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Mon Aug 26, 2013, 03:12 PM

Shaved Fish [View all]

[1] Dusk

"Is that the falls?" my cousin asked, after bringing in the last of the rocks.

I had gathered 58 cobbles of white flint, and he had brought a load of white oak, for the day's ceremony. Usually, I build the platform for the rocks, and start the fire; my cousin is the door-keeper, and carries the rocks into the lodge. But today is an unusual day: he did the fire, while I showed an "under 30" apprentice some new things.

There are many people in the communities surrounding us who are suffering. A 15-year old girl had an argument with her mother, about the girl's new boyfriend. The girl decided to run away that night. Around 1 am, she was driving the boyfriend's car, and hit a family on their way home from an area Drive In. Both drivers were killed; four passengers are hospitalized. The boyfriend was thrown, and uninjured, from his car seconds before it exploded into flames.

People are hurt and angry. Many are blaming the mother of the girl. I think it is 15-year olds' jobs to do really stupid things; it is tragic when it costs lives. I have known the mother casually for over 30 years, and she does the best she is able. She works three part-time jobs, and has no type of insurance. She told me that she can't afford a funeral, then adds that there is only part of her daughter's skull left from the exploding car.

I have a casual connection to the family that lost a husband and father. They were a close-knit family, returning home after a fun night. Everything has changed for the rest of their lives, for those who survive.

These families live in two different towns; I live outside a third, that lies between them.

[2] Darkness

We entered the lodge to do the first round in the early evening. Other than the glow from the red-hot rocks, it is completely dark inside. The rocks make a crackling noise. We can smell the sage that the apprentice sprinkles on them. Then the sound of the water being poured on the rocks, and turning instantly to a very hot steam.

Outside, as the sun goes down, the song birds enjoy their last meal of the day. They have the prettiest songs. We can also hear the trout in the pond. I'm glad that my sons built this lodge near the pond, and that my daughters have created a system of bird-feeders here.

By the end of the third round, it is getting dark outside. My cousin brings in the stones for the last round. He comments on how quiet and still it is outside, as he brings some in. Finally, he is done, and closes the door flaps before finding his place to sit. It is then that he asks if that is the falls he hears? It is. But they are a quarter-mile away? They are, but sounds carry at night.

Chief Waterman used to tell me to listen closely to the voice of the creek. When Euro-Americans came here, the area was known by an Onondaga phrase that translates to: "the voice of the water sings."

[3] Dusk

Early the next morning, I go back out to the pond. Five weeks earlier, I had brought a painted turtle that I "rescued" from the highway out to the pond. She has remained there. When I bring out food for the fish, she comes over to the pond's edge, to eat her fill, too.

Turtles tend to look awkward and uncoordinated on land. She looks awkward and uncoordinated in the water, as well. I can relate to that.

After filling the bird-feeders, I sit quietly beside the pond for a few hours. Then it's time to leave the real world, and head back into civilization.

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H2O Man Aug 2013 OP
bigtree Aug 2013 #1
H2O Man Aug 2013 #14
cascadiance Aug 2013 #2
DiverDave Aug 2013 #10
H2O Man Aug 2013 #15
byronius Aug 2013 #3
H2O Man Aug 2013 #16
brer cat Aug 2013 #4
H2O Man Aug 2013 #20
cali Aug 2013 #5
H2O Man Aug 2013 #21
bvar22 Aug 2013 #6
H2O Man Aug 2013 #22
Autumn Aug 2013 #7
H2O Man Aug 2013 #23
panader0 Aug 2013 #8
H2O Man Aug 2013 #24
petronius Aug 2013 #9
Hekate Aug 2013 #11
H2O Man Aug 2013 #18
zeemike Aug 2013 #12
H2O Man Aug 2013 #25
HangOnKids Aug 2013 #13
H2O Man Aug 2013 #26
Zorra Aug 2013 #17
H2O Man Aug 2013 #27
hootinholler Aug 2013 #19
H2O Man Aug 2013 #28
DisgustipatedinCA Aug 2013 #29
H2O Man Aug 2013 #30