asherah, fae of the kaitka, called up to her winged friend kraka.
she was looking for advice.
kraka scooped her up in his wings and hoisted her onto his back.
together they swooped down the hills in the falling dark,
watching the deer browsing for food in the dusk,
in the lamplight of the kaitka settlement.
“what is your question, fae asherah?” croaked kraka.
“i want to discover why it is so hard to find where i belong,” she replied.
“this is a question for someone wiser than i”, kraka responded,
“let us go to the land of rains, and ask raaf”.
so they flew deep into the rainforest, and when they found raaf,
they asked her asherah’s question.
raaf flapped her enormous raven wings and thought for a moment,
and then replied:
“we are each destined to follow three streams:
the first is the stream of the place we belong, where we are meant to be.
the second is the stream of the creatures we love, who we are meant to be with.
the third is the stream of the work that has meaning for us,
what we are meant to do and to be.
the challenge is that these streams may be far apart,
and as the world grows larger and more crowded and more complex,
these streams get faster and wilder and farther apart still.
it’s possible that all three streams may begin at the same source,
in which case you have to follow them upstream.
it’s possible that all three streams may end at the same sea,
in which case you have to follow them downstream.
and it’s possible that the three streams may flow into each other,
in which case you will have to discover how they are connected.
all i can tell you is that for each of us, there is a confluence,
and to answer your question, that is what you must find.”
asherah seemed puzzled: this seemed more a riddle than an answer.
but they thanked raaf with deep bows, and flew off
to look for the confluence of the streams.
for several days kraka and asherah flew over the countryside
studying the streams.
they found streams that looked like lovely places to live,
but there were no other creatures there.
they found streams that were full of wonderful creatures,
but they were troubled places, where it would be struggle to live,
or crowded places, where asherah could not do what she wanted to do.
they found some places so beautiful it took their breath away,
mountains where it seemed the whole world revolved below you,
forests so rich and dark they drew you in as if welcoming you, at last, home,
and places where the winter snow was melting into spring,
where the world was filled with promise and renewal.
but they could find no confluence of the three streams raff spoke about,
and each night they agreed to try again the next day, and slept in the trees,
asherah nestled in the down of kraka’s wings,
crying herself softly to sleep.
finally asherah said, in despair,
“perhaps we’re flying too high, or we’re looking for the wrong thing;
i’m no longer sure i would recognize the confluence if i saw it.”
and kraka suggested they gather together a group of friends
to get some advice on what to do next.
soon they were talking with kraka’s avian friends sperling the sparrow
and mésange the chickadee.
“i find that when i have to make a decision, it’s best to lay out all the facts,
and set priorities for what i want most.
so, asherah, can you give us a list, in order, of what you look for in a place,
and what you look for in the creatures you love,
and what are the things that are important for you to do, to be fulfilled?”
asherah thought for awhile and then made these three lists:
|WHAT: important to do:
1. reflecting/imagining possibilities
6. sensing/being present
8. coaching and showing
10. building working models
|WHERE: important to be in
places that are:
4. forests near oceans
|WHO: important to be with
creatures who are:
1. very intelligent
3. emotionally strong
and then mésange asked:
“which of these three columns is the most important to you?”
and asherah said the first was most important
and the other two were equally important but less important than the first.
and sperling asked:
“where must you be, and with whom, to do the things on the first list?”
and asherah said that she could do and did do these things anywhere.
“so this stream is everywhere for you, it underlies all streams,
so you do not need to look for it,
and you can focus on looking for the other two streams.”
asherah smiled and nodded.
kraka then asked:
“of the other two lists, which is easiest for you to find?”
and asherah answered that they were both very difficult,
and impossible to find together: there was, it seemed,
no confluence between the two.
“well then”, said kraka, “it seems you have a difficult decision:
you can live in a place that meets the criteria in your second list,
and visit the creatures who meet the criteria in your third list, when you can.
or you can live with the creatures who meet the criteria in your third list,
and visit the places that meet the criteria in your second list, when you can.”
asherah sighed. “well today, kaitka, the place i live, meets neither,
so i guess either decision is better than the place i live now.
but it would be so hard, leaving the places i love or the creatures i love,
to go to the other.
but i guess you’re right: i have to choose.”
and then mésange asked:
“perhaps the confluence has yet to be discovered:
imagine a place that meets the criteria in your second list,
and think how likely it is you might discover creatures there
who meet the criteria in your third list.
and then imagine the creatures who meet the criteria in your third list,
and imagine attracting them to a place
that meets the criteria in your second list.
which do you think would be more likely?
perhaps that could help you make this difficult decision.”
asherah smiled and thanked her feathered friends, and soon
kraka had flown her home, leaving her
in a forest near the lonely house in which she lived.
she pulled the covers up over her on the bed,
and imagined she was still sleeping in the downy feathers
of her friend kraka, and she dreamed
of playing and splashing in the water in a warm forest
with all the creatures she loved and would come to love.
in her dream she changed places with her friend kraka:
she had traded in her tiny fae wings for his strong feathered ones,
and it was she who transported and sheltered him.
she wished she had been born a bird:
so much easier to soar from the places you belong
to the places the creatures you love call their home.
and when she awoke she added an eleventh item
to her first list, the things important for her to do:
it was to explore and discover the places she was meant to be,
and the creatures she was meant to be with,
and beside it, she put a star and an arrow to the top of the list.
then she packed up her few important possessions
and left a message giving away everything else
and flew off to visit the beautiful places she had found with kraka,
and to explore and discover the world beyond.
faerie asherah: enyaathe by enayla (linda bergkvist)
kraka the crow: stock photo by inkibus (alana schmitt)
snow and green and brown grass by smi (paul schmidinger)