Karin Mitchell's books on Goodreads
Between Families Between Families
reviews: 5
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.75)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The River Currant: A Fable, Part VI, The End

Their sentiments traveled far away to the girl and her babies who grew still more. The girl brought her mother to the riverbed to see the illustration and to ask to hear the story again. The mother finally woke from her catatonic state. She held her daughter’s head in her lap and caressed her face as she told her the story again and again and again. The babies were growing so fast now, it wouldn’t be long before they would have to find their way out. But could they be born into a world without light?

The girl and her mother slept in the company of the riverbed for a long time, until finally the animals roused them. The menagerie grew too impatient from the excitement of the infants’ growth. Finally the animals gave the girl their last item, the one seemingly with the least value: the piece of gold.

Both women were shocked to see this scrap from their past. It had become so familiar over the years, they recognized it immediately. The gold planted in the girl by the sun recognized its inherent value as well and it began to shine. It was a gift they’d given the father one year. The father had never worn a watch but recognized the care they’d put into picking it out for him, and as it was a thing to be worn, he wore it. It reminded him of them for a long time. Until he thought too much of only himself and then it reminded him of the time.

The girl’s most childish instinct was to take it to her father with glee at having found it. The daddy she used to know, would have been thrilled by such a treasure. But then reality set in and she doubted herself. She and her mother discussed it and decided to wait a bit before showing it to the father.

Meanwhile the tribes people decorated and prepared. They celebrated their community and felt their own connectedness to the infants that would come. They felt the green of the trees in their grins and tasted the fruit of the vines when they kissed.

When the time felt right, the girl’s mother went to her father and told him there was something going on by the river. The girl waited by the river with the watch and stared at its luster feeling the love she had folded into it when she gave it to him. She had no idea how long she sat in that moment, but looked up with the piece in her hand instinctively offering it to her father as he arrived. The light from the gold watch piece was too luminous with love to be held in that small piece and as he saw it, burst into light fragments which flew everywhere. They flew to the sky as stars and to the air around them as fireflies. And in each sparkle, he saw his babygirl’s eyes loving him, his wife giving birth to her. And in tandem with his thoughts, the girl gave birth.

The village people who had prepared for so long waited at the riverside with bread and gifts, colored wraps for the baby, and colored bodies to decorate the world.

The girl gave birth to two children. A boy and a girl. One with the skin of a moon child: pink and glowing. One with the light of a sun child: a flashing golden brown. And as their light shown on the father’s face, he saw the colors from the village seep into his daughter’s illustration. He remembered the secrets she’d whispered as a child when he’d kiss her goodnight. The illustration grew full and flowing and across it, they could see the villagers, welcoming them. The father did not feel shame but only love, and fascination with his new knowledge. For they could never have come to the village without the lessons the girl had learned, 1, all things are connected, 2 exist in the moment, 3 you are always free: you belong to the world. And the lessons could not be seen without the light of the world: love.

The babies grew up to be the two great uniters. The girl became the greatest of leaders: a teacher, who listened and who united people by shedding light in dark places, something that hadn’t been done when the father was caste into the darkness of his own self absorbed images. The son became a great artist for artists give our ideas beauty and intrigue. Together they maintained the lessons of the river by the light of love.

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