You have been standing at the window for what must be hours. Your mind can't grasp exactly why, but something "out there" is calling to you. You stand silently watching, waiting, for what or whom, you have no idea. Mesmerized by the flurries of snow that float upon the cold evening breeze, you feel a slight shiver traverse up your spine and your curious mind wonders why, for it is warm and cozy in the cabin in which you stand.
Built long ago, in the days when the wasichu were trying to wrest this land from your ancestors, the cabin is partially buried, deep within the mountain and faces a small and secluded lake. Solid and secure, the cabin sits there in the darkness and watches silently as time marches by. It lies shrouded in a veil of trees that obscures it from sight of the lake, yet here and there offers glimpses of water glimmering through the forest.
The snow blankets the ground and covers the limbs of the silent trees. Tiny and nearly invisible trails left by rabbits and other small animals of the forest snake through the trees and lead off across the open spaces carpeted in snow. Red birds sing from the trees and fly to the ground to pick at tiny bits of seed that you scattered out for them earlier. Quail call out with their haunting cry and you smile inwardly, knowing they too, are making their way here to partake of the feast you provided.
You are nearly hypnotized by the vast array of multi-colored birds that dot the pure white snow. You watch in awe, offering up silent thanks to the great spirit and feel blessed by the manitou. A raven alights on a tree limb to watch the activity and it casts sideways glances in your direction every few seconds. You can't help but wonder, just whom the silent raven watches, you or the birds feeding in a frenzy just below.
Lost in time, you immerse yourself in the moment and become one with all around you. Out in the snow, every head lifts in unison. You can see the birds listening to something and feel their rapt attention as they seem to freeze into small statues in the snow. The raven, also turns its head to watch and listen. One by one, the birds resume their meal, but keep a wary eye attuned to the direction of whatever it was that startled them. You step to the door and slowly swing it open, hoping to hear what it is that captures the attention of the feeding birds. You step out onto the porch, but hear nothing and then from somewhere in the distance you hear it.
The haunting howl of a lone wolf affects the mind in more ways than one can convey. It's cry floats upon the wind, held aloft by some magical tie to the earth mother. Far off through the trees, you see a buck deer lift it's head warily and sniff the air in the direction from which the howl echoed. The chill of the night air invades you and a shiver runs from your toes to the top of your head. Or was it from the chill at all?
Moving down the steps, you walk silently towards the tree line, hearing nothing but the crunch of snow beneath your feet. Crunch, crunch, crunch and then you stop. He is standing right in front of you. Your feet are not the only thing that stops, as you see the huge wolf staring at you through eyes like burning embers, your heart stops, as well.
His head tilts to the side, in the classical pose of an animal trying figure out something that confuses it. His nose flares as he sniffs the air and takes your scent deep within and processes the unfamiliar smell in his brain. His eyes bore into your very soul, they aren't at all what you expected to see on a wolf. Not the soft yellow orbs you thought to find, each eye smolders like coals from the pit of a fire. Dark black holes into it's soul, that is the first thing that comes to your mind. Odd, though. As startled as you are, as much as your heart, that at first skipped a few beats, is now racing. You feel completely safe and for some reason, trusting.
Then, much to your dismay, he turns slowly and his paws pad away through the snow and through the trees. Right before he disappears into the forest, he turns to look at you, then turn to look into the trees and then back to you. You sense it, somehow you just know, he is asking you to follow him. He wants to show you something. "Ok, ok," you say in a quiet voice, not so much to him, as to yourself. Then your feet continue their musical crunching through the snow, following this beast as he guides you into the unknown.
The tree limbs he glides silently under, slap at you and form a barrier that makes you practically claw your way through the foliage. You can't help but feel envy, as he slinks through the trees, completely at one with all that surrounds him. A faint glow through the trees ignites an interest in your mind and you curiously wonder, just where this strange fellow is leading you. He turns, now and then, to peer at you and make sure you are still following, then he continues on his way.
As you get closer, you see the flickering shadows of a fire illuminating the night. A roaring fire welcomes you in from the cold night air, the wolf trots to the other side of the fire to allow you closer, in order to warm the chill from your bones. Standing by the fire, you warm your hands and watch the wolf with caution. He begins circling, you recoil with shock at first, thinking he is circling you, but realize he is making a ring around the fire.
