A mighty tree – the planet Earth
Or could it be just a small seed,
That became one.
Oh seed where do you come from?
Asked the Earth –
I do not know said the seed,
I know I fell from the colossal tree,
Asked Earth again.
The seed asked the Earth
Where do you come from?
To which she replied,
They say, I come from you –
The seed wondered, still wonders if the Earth
Is her own child..
Was she Earths’ child?
The Tree laughed –
I do not know who it is that “I” am!!
From the far distance, one could see two tiny figures walking. But one could not tell if they were walking towards or away from that distance. It was a long stretch of dry, parched land. The grand old matriarchs would say that there was a time when this region was fertile, lush and an oases for thirsty wanderers.
There were remnants of that fertility scattered about. And one place in particular. The place, a village that was called “Aiyana”. People continued to live here. It was as though there was a halo of protection and care over that place, illumined with peace.
Catori was born in Aiyana, had lived here up until now with Enapay. Enapay and Catori had a son Dyami.
Young children in Aiyana would frequent this one house. “Cheveyo” – the soul warrior lived here. Now no one knew her age for none cared. For the people in Aiyana, she had always existed, eternal and everlasting, immortal too. They said she would have been 150 years old at the very least. There was an aura that was magnetic. Cheveyo was tall, dignified, strong. Age did not define her being.
What drew everyone to her like a magnet was something one could never put a finger on. As though the essence of her being shone from within. There was this aura of illumination around her. But there was this ageless beauty with the way she smiled and gently invited anyone who came through her door.
There was never any sour word that she uttered because she never spoke. And when she did it was just a few words and everyone would wait and listen. The most profound and meaningful. Her words were music to everyone’s ears – if one could taste it, her words were like the water from a sparkling stream, the sound was the whisper of the breeze in the trees. There were no stories she would narrate but just her presence was magnificent.
Now this is important, people in Aiyana just walked away one day if they wanted to leave this planet. It was a choicest blessing for any living soul. And no one else knew of this, even in the neighbouring villages.
Enapay was no more, he had left for the other realm. Enapay had walked away too.
There was another interesting aspect to this process. When the person left never to return, they would leave a seed at Cheveyo’s doorstep. This was the indication as to a person’s exit. And Cheveyo would know who left by looking at the seed. It was like almost she was the seed-safe-keeper and had special powers given to her.
There were a couple of other people who had lived through her time. They were in fact the twin brothers – Citana and Citlali. They were the closest to Cheveyo, her gatekeepers, guardians and confidantes. They formed the golden triangle in the village of Aiyana.
When the villagers visited her house, they could see countless seeds of different shapes and sizes kept in coloured clay pots. Cheveyo’s occupation was to make clay pots so no wonder she kept the seeds in those ones. They did have names on each of them. Citana and Citlali carved these names on the pots baking them in the kiln outside of Cheveyo’s house. You could see children surrounding both of them under a giant oak tree. This tree was mammoth. It was old and had these many branches. It formed a home of its own. The twins often repeated the story about how this tree came to be to the children. And so the story continued on for generations of Aiyanites.
Dyami was one of the children, growing up in the village listening to the story so many times but never once getting tired of it. The twins were funny, eyes sparkling, deeply kind and very protective of the children of Aiyana. Dyami was just nine years when Enapay had left. His mother Catori never once flinched. Though she missed Enapay immensely, she knew just like him she would one day walk away. And so she took her little Dyami everywhere, teaching and encouraging him. She had named him Dyami – flying eagle. And so he was, sharp and intellectual. Extremely active.
Deep down Dyami missed his father, so one day when his mother asked him why he had never cried or let out his emotions. He replied that he would be upset only if he had been with him for a long time but he said this was not the case. He had known Enapay his father properly only for four years. What he said further stunned Catori. He said, he felt his father was always watching him and that always encouraged him to do his best. Also, chose to make him proud from wherever he was.
Catori was then confident that she did not have to keep watch over him all the time. She knew her young son was a rock and a pillar of resilience. But sometimes her motherly pangs took over but she was soon reassured by Dyami.
Catori had one wish and that was to travel further and beyond Aiyana for a few months. But for this she had to plan as the duration was long and there was the unknown and untread. She would take Dyami along and that was the essence of her thought. She herself was curious to what existed out of these borders.
She had not been out of Aiyana not even once but recalled Enapay teasing her, gently telling her that she had to go out to see the other places. In fact none had ventured out of Aiyana. They were a deeply contented bunch, needs were few and life bubbled along with the euphoric constant.
She finally made up her mind to go out with her precious Dyami. So, the only time people had left Aiyana was their travel into the beyond. No one had done this before. This would be the first time ever and Catori with Dyami would be the ones to create history in this manner.
How was Catori to inform the village peoples. Prior to them knowing, she decided to approach Cheveyo – the shining beacon to reveal what she felt and chose to do. She took Dyami along one evening when there was a gentle breeze blowing. The trees nodded and willowed from side to side. There were different kinds of trees sprinkled in plenty around the village.
She had let Dyami know of her plan that morning. He was overjoyed, displaying the adventurous spirit he always had. The one person Catori could rely on. Ever optimistic and ever joyous without an iota of hesitation. She slowly began walking to the warrior woman’s house. Cheveyo treated all people of Aiyana just the same. But with Catori, she saw another spirited, courageous Cheveyo.
Although Cheveyo was a woman of few words, with Catori there was a timeless bond traversing between different lifetimes. But for that fact, all in the Aiyana were connected through space-time.
Different branches of a tree all of them coming from the same root. The oak tree sort of symbolised this evolution.
Catori reached the gates of the house and of course Citana and Citlali were there. She asked them for permission to go in. Not that they would deny entry but people respected them for the love they gave unconditionally to everyone in Aiyana. They could sense some innate excitement in Catori. She first wanted to share the news with Cheveyo. She went into the sweet, musk incense smelling room. Cheveyo was busy at the pottery wheel, her nimble hands crafting another beautiful jar.
Cheveyo waved