Broad purple ribbons highlighted in scarlet and gold drape themselves on the western horizon as the sun momentarily lingers on the edge of the earth, casting yellow-white beams across the curvature of the sky. Light blue fades into cerulean and cobalt to become indigo at the eastern rim where mountains are dusted with the red-gold patterns of nightfall. The first stirrings of animals that had retreated in the now fading heat of the day echoes throughout the canyon. A lone eagle swirls up above the layer of heat that still clings to the desert floor, floating in giant loops on the thermal updrafts. He sees the man on the granite ledge and floats in a curious circle around the unmoving figure.
As the man’s spirit returns to his statue-like body the concluding passage of the sun brings a final wave of heat through the canyon. A hushed audience of rabbits, quail and other desert dwellers watch in fascination as the seated human begins to move … first hesitantly and then with more speed and assurance. The layer of dried mud that enwraps his body starts to crack and crumble off his torso, arms and legs as he stretches one arm, another, then each leg. He stands and begins to brush away more of the mudpack revealing a body that is tall (over six and one half feet) muscular and evenly proportioned. He has multiple scars on his left thigh and one that starts above the knee and travels upward and around his leg almost to the hip, a trophy of his encounter with one of the pumas that hunt the canyon. The great cat had happened upon the unsuspecting man in his youth, when he was on a vision quest … his first journey to the great chasm where he became a warrior and then a man with great medicine, powers to heal, to nurture and enlighten, powers that were given to him from Kshe’mnIto, the Great Spirit.
He became know as Scarred Leg to the people of the desert but his medicine name is Nagos Bmose’ (Star-walker). His naming ceremony was executed by a holy man of the Hopi, an augurer who had foretold the arrival of an illumined era when a powerful leader would teach the way of peace and forgiveness to all the nations. Nagos Bmose’ would bring a child of destiny to the Sacred Place where the mystics dwell and help teach him the ways of the Great Mystery. The Good Red Road. Then, together they would prepare the way.
His spirit journey complete, the man assembles his few possessions and begins descending into the canyon to bathe in the river and then eat some of the corn cakes and pemmican he has carried in his bundle. Tonight he will sleep on a sand floor in a cave at river’s edge and then, tomorrow, begin the journey north and east.
(Sun Shines in Eagle)
It has been a three year long journey crossing the lands of the arid southwest, over a mountain range and ever easterly through the midsection of the continent, finally following a great dividing river north into the forested woodlands where he knows the child dwells. There have been pacts and friendships established with pueblo dwellers, migratory peoples of the great plains and remnants of the former culture that had established a high civilization in the valleys along the rivers contributing to the central tributary that he now parallels. His “medicine”, a knowledge of herbs, plants and mineral potions has earned him allies throughout the odyssey and a mythology about him takes root around the various tribal fires at night encompassing a two thousand mile span. He is recognized as a healer and peacemaker, a solitary representative of the Great Mystery. The traveler who brings light with him wherever he goes.
Over the three years since the child was shown to him in the initial vision he has seen the boy grow in stature and strength during his spirit-walks and vision-quests. Now the time is near when Nagos Bmose’ must meet the child and begin his tutelage. As he nears the region where the nIshnabe'k’ are gathered after having left their winter enclaves, he begins to recognize a growing dread that he comes to identify as something not his own but an anticipation in the heart of the child’s mother.
On random occasions after he has bedded down for the night during his pilgrimage he journeys in his sleep to a place that he somehow comprehends to be on the other side of the world. Whenever he arrives there in his dreams he is greeted by men who have shaved heads and wear robes the color of saffron. Their chanting causes his spirit body to resonate with a soul deep vibration and he understands that he has lived in this place many times. It was here that he first was called to take the journey that he is now on in this life.
She is called Nish Me’skwak Pne’shiyuk, Two Red Birds, a name that came to her in a vision when she discovered she was with child and at the same time had lost her husband to a disastrous hunting expedition that had ended in the deaths of three of the strongest young men in the tribe. A time of grief and mourning for all of the people in her clan. Yet within it the promise of the arrival of a child, a new life. In her dream/vision the sky is a stunning shade of azure, as clear as the great waters of the lake from which all life issues. She sees herself in a field of wildflowers that stretches from the edge of the lake behind her, flowing across the plains to abut a range of snowy peaks on the western horizon. Father Sun is blazing overhead and the Cloud People are assembling in the north, floating gently, singing to her while engaged in a sensual aerial ballet. A steady breeze is pushing her hair back away from her face, invigorating and stimulating her entire body. She is feeling more alive than she could ever remember having felt in her seventeen years of life.
A zephyr slightly flutters her buckskin dress. Smells of blooming flowers and sweetgrass, clover and sage, float around her, through her, a mixture of natural perfumes that clear her mind, quicken her spirit. She reaches out to run her finger across the velvety lip of a flower that reaches almost to her waist. It unfolds and reveals the face of her mother in the pollen dusted trumpet. Slowly, as she places her attention on other individual blossoms, they reveal themselves to be members of her family, her clan, her tribe.
Aware of the fact that she is in a dream, she allows her persona to separate itself from her body and watches herself from above the field she is standing in. Her mother as well as her grandmother has had this dream … and now she has become a part of the legacy. Each time the women of her ancestry entered this altered reality they were given a name by a figure that was referred to as Golden Man, the Son of Light. A name that would define their unique song in life. Now she was to receive her gift from heaven, her song from the Sacred One.
Drawn back into her body she watches as a radiant corona is formed around the sun at mid-haven. It begins to flow down from the heavens taking the form of a tall, glowing white skinned man with eyes as brilliantly blue as the sky and with hair that is made of strands of golden sunlight. He presents a pair of bright cardinals to her, iridescent red. Without opening his mouth he speaks inside her … a gentle voice that resonates peace throughout her entire being.
“You are known to us as Nish Me’skwak Pne’shiyuk, our beloved. This is the last time we will come to the women of your clan.” he holds up a single, golden, eagle feather that dances with sparks of energy, emitting a rainbow of colors, a prism of light. “The prophecy will be fulfilled with the birth of your child. You will call him Petaske’Kno (Sun Shines in Eagle) and he will be the one who will prepare your people, as well as all the other nations, to make the journey home. He will be one of the ones who brings peace.”
When she reached out to accept the gift a gentle heat filled her mind, scenes of generations past and yet to come flooded her thoughts. She momentarily experienced all of the history of mankind encapsulated in a millisecond. And inside the great joy that overcomes her she also realizes her time with her firstborn will be brief. He will be taken from her to fulfill a destiny that she knows is greater than her own personal sorrow over the parting of mother and child.