to stop the inferno. I carried in my beak the frosty glacier water my friend Silverlake shared with me, and dropped it on the burning forest. And so, I flew back and forth until I became very thirsty. In my very last flight, I opened my beak, but before the fire could lick the falling drop of water, I swooped down and drank it. It was from that time on, that I could hear the melody of a very sad song, similar to the one I just heard you sing.”

“I also lived in that forest and I tried to escape the fire, but my wings were too slow,” said Songbird, surprised to hear this story so familiar to her. "I was unable to escape the fire, and I wouldn't know how, but I woke up in a beautiful world full of light and sparkly waters."

“Is it possible that you were saved in that drop of water I swallowed?” Hummingbird asked in disbelief. “My heart's been a refuge to many and a teacher,” he began, and then as if struck by a lightning, said with conviction, "You entered my heart in that drop of water I drank to survive."

Songbird felt that this may be very true. Tears sparkled up her eyes, and a song full of praise and thanksgiving poured out: “So, the waters..., the magnificent streams and waterfalls that healed me, were in your soul” sang Songbird excitedly, "and you, being a hummingbird, must have naturally fed them with the flower nectar...that's why they were so sweet..."

“True, but the flowers are all gone now," Hummingbird interrupted her. "Fruit trees are wilted. Humans have replaced them with flowers and trees made of plastic. Their leaves are keeping the sun out. Without natural nectar and fruit flies, and without the sun and warmth, almost all hummingbirds have perished."

Their dialogue resumed in silence.

Songbird knew that her friend was dying and that she had to save him. She went out to scout the cold world made of concrete and plastic, where machines worked constantly, making terrible, terrible noise. Songbird's wings did not require energy of the flower nectar. She could survive on few seeds, only if she could find them.

Time passed. When Songbird returned, Hummingbird was laying on his back, but his eyes were still warm and blinking.

“I brought you a gift,” she said, and from a strap on her back, she pulled out a finely carved and painted paddle.

“I think, I will survive,” she continued. “I found a rare person who was happy to see a bird and share of their stash of hidden seeds. They are planting some of them and hoping that they would sprout into plants that need birds to pollinate them. I think flowers will grow again, but it will take time. Until then, THIS PADDLE IS FOR YOU!!”

Hummingbird was too weak to say anything at this point. Only a faint glimmer appeared in his eye.

Songbird took him gently in her arms. His body was very light and she could lift him easily. Bringing him close to her face, she placed Hummingbird and his paddle in a tear canoe she managed to keep in her eye. She flung her head back, and the canoe set out on a journey to her soul.

That was the place where Hummingbird had survived the big environmental crisis until the times when the Creator's planet grew back again in all its glory.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Kawartha was a girl who lived with her grandmother in a little cobhouse on an island in the middle of the mighty dark blue seas. During the day, the island was always sunny and warm. In the evenings, gusts of winds whirled, bringing fresh air and spreading a blanket of salty magic dust.

Every night before going to sleep, Kawartha looked up to the sky. Kawartha counted the stars. Kawartha searched for the twinkling shapes and patterns the stars drew on the blackboard of the universe.

The starlight shone on Kawartha's hair and her forehead, the arch of her nose and her cheeks. The starlight bathed in her eyes and seeped deep down into her heart, making her soul glow.

Kawartha and her grandmother lived by the light of the stars at night. But one eve, out of the blue, the island sank into darkness.

Kawartha knew that something was wrong. She feared that the stars had been sucked away into a big black hole, but her grandmother disagreed.

“Grandma,” Kawartha's muffled voice quivered, “It's so dark. I can't see anything. Could you please find our candles?”

“Good idea,” said the grandma as she shuffled slowly in her leather moccasins across the earthen floor of a tiny living room, taking one step at a time.

“Thank you,” echoed Kawartha's voice as her grandmother disappeared in the basement looking for a stash of their beeswax candles.

“You're welcome,” grandma's voice echoed back. Unable to see each other, they kept talking. Hearing each other's voices helped them keep in touch.

From then on Kawartha and her grandmother had to light candles every night because the stars did not come back, and the sky was very very dark.

Kawartha missed the stars very much. Every day, she went a bit further into the woods looking for them. She thought the stars had probably fallen down from the skies and believed that she could find them.

The longer Kawartha stayed away from her little cobhouse, the deeper grew the frowns on her grandmother's forehead.

“Grandma, please don't worry. I feel safe in the woods,” pleaded Kawartha.

“Forest animals are my friends and they will help me find the stars.”

Holding Kawartha gently in her arms, her grandmother took a deep breath.

“I believe that you'll find the stars if you look for them,” she said with a heavy sigh. “I have seen the starlight in your heart. The glow of your soul will guide you. Make the skies shine again, Kawartha! The light in the skies will show you your way back home.”

