Chamomile Tea (narrative #2)
The silent hum of the saucer, still warm from space travel, emanated a soft tone throughout the lagoon. SayLeece had busied herself already with gathering a few items from the ship and was now sitting on a large boulder amidst the grass inspecting her field guides and notes. The large black feline Cleopatra stretched herself at the islet's sandy edge while the orange and yellow GateKeeper brushed against Chamomile Tea's shoulder. Their bond allowed for them to share their thoughts. His eyes shone as he looked with her on towards the mainland: Gaia! - She is a pure planet! And here we are in a land of ten thousand trees. ...Can you see the 'firmament'?
-Firmament? Chamomile Tea was confused. The word did not translate well her mind. What does that mean?
...It is something that the ancient ones referred to: 'The dome that holds the heavens up.' Can you feel it over the mountain, yes?
She looked on towards the green hills and blue sky. She did not see any invisible dome, but she could imagine that it was there, and she suddenly remembered something her mother had said. ..Mother sometimes speaks of something... she uses the term.. feng shui? or Vortexes? I don't know what it means... something about how the land is shaped?
Ah yes, there are many names for it. ...we felines call it 'pathways'. -Invisible lines that connect where we are and were we are meant to be!
Chamomile Tea looked down the narrow sandy strip that connected the islet to the shoreline. The fragrance of some sort of pollen entered the nose. The tide lapped gently and tiny grains of sand shifted near her toes. As the tide receded the narrow isthmus widened. The grass on the main shoreline waved in the breeze as a flock of avian creatures took flight. The wind ruffled warmly through her linen shirt. The sound of running water bubbled from an unseen a creek somewhere in the lagoon. Above the steep treeline the sun shone upon the mountain face that rose over the cove. Could this be the home I been dreamed of having? She wondered thinking of Katulu.
We will have to find out for ourselves won't we? Said GateKeeper answering the question that hung unasked in Chamomile Tea's mind. Shall we walk the first crossing to the place that you dream often of? Gaia will be like an old friend to you, I am sure. We will walk and make many trails upon her face.. and then maybe we will know for sure.
Suddenly a black furry form darted between them interrupting the telepathic conversation with silent Laughter. Cleopatra crossed the land-bridge with a few languid bounds playfully calling over her shoulder, Our kind rules the world in our paw prints! While you two stand there idly, I will be the first to taste the green grass from yonder shore and drink from yonder creek! -Unless you can catch me!? *Laughter* Let us be off at once!
Chamomile Tea grinned. Not wanting the taunting feline to adventure without her, she shouted out, “Oh come back here, at once! -Mother! Cleopatra has run off again! … she will spoil all the surprises like she always does.. quick! Let us follow her!”
Her mother smiled from her rock but was unbothered. “Oh no mind her.. she just has a strong independent mind. - Just like a certain young girl I can think of!” She stood, closing her book of notes. “Just give me a moment and let me put the saucer to sleep and then we will begin.” SayLeece returned to the saucer once more and removed the ship's power-crystal from its socket. like the decay of a singing bowl and the ship became silent leaving only the dream-like sounds of the Lagoon. She quickly gathered a few more items, rummaging though one of the cedar trunks that she had aboard the craft, and after a moment she returned wearing her slender waist coat with its deep pockets carrying a strange scientific device that looked like a cross between a telescope and a protractor. “OK! I am ready now!”
Chamomile Tea took her first steps across the land bridge and the feeling of wonder mounted as the landscape moved closer to join with them. GateKeeper kept even footing at her side, a wise and protecting presence, while Cleopatra darted up the beach until she disappeared behind a large rock pile.
As they following Cleopatra’s paw prints in the soft muddy low tide zone, SayLeece paused to raise her sextant device to her eye. Her coat tails swayed in the warm breeze as she surveyed the timberline. After a moment of scanning left to right she lowered the eye piece and glanced at the sky. With a raised hand she approximating the path of the sun tracing an arc to where she calculated it would eventually set behind the islet to where far off islands dipped into the sea. Reaching into one of her hidden sleeve pockets, she produced a small booklet in which she jotted down a few notes.
As they continued on towards the grassy shoreline, Chamomile Tea spotted Cleopatra crouching behind the rock pile, her face lowered to a bubbling stream. -“Mother, look!,” she clapped her hands, “Cleopatra is drinking from the Creek! Ha ha.. She likes the water here!”
Her mother pocketed her notebook and knelt down to drank from her hands herself. “This is very fresh mountain spring water!” She invited Chamomile Tea to do this same with a wave of her hand. “It is always good to set up camp near a fresh water source! Can can taste the carbonous minerals?”
As they walked on, Chamomile Tea began thinking about what they would need to prepare a proper campsite. “I can't wait to make a camping shelter, Mother! ….you promised me that you would let me use your special tools, remember? I have never seen how to build a dwelling before.. it must be quite fulfilling! I can't wait! How long will it take, ya think, to build one?”
SayLeece chuckled at her daughter's determination. “Earth is much warmer then the Syrian outpost, so I think we will find that camping should pose no difficulty. A small shelter built of beach stones and drift wood will suffice I am sure. Something rustic I think... yet with a solid foundation upon the ground. I will show you how to use my building aids, and with your help it won't take but a few days. -But first, we just have to choose a spot with the right feng shui.”
Chamomile Tea was satisfied. She was eager to learn and just wanted Katulu to have all he needed when he arrived.
“...What about foraging?” she asked, “Will we need to build a greenhouse like back home?”
“Within time perhaps. I do always love getting my hands dirty, but for now If my field guides are correct, this land is full of edible plants and insects this time of season.”
