Like a perennial flower each spring I get a blast from the past. The sun returning in its strength, my body prepares for the death of the year when the sun travels further away in the fall. Like the trees grow strong then later wither, so does my physical body. With the return of the sun and the building light energy, I get a visit from a past life. Of them all, each has a poignancy to the challenges to come for this year’s events. This year I went back to my time of Northern Africa and a time of many wars between neighbors and a sickness that took from all sides enough souls to devastate whole societies.
I was young in the village when I joined the hunting parties. Our people were going through a tough season. We had not seen rain in a while. Our crops were failing and we had to search for clean water sources, as well as increase the amount we had to hunt to feed the tribe. with water and food in high demand, many battles with other tribes over hunting grounds increased. I was hunting with one of the other men in the tribe. We were lucky and found a source of water but it was also found by another group. We got pinned behind a rock trying to avoid spears and rocks being thrown at us. The man I was hunting with became panicked and scared. He was shouting for them to stop. We would leave in peace. The other men would not stop and were vicious with their attacks. Being only about 12 years of age at the time, I was smaller than this other man who was maybe 18-20 he caved to his fear and grabbed me and threw me to the ground beside the rock and ran scared off to an area in some tall grass. As I tried to get back to my feet I was taken by the other hunters. They beat me furiously and yelling in their language that it was their spot and death would come to any who came upon it.
I was kicked and slapped senseless. I felt a sharp pain in my belly. I had been pierced by a spear and my stomach cut open. My insides falling to the ground. Then with a hatred and ferocity the biggest of the other hunters smashed my head with a large rock. I was killed and then placed on the rock we were hiding behind as a warning to any who came upon the area.
This memory teaches me that not always are we safe even with our own people. Fear and desperation are powerful motivators. In an instant people you know can use you to advance their own selfishness. Instead of being too scared to stand together to face our attackers or finding safety together, overcome your fears. Even if you fall, fall helping your people. Be more than yourself. Keep your eyes open for dangers out in the world, but don’t forget to watch for the poisonous snake in your own garden.
Support your neighbors, and remember that tides raise all ships equally.