“Thank you grandmother,” sang Kawartha with joy flaring in her heart.

“You're welcome,” whispered grandma, and weak in her body, she sat down, looking away in the distance.

Deep in the woods, Kawartha had to knock on many doors. Sometimes she had to knock over and over again because some animals were fast asleep, and needed time to wake up.

“Please open the door,” Kawartha's voice rang like a bell. “I want to ask if you'd seen the stars!”

Owl's beak appeared through the window of its nesthouse.

“Shhhh,” mama owl spoke softly, “my owlets are asleep, please don't wake them up.”

“Oh I'm sorry Ms. Owl,” whispered Kawartha, “I wanted to ask if you'd seen the stars.”

Ms. Owl scratched her feathery chin.

“Our skies've been very dark lately,” she admitted. "I could hardly see my way around when hunting. My food is running out.”

Knowing that soon she wouldn't be able to feed her owlets without the starlight in the skies, Ms. Owl promised that she would fly far and high to see if she could spot the stars.

“Thank you,” said Kawartha to her new friend.

“Oh you're very welcome,” responded mama Owl. “Thank you for stopping by.”

“You're welcome,” smiled Kawartha.

The next evening, Ms. Owl frantically flapped her wings over Kawartha.

“Please wake up, please wake up, I've seen the stars.”

“You have Ms. Owl?” squeaked Kawartha through her yawn, “thank you for bringing this awesome news.”

“You're welcome Kawartha, but quick, climb up on my back, let's fly together. I want to show you the stars. They had fallen into the ocean on the opposite side of the island. The fish I'd talked to said the stars were waiting for the light which would guide them back to the sky.”

Kawartha sank into the soft feathers on Ms. Owl's back, feeling safe and excited as the owl navigated through the gusts of winds with her wings. As they flew closer to the starlit lagoon, they could see the rainbow-like radiance arising from the salty ocean water.

“Thank you for carrying me to the lagoon of the fallen stars, Ms. Owl,” said Kawartha as she slid down the owl's back after they'd landed.

“You're more than welcome Kawartha. I'm hoping that the skies will light up before I reach my nest,” hooted Ms. Owl as she flew away.

Kawartha found herself alone in the radiance of the starlit lagoon so far far from her home. Suffused in intense rainbow light and dazzled, she fainted.

The next morning, when the sunlight softened the starlight glow from the ocean, Kawartha woke up and could see in the air many doves, butterflies, dragonflies and honeybees. Not feeling alone any more, she got up and came closer to the ocean.

Kawartha scooped the radiant water and washed her face with it. As she was combing her hair, fish started to jump in the air and splash back into the sea. Kawartha stopped and listened. She heard the fish complain about the light of the fallen stars. It was just too bright for them to sleep at night.

The fish asked Kawartha to, p l e a s e, take the stars back to the skies!!!

“Huh,” Kawartha let out a heavy sigh. How could she do it, she wondered.

The next morning, Kawartha and the ocean inhabitants held an emergency meeting.

“Let's pull up the stars from the bottom of the ocean to its surface,” agreed the sea animals. “The stars are light in the water so it won't be difficult to carry them.”

“Thank you,” said Kawartha, and the sea animals said, “you're welcome.”

Soon, the stars floated on the ocean waves.

“Oh thank you,” said Kawartha to the fish, sea stars, sea horses and seashells.

“You're welcome,” they responded, “but please don't forget to ask the birds to take the stars into their beaks and fly them to the sky.”

“Thank you for reminding me to talk to the doves. I sure will,” Kawartha assured them.

“You're welcome,” said the sea animals and disappeared in the ocean.

Kawartha looked for the doves.

“There's an emergency situation and your help is needed. Please come out to the meeting,” she called.

With the elegant flapping of their wings, doves settled on the lowest branches of the nearby trees. They heard what the sea animals did to bring the stars to the ocean surface and it suddenly dawned on them.

“Let's pick up the stars with our beaks and fly them up to the sky,” they spoke in unison.

“Thank you,” said Kawartha and the doves said, “you're welcome.”

Soon there were flocks of doves over the ocean surface trying to pull the stars up with their beaks. But the stars were way too heavy for the doves to fly them to the sky.

So, the doves called the butterflies, “Please come help us pull up the stars to the sky.”

And so the butterflies did.

“Thank you,” said the doves and the butterflies said, “you're welcome.”

But still, the stars were very heavy.

The butterflies called the dragonflies, “Please come help us pull up the stars to the sky.”

And so the dragonflies did.

“Thank you,” said the butterflies and the dragonflies said, “you're welcome.”

But still, the stars were very heavy.

The dragonflies called the honeybees, “Please come help us pull up the stars to the sky.”

And so the honeybees did.

“Thank you,” said the dragonflies and the honeybees said, “you're welcome.”