Chamomile Tea hated to think that would happen if Katulu might not arrive on time, but she chose not to think about the possibility, after all if this was the land that she had dreamed so much of, then surely such a thing could not be. They walked on along the shoreline leaving the Islet behind and rounded small point of land. Another cove opened up in front of them. GateKeeper walked nearby staying near Chamomile Tea's side, while Cleopatra pranced over every boulder and sniffed at every clump of grass. The new beach was wide and sandy, with large rocky tide-pools up near the treeline. SayLeece pulled forth her surveying device again and began viewing the landscape through the telescopic viewfinder.
Chamomile Tea pulled at her mother's sleeve, reaching for the sextant wanting a view it for herself.
SayLeece lowered the device, handing it to her daughter. “There is a reef down there,” she said pointing, “see where the rocky outcroppings make a jetty? And just look at all that driftwood... a shelter waiting to be built.”
Through the viewfinder the shoreline jumped close to Chamomile Tea's eyes. Driftwood tucked into every nook and cranny. Then she saw something off down the beach. In the dip of the next cove something glinted slightly in the sunlight – a strange grouping of white artifacts. She handed the telescope back to her mother who put the device to her eye once more, with a murmer. Cleopatra raced off down the beach to inspect.
After another few moments of walking, they approached a mysterious skeletal structure. Many curved spires jetted up from the beach. Chamomile Tea realized It was some sort of giant rib-cage. Some of the them lay fallen, but the majority stood upright half submerged in the sand making a corridor taller then her shoulders.
SayLeece opened the hand-lens magnifier that hung on a chord around her neck and peered close to inspect the ivory surfaces. “...The remains of ...some marine mammal... A cetacean I think. See the marks on the calcium structure, it looks likes this has been here for some time... what a specimen!
Chamomile Tea touched the bones, wondering at their shiny weathered nature. “Oh but there so large... such an animal it must have been!”
“Whales are some of the largest animals that are indigenous to this planet,” Commented SayLeece, “In my field guides I have read that their bodies are so large their bones contain the collective memories of the ocean currents.”
Chamomile Tea stepped inside the ribcage, the spires standing taller then her head. Memories of the ocean currents? she wondered. Was it her or did the sound of the ocean seem to amplify through the tunnel of bones? She heard the sound of the gulls calling from the ocean the sound of the surge way down the beach and her mind drifted as she imagined she was inside the belly of some long deceased animal.
There's a vortex here... whispered GateKeeper suddenly close in her ear. ...See here... the tide has left offerings in the sand...
It was true, at her toes lay kelp, sea shells, and the white feather fragments scattered in a lopsided spiral. Suddenly she felt like she was being watched, by something. She looked up and the landscape seemed to revolve around her -the mountain, the ocean, the points of land – like the rows of a compass heading upon a mysterious map. She closing her eyes and could feel the firmament overhead. For a moment she could see her possible future. She saw a home up under the trees. She heard the sounds of children playing. ...Katulu ...I have found our home... ...its magical...
“Are you alright?” asked SayLeece clamping shut her hand-lens.
“Yes... yes.. I was just thinking...” said Chamomile Tea opening her eyes.
Her mother gave her knowing smile and came over to her and sat down next to her on the beach putting her hand around her shoulders.
They stayed and reminisced on the beach for a while just sitting in the sand. Eventually the sun began to start its descent towards to ocean. As they sat upon a beech log and enjoyed the final view of the ocean before sundown, SayLeece spoke, “I know you've never seen so much water in all you life... its amazing isn't it? ...Ya know ...its been some time since my first surveying trip here. ...Grandfather lizard, well, he always felt that this planet might be a place for new beginning...
Chamomile Tea, cuddled against her mom's shoulder content, but she couldn't help but ask, “What is the Lizard Man doing with Katulu..? What are they waiting for really?”
Her mother paused. “...That is something that sometimes I wish I myself knew.. Katulu walks between worlds you see. Your bond with him is important, that I know. I knew that from the moment you were born... it is a bond that is.. well... equal only to Katulu's own bond with Grandfather... we are part of something... that is... well...” her voice trailed off searching for words.
Chamomile Tea stood reaching for Sayleece's hand. Her mother hoisted her onto her shoulders. “...Come now, child we must sleep soon. This is your first day here and you have experienced a lot. The first night of sleep on a new planet is always important for it allow your brain to adjust and integrate.” They picked their way across the beach under the starlight
They returned to the saucer just as the fist stars were showing. Within the saucer they nestled upon cushions to the sound of the surge gently lapping upon the rocks near the Islet. Cleopatra and GateKeeper nestled up close. Before she fully drifted off Chamomile Tea asked softly with a muffled voice through the feline's close fur, “I like earth very much. - I wish to stay here forever and ever! I really don't want to ever go back into space again."
In the morning SayLeece brought the saucer around to the new chosen campsite where the bones stood in the sand. SayLeece retrieved her energy wand from the storage alcove aboard the craft and with the ships main power crystals still in 'active' mode, she was able to power it up. The wand began to vibrate in her hands sending out a visible cascade of shimmering wave-lines. “Lets get to work!” she sang out in merry voice, carrying the wand up outside. With it she began levitating large stones on the beach toward the building site.
It was thus that over the next few days a small shelter was erected where the first trees made a canopy of low hanging branches over the earthy bank. Chamomile Tea gleefully chose where every rock was to be placed, even taking her turn with the levitation wand. Day after day, stone after stone, the walls of a small modest circular hut rose until the driftwood roof was placed and thatched with cedar and moss. After the 5th day smoke drifted lazily from a crude stone fireplace and the light of candles flickered through circular windows.