The story continues with the characters in the village of Onu: Great Aunt Nilli, Aikanah, Akimitsu, Ima, Xela, Azafum and the Onu People. This story is about finding truth and expressing it. Letting it flow with the innocence and fluidity of childhood.
The time is about 9 years after the character, Aikanah was welcomed back to the Onu village after being found injured in the forest. He was shunned and ostracized for sharing his dreams and encouraging other to do the same. So this is 9 years later and Aikanah is about 20 years old.
“Go now! Your dreams mean nothing to us!” shout the the council for the Onu People. Aikanah takes back his book of dreams and slams it shut. Aikanah shouts in a booming voice, “Oh! It is your fear that has stopped the rain! You will realize it only when it is too late!” The room is almost empty except for a few benches and sturdy tables which seem a thousand years old. The windows are closed with the sun shining through them, as it has for many, many days. It is hot and stuffy in the room.
Aikanah storms out, shutting the door behind him. He has grown strong over the past few years and sometimes forgets his strength. Outside, the wind picks up the dry earth and swirls it around in a funnel. Miserable and dry. It stings Aikanah’s face. He’s feeling frustrated and angry. For years the people paid attention to their dreams but lately, with the drought, their fear has taken control of them again. People, animals and crops are thirsty. The well in the village is almost dry.
Aikanah sees Xela, the teacher, at the dry well. “Xela my man! You KNOW what to do!” Xela shakes his head and knows Aikanah is referring to the dry well and lack of rain, “Aikanah, I am listening but it means nothing if the people do not. I am feeling lost.” He coughs and turns away in sadness. Xela mumbles something about only the children in his morning classes seem to have any hope.
Frustrated by the cycle of stubborn doubt and blindness, Aikanah walks on. Flipping his hood up to protect himself from the stinging of the dirt hitting his face. He walks at a brisk pace but slows when he notices the wilted gardens, the children fiddling with toys in the dirt. They look bored. He remembers being much more energetic as a young child. He shakes his head and says to himself, “What must happen? Do we need to open the gates of memories? If we let that happen, then what?”
Just outside of the Onu village, Great Aunt Nilli is tending to a giant oak tree. The tree is thousands of years old and has survived countless storms and abuses of all kinds. The layers of scars adding character to the twists and turns of the branches. Today Nilli is looking at something at the base of the tree. Something she’s never seen before, in all her years on earth. There seems to be light coming from the tree at the base near the roots. She looks more closely, picking up a few small stones. She notices the stones are what seem to be lighting up when the sun hits them. She thinks to herself, “hmm, this is interesting” She places them in one of her many pockets. “I must take these stones to Xela, his students will love the stones. Perhaps playing with them will cheer them up.”
Aunt Nilli waddles over to Xela, who is now standing near a group of younger children. Xela thanks Nilli and shows them to the children. They stand up. “Ooh! Look! Are there more? Can we play with them?” Aunt Nilli says, “Oh yes! there are many more, all at the base of the old oak tree.” She turns to teacher Xela, “Is it ok if they play with them?” In her wise ways, she has intended for just this response, hoping the children would want to play near the tree. Knowing that plants respond positively to the joy of children and the sounds of laughter.
The children run to the old oak tree, forgetting their hunger and thirst. Xela reminds them to take care and that he will stop by in a little while to see what kind of games they come up with or other creations. The children play with the stones. Stacking them, building small structures and playing games. It seems like hours have gone by, time slowing down for the joy.
Xela and Aunt Nilli kneel down to look at what the children have created. Enjoying every little detail.
Suddenly, the wind starts to howl and dark clouds appear in the sky.
The children look up.
And what they see makes them smile.
to be continued . . .
——— Allowing and paying attention to the truth can bring about playfulness and release of stress in our lives. Once we release stress and learn to play again, the truth flows like water and we are once again nurtured like the rain falling gently on the earth.
Laugh. Build. Create. Share. Sing. Dance. Amazing things happen. There is power and balance with all the other elements. The tree of life reminds us once again to connect with one another, for the truth is simple.
Thank you for reading the story.