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The Bird Tribes
I remember the day when I walked across the open prairie with my head held high and my feathers blowing in the wind. The soldiers saw only my silhouette against the sky. I walked slowly toward them, arms extended from my side, palms facing them in a gesture of peace. I watched the waves of love emanate forth from my hands, as powerful as the love I expressed before and after Golgotha.
The soldiers shot me dead.
I knew they would.
But their children have been brought up on my teachings, have loved my spirit and have understood enough of my creative principles to sail to the moon. Could I have taught them in another way, when their bullets flew and my feathers blew in the breeze that day? Could I have spoken more plainly than through the example of my deeds?
I have died a million deaths and lived as many lives to teach the warrior tribes what they would not learn in any other way. In the end, I am the victor, because the warrior tribes are changing, fundamentally, while I am rising again and again, leading them and their kind ever onward toward their destiny among the midnight stars.
I live everywhere, all over the earth. I have memories to draw upon wherever there were gentle people through whose lives I knew the land. If I try, I can remember their place names, their faces, the streets of their villages, their dances around autumn fires when the forest floor smelled of dry leaves and moonlight filtered shadows through the naked trees. But other things, I do not have to try to remember, because thosethings I can never forget. I am those things.
I am often the mountain lakes, because these were the last places my people lived before they flew, before they left their human forms and took to the airs of spirit or realms of nature to wait for cycles and changing seasons to bring their time to the world again.
I could show you where five hundred people lived on the shores of one such lake. Yet you might glimpse a human only occasionally. As you might see an otter, beaver or raccoon, so blended were their ways and so in harmony with earth and sun their living. But the time of which I speak was long before the recent European migrations, long even before civilizational influence touched Olmec or Mayan heart.
Our cultures were pacific then in this undiscovered world between troubled Asians and warring European tribes. Your records speak little of the Americas, because until recently our cultures here did not create history. Our ways were simple. Our troubles until about twenty-five hundred years ago were few.
Only a few of our consciousness have dressed in human form these twenty-five centuries now past. Yet when we did, you could not distinguish us from the others. We did not fight. When I put on my headdress and rode my horse across the prairies, I was teaching. I was not fighting. I taught with feather-shafted arrows and landscapes that cradled the sunlight in a thousand sacred meanings. I drew the cavalry to the prettiest valleys to drink from the streams most likely to give them the truth, so that their children would grow up in the hills near those streams and eat the corn and summer squash that would teach them the wisdom their tribe had forgotten.
So I do not mind the time my hands were spread to the side, the soldiers fired and a body died. Lying there beneath the open sky, with the high prairie grass waving around me as they rode off in dust and disarray, I drew those bullets into something deeper than a body of soil and stream. I drew them into my soul. And my spirit flew to their source. I understood then what kind of factories made those bullets. What kind of women and children worked in those factories. I understood how they felt about their families as they were pouring the lead. How they regarded their land. What they thought of their fathers. Their mothers. Their grandmothers. And tumbling and billowing, rolling with them in their jumbled tribal consciousness like the towering thunderheads that massed over the prairie, I, too, dreamed their dreams, found in them what was true, and made it my own.
By digesting their metal words, I learned further of the teachings that would speak to the warrior heart. I taught them of electronics, of radio waves whispering wonders on the wind, of metal wings and material things that would lead them down the slow but certain path to wisdom. Again, as time after time before, I strengthened the educational influence that I have been weaving in, around and among their societies, while I drew them gently, ever onward, to their destiny.
You thought that you could shoot the dwellers of the prairies and forests and they would somehow disappear like a troublesome dream. You did not realize that they are my own, just as you are, that they would reappear in your children and in your children's children and, as your own people, live again. For like you, the native Americans of recent centuries have also been of warrior descent, with lessons to learn not unlike your own.
But this was not always so.
Once, we expressed through an American people whose societies saw our creations flower and flow like living brush strokes across the river valleys, lakes and forested mountains of two continents.
Listen and I will tell you of my kind, of the few who have remained to teach and guide you throughout your twilight age. I will tell you of our patient work as century by century, we brought the fearful ones closer and closer to the time of their deliverance and the time of the earth's salvation.
Return of the Bird Tribes. Copyright © by Ken Carey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.