Today I am giving you a gift. It is the kind of gift that is very personal. Today I want to give you the beginning of a story I have written. I don't have it published for lack of illustrations. So please, gather together and somebody read this aloud for everyone to hear. Close your eyes and imagine the scene. Maybe even pull out some paper and crayons or pencils and draw what you imagine to tell the story in pictures. Maybe you could illustrate this story!
How Dance Began (part 1)
On one side of the world, high up in the mountains where the air is thin and the birds fly among the peaks, people lived in the cliffs. They lived life as a pattern is woven into a basket: Daytime they would come out of their cliff homes and do their work. Building up their dwellings, tending their maize crops, checking their aqueducts; nighttime they were gathered inside around fire. Gathering roots and vegetation for meals, hunting wild turkey and rabbits, and visiting with each other took up most of the day. While working, they would discuss matching the younger folk into families, repairs that were needed, and ponder the realm of the universe and the gods that must be in charge.
When Sun shone an orange finger across the canyon walls, the people would hurry back to their cliff homes, invite Sun inside with tinder and spark, and huddle near her warmth, feeding her sticks all night long. Dark was in charge of nighttime, with his sidekick, Cold.
Now, it so happened that there were two among the people who were great friends, though they lived a distance apart among the cliffs. On the occasions that they would meet during the day, their work would suffer and they would gather little of what they needed to get through the night.
They liked to explore their canyon world and watch the various animals performing their daily survival routines. They liked to dream together about living much closer up in the cliffs. And they really liked to play, making up games with all the richness Earth Mother provided around them.
One fateful evening, as these two lingered too long in the valley, Sun warned them of their folly, dragging her long, orange finger across their shoulders as she stretched over the mountain peaks on her way to the other side of the world.
Jannine Clark-Barry (c) 2017
I hope you enjoyed the start of that story. I will share the rest another day. Cheers!