As he trots around the fire, you can't help but notice a rhythm to his movements, it is almost as if he is dancing. Then in total shock and confusion, you see him start to rise. He is leaping on his two hind legs, only occasionally returning to his front paws. Somehow, through some sort of magic or god KNOWS what, you feel the beat of a drum reverberating within you. You can hear the thump, thump, thump bouncing off of your body and you watch in amazement as the wolf sways to the beat. Totally on his hind legs now, he whirls in a dizzying fashion and a soft howl comes from his chest, then builds to a roar.
His whirling continues and in the flurry of movement, you begin to think of him as a man. Then with total dismay, you realize that at time he looks human, in his unknown dance of the fire. Not knowing what the fates have in store for you, having no clue what perverse trick that nature is pulling on you, you can only stand in awe and become lost in the magic of the moment.
Then with total clarity, your bewildered mind comes to a startling conclusion. The beast is turning into a man. Now you see him, dancing in his spiraling salute to the night. A young warrior, from what tribe you aren't sure. Clad in loincloth, and wrapped in a wolf's fur, he stops his dance to look at you.
Time stands completely still. There is no sound, no smell, nothing. There is only him. War paint decorates his face, he has an eagle feather intertwined into his hair. The wolf fur is thrown over his shoulders like a cape, the face resting upon the top of his head like a hat. The eagle feather dangles from the right side of his face, along with the long strands of his raven black hair. His chest heaving, he walks closer to you and you notice that the eyes haven't changed at all, they still smolder with the same intense clarity as before.
There is no sound, no movement, all around you seems to have come to an abrupt halt. He doesn't speak, he makes not a single move, he just stands with his eyes boring into the deepest recesses of your soul. Then with a movement so subtle it could be thought of as a twitch, his left foot lifts and slowly falls back to the ground. As his foot comes back to the ground, it makes a faint thud. Again his foot rises and falls, this time a bit firmer, then with a building tempo, his foot thuds to the ground. The earth and his foot become drum and drummer. Thump, thump, thump, his foot makes a beat that resounds in your chest.
Then with the rhythm established by his foot, his body begins to sway to and fro, still keeping with the phantom drum. The beat of the drum now comes from within you and you know it is reverberating in his body, too. A slow smile spreads over his face, almost dreamlike, and he spirals away from you to once again circle the fire. His feet stamping the earth, the glow of the fire shimmering and reflecting on his sweat covered skin.
Watching him, you have to force yourself time and again to stop your own feet from moving. It is as if you are being pulled by some unseen force, into the dance. His movements are so enchanting, you feel at times as if you yourself, are dancing around the flickering flames. Then, as he is dancing near you, he turns and leaps to land right in front of you. His eyes command you to dance with him and you know there is nothing short of a miracle that could possibly keep you from it. His hands grasp your shoulders and when he touches you, the heat of the flames seems to burn its way into your body. It must be the flames, you feel something ignite in your tummy and a slow burn spread throughout you.
His body begins to sway and his eyes tell you to follow. Your body mimics his and soon the two of you are lost in a flurry of movement, circling and prancing around the fire. You feel as if you aren't even touching the ground. This dance, this night, is a union of souls and the birthing of something beyond description.
A euphoria spreads through your body, mind and soul. A calm overcomes you and all in the world seems right and good. Everything that has for so long tormented you and wracked your mind in anguish, slips away from you like a mantle being shed and you feel a peculiar lightness come over you. A sigh of contentment traverses your inner core.
Then you hear it. It creeps into your mind, not so much into your ears. It is a voice, of sorts. So soft and subtle it seems musical to you. "I do not speak your language, little one, so I speak to your soul through my own." Now you find your mind racing, grasping for an explanation and again he speaks. "Fear not, little dove. The mind knows to listen not only to the voice, but also to the soul. There is no language for the soul, we all speak the same, hear the same and feel the same, if we open ourselves to it."
Standing still, looking into his eyes in amazement, you realize you knew all along that souls could communicate, but that your educated mind had simply refused to listen. Now you eagerly let down the barrier between you and open your mind and soul to him.