When the doves, butterflies, dragonflies and honeybees together pulled on the stars, they were able to lift them in the air. They fluttered their wings faster and faster because the stars were becoming heavier and heavier as they were raised higher up in the air. Heavy beads of sweat dripped from Kawartha's forehead. It was unbearable to watch the effort needed to lift the stars up to the sky.

In a moment of terrible anguish, Kawartha heard a booming voice, “Light please!” and saw the floodlight of sparkly stardust fan far and wide out of her soul. Suddenly, the winged people gained enormous strength and flew the stars to the sky.

In the evening, the island was lit again with the twinkling light of the starry skies – and everyone celebrated!

The End

Saturday, November 6, 2010


He was a messenger and a shape shifter. Environment absorbed him like a sponge or conversely he dissolved in it like granules of sugar.

He traveled through all life and knew what it felt like to be rocks, animals, trees, flowers, clouds and water.

It was difficult to pinpoint where he was. It was difficult to see him. He was everywhere and nowhere. This is why he was able to carry the message far and wide.

Surprise, surprise, one day, he appeared in all his natural glory. Maple branches bursting with leaves of bright yellow, orange and red colours stood for his hair. Sometimes his hair flowed down his shoulders. At other times it sprang boldly to the skies. But at the time he appeared in front of her, his hair of flaming maple leaves was a solemn wreath. And from it, birds' songs soared.

She was unimpressed. She didn't believe in messengers. She told him that she did not want to talk to him.

From her experience, she knew that messengers had the power to change the message by casting the shadow of their personal doubt over it. They were able to erase from the message the part which was intended to nurture the community. They could not discern that her word was coloured with the passion and unbridled optimism for the well-being of the environment. The colours were bright and this particular nuance represented a large portion of her message.

Knowing that the messengers usually could not see the light of her word, she decided to spread her message the best way she herself could.

But he did not take no for an answer. His eyes shone at her like silver flickers of the sleepy lamp posts in the dark rainy mornings. He asked her questions. He wanted to know why she did not want to talk to him. He just could not disappear into the ground now even if he wanted to. He knew that it was the wind who brought her to the lake, the wind who was his best friend. He wanted her to trust him just the way she trusted the wind.

“Aren't you here because the wind felt to you like an invitation to a dream world” he asked, “because it felt like a mellow touch on your cheeks on this chilly evening, and like a peaceful whisper of rustling leaves in your ears?”

Amused, she reminisced of the wind's strumming the lake into a composite melody of ripples, waves and splashes so that through the seashells inside her ears its water rang bells of a river. As she mused about the wind, the joy inside her heart buoyed on her breath, and she saw sparkles come out of her nostrils and mouth. Rambunctious whirls readily lifted the glitter in the air and then dropped it playfully on the waives' bubbly crests.

While she was looking at the lake, its water poured into her eyes. “My eyes are like two lakes," she pondered. One can be drained so that the king's gold can be mined. The other can be used for the mine waste dumping.”

“Didn't you give in to the wind? Didn't you let yourself be carried on the wind's currents?” he startled her again, and as she turned toward the source of this persistent questioning, the water splashed back into the lake bed.

She did not answer his questions. Yet it was vital to her that he asked them. His stance gave her a pause. And the birds' wings' flutter in the wreath on his head made the moment all the more stunning.

He was fixed in place, waiting.

As they stood in silence, she could feel the colour of his intention. It matched hers. Their shared devotion to the same cause filled the space between them and they remained locked in the meditative silence for some time.

She, finally, spoke the word.

He ran with it.

In no time, the community was in commotion and alarms were tearing the air.


The king's decision to build the gold mine by destruction of the lake and its ecosystem was held off temporarily. During that time the heavy mountain fog sank low and settled over the lake, and people in the community could cut terror with their butter knives and spread it on their morning toasts – it was so thick in the air.

The messenger was expectantly perplexed. His work had bought some time for the environment yet he knew that the king's word would ultimately decide its fate.

One early afternoon, he caught up to her. They walked in step, but he whistled around pretending he did not know her. She used the password “Taseko" to focus his attention and open the door to his memory. “Oh yes,” he said, “but I don't see anything in the king's character that would stop him from approving the mine.”

She could see why he would say this.

The king kept the sun locked in the golden chains under the carpet in his bedroom while people lived in perpetual darkness.


It was not long after their unsettling encounter that the big, plumpy, yelloworange sun rose in the sky.

All the people in the community came out and carried the big, plumpy, yelloworange sun in their arms.

The next day, it was announced that the king had died of gold dust overdose.

All the most beautiful birds of the world came to dip their wings in the puffy clouds on the lake's glistening surface. Rainbow trout made saltos wrapping themselves in the shiny threads of the sun rays before diving into the crystal blue waters.

Ninety thousand of them.

Water, Fish and the Sun brought Prosperity to the Community and everyone rejoiced in this rich economic base ever after.