Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kitchen chat

I ran outside and jumped into my dad's arms.  "Miss me?"  I said.  "Like the river misses the sea."  He responded.  that was our little exchange that we shared.  Any time we were apart, it was a game between the two of us.  Each of us tried to be the first to say 'miss me?'  The other would always come back with 'like the river misses the sea.'  I don't know why we did it really but it was fun.  I liked it.

"We have to get home now Crill.  I want all your chores attended to and you washed and ready to eat by the time your mom has dinner ready."  He seemed distracted as he recited these things I knew already needed to be done.  "Do the marks in the sand have you troubled father?"  I asked as we neared our home.  There was no response.  "What did the others have to say about the boat tracks we found today?"  I said but louder this time.  "The others?  No, we have not told anyone yet.  I spent the afternoon in prayer to our Father and protector in heaven that He might show us what is to be done."  He said point blank as his distraction was broken now.  "So you believe the Guslar's stories then about how God created us, loves us, and looks out for us?"  I asked with some excitement.  "Yes of course I do son."  He said as we stopped just a few cubits from our door.  He continued.  "Our Father did create us as a people.  What is more He created me and you individually and loves us more then we know."  My father was now on one knee looking me square in the eye.  I could smell the garlic salts on his breath from the cured meat we had on the trail earlier.  "Know these things son.  Do not forget them.  Share them with your children in the days to come."  He looked now as though he wanted some sort of response from me.  "I will dad.  Should I share also of the devastating flood and how God destroyed all the living except Noah and his family?"  He stood up and looked to the sky and said, "I don't know about that.  We will have to talk later of these things.  Right now lets prepare for the evening meal."  "Yes father, see you at the table."  And I was off to do my chores.

The list of chores assigned to me was not too bad.  Besides looking after my small area in the boys' dorm, I was responsible for the general upkeep of the great room.  I was to return everything to its place and sweep the floor with a damp brush we had attached to the end of a long pole.  Our floors were made of stone and the number one enemy in our lives were bugs, all kinds of nasty little critters running around.  We had to keep stuff clean and keep those bugs out; best we could.

As I swept the floor I could hear my dad and mom talking in the kitchen.  "How was your day Kim?"  My mother's voice was so soft.  It was like placing your head on a pillow stuffed with goose feathers.  As you lay there your head would be resting on air, weightless.  That is how her voice made you feel; like all the weight of the world was lifted from you as her words poured over your mind.  "Like all days Peach, some good and some bad."  My dad called my mom Peach because he loved peaches.  That was his nickname for her.  Her name was Philia.  "What was the good part?"  She asked.  "Grip's idea worked like a charm.  The deer stayed clear of the crops."  He replied.  "Anything else good?"  "I enjoyed the time spent with Crill.  He kept up with us very well.  I think he will sleep well tonight."  My dad was right.  He only had to carry me a few times along the uneven rocky portions of the shore on the way back.  "Crill asked me about the Guslar's stories."  His tone was less confident at this remark.  "What did he want to know?"  I could hear her stop chopping and the clip-clap of her sandals along the kitchen floor.  Their voices became softer now and I was forced to clean the portion of the great room that was closer to the kitchen door in order to continue to hear their conversation without eavesdropping.  I was cleaning the great room after all.  I could not help if I overheard them.

Dad:  He wanted to know if the stories were true.
Mom:  What did you tell him?
Dad:  I told him that God loved us very much.  I told him that God created us individually and created everything we see.  I told him not to forget these things and to tell his children about our loving God in the heavens.
Mom:  How did he respond?
Dad:  He said that he would.
Mom:  Well that is wonderful.  It seems that the movement to believe in the mother-god earth has not infected his heart.  I pray every night that the same might be said for Billaad.  I shutter every time I think of the paintings of your sister's plastered all over the walls of her house.  I still don't understand why you don't insist that the three of them live here; sharing our long house instead of living with Baashard's family.
Dad:  Yet you know as well as I that Baashard and his two brothers, sons of Ashkenaz all, came with us at Ankara; as they did not wish to continue in the ways of their father.  You know also of the mutual devotion shared by my sister Luci and Baashard.  And I do not have to remind you of the Askuza treachery we faced on the Istranca Daglar; the cause of Baashard's death.  She stays with the brothers and their families because that is as close to Baashard as she can humanly come.  I do not insist she stay here because I refuse to exasperate her loss any futher.
Mom:  Should I remind you that she drifts further from God the FATHER every day?  What of our losing her?  Does this count for nothing?
Dad:  REMIND ME!  I remind you of your place.
Mom:  I am sorry my husband.  I only protest from the grief in my heart.  Does she cease day or night from making the drawings and paintings?  How long can you turn a blind eye as she skips along that darkened path?  Kimmeril, I love Geolucia as a sister.  She is in trouble.  She needs her big brother.

My dad turns now to my mom and reaches out to hold her and they embrace.  I can only see ths because of my coincidental vantage point near the front door some five cubits and at just the right angle from the kitchen door; I am finishing up with the great room, really.

Later at dinner we are joined as we are every evening by the other families that share our long house.  They are Calvis, of course, with his family and Engain with his family.  Not only is Calvis my dad's best friend but he is also his cousin.  Most of my dad's brothers and sisters (23 in all) live in my uncle Macedon's community located to the south and east of us.  We separated from them about a year ago and came up here.  Engain is my dad's nephew.  Calvis's wife's name is Palia and they have six kids.  I won't bore you with all of their names but Petrus, he is 12, he is the one you have to watch out for.  Lynadelosia is the wife of Engain.  I always have trouble pronouncing that one so I just call her aunt Lynda.  Although, I don't really think she is my aunt.  They have five kids, one of them is the same age as my younger brother.  Oh yea, I forgot to tell you about my baby brother Nikelus.  He was born here during the white season.  Babies don't go to the Guslar's song.  I also have three older brothers and two older sisters.  They all live here in the longhouse.  My older brothers (25, 22, 18) all have wives.  My older sisters (17, 15) share a room and look after the babies during times like the Guslar's song.  That is one big dinner party.

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