He twirls the feather in his hair and reaches to tie one into yours. As he does, his fingers caress your face and it feels as if your were struck by lightening. Electricity shoots through you and for a moment all is lost in time. When your senses come to you, he is no longer in front of you. There is nothing there except a large hawk sitting on the ground looking at you. "Do not fear, only accept" his voice echoes within you. You look across at the hawk and see every detail, feathers and details of the hawk stand out so clearly it startles you. The oddity of the moment is profound and shocks you into numbness.
Then you look down and see the ground is very close to you and an uneasy feeling settles into your mind. "No fear, my friend. Accept the gift I offer and trust the voice within your soul." Then in total amazement, the idea comes to you and you look down at yourself. Talons have replaced feet and feathers cover you. "Allow yourself to be seen through my eyes, little one, open your mind to me," his soft voice rumbles in your mind. Now you see yourself, a beautiful red tailed hawk, sitting gracefully on the ground and you know that you are indeed, seeing what he sees through his own eyes.
"Come," he says and spreads his wings, thrusting them downward and lifting himself in flight. He flaps his way higher and higher and then you follow. Having no idea how you KNEW exactly how to fly, for some reason it seems second nature to you. Higher and higher, the two of you climb high above the trees and soar on winds that carry you higher. Far below, the sounds, stresses and familiarity of earth slips away and you feel reborn and anew.
As the world so far below you, slowly slips away, you feel a euphoria beyond anything you ever imagined. Catching the wind currents, you no longer even flap your wings. You watch your new found friend and follow his lead, riding upon unseen wind currents that carry you along. Soaring with ease, you feel the carefree sensation of the breeze as it caresses your face. You slip into some sort of trance and forget time and reality, allowing yourself to become absorbed in the moment. There is nothing, other than this moment. Life has come to a standstill and time has stopped.
You hear your friend's cry floating upon the wind and an answer emits from your soul. He changes his course, this new found friend of yours and begins a dizzying dive toward the earth. You follow, feeling an exhilaration that overwhelms any conscience thought. Wings swept back, you plummet towards mother earth. Wind roars through your ears. The speed with which you are rocketing towards the ground takes your breath away. Trees blur by in your peripheral vision, but the hawk in front of you continues his graceful dive and you follow. When he is mere feet from the ground, he spreads his wings and with a mighty thrust of his wings catches a current of wind that once again carries you both aloft as you follow suit.
Climbing to heights where the air is thin and screeching towards the earth, you play and frolic with delight, feeling the weight of the world slip away. A strong urge to flee from reality forever overcomes you. You can imagine living this life forever, no pressures or worries, only freedom and flight.
His voice one again invades your thoughts, "come with me little one, our dance on the wind is over" and he slowly spirals down to the earth and alight beside the still roaring fire. Instantly, he is again a man. He walks to you and speaks in an unknown tongue and miraculously you are once again standing on two feet as a woman. The whole experience makes you reel. Unsure of reality, of when and where you are, your mind feels feeble and unable to cope with the gifts it has been given.
He extends his hand to you and takes you by the arm. He gently leads you to a pile of furs beside the fire and bids you to lie down. As you feel the soft and comforting fur enshroud you, you calm and feel a sense of peace overtake you. Your new friend resumes his dance, a soft chant comes from his throat and he sways to the music of the unseen drum.
After a few minutes, he collapses beside you. His dark eyes burn into you and he lies beside you, not speaking, but somehow you feel he is looking onto your soul. A slow smile spreads across his face and he gingerly places his hand on your chest. Not in a groping manner, he simply lays his hand, palm down, between your breasts. You can feel the throb of your heart as it quickens. There is an odd feeling in your chest, it is as if you feel an echo from his hand. He seems to be absorbing your heartbeat, taking it into his own body and soul. Your heartbeat, like some sort of electrical charge, arcs from your chest and leaps into his hand. Lying still, you start to feel a different beat and realize he is sending you the beating of his own heart, using his hand like some magical transmitter and receiver.
The throb of uniting hearts is in its own way, some magical dance. A union of souls and kindred spirits. Mesmerized by the moment, you smile a sleepy smile that gives away how the experiences of the day have drained you and he nods in a knowing way. He slides his arm under your head and cradles you in his powerful embrace. His breathing slows and total silence overtakes the night. Sleep comes to you in a welcome wave and you slip into a land of dreams that can't possibly be matched by the journey you have taken this day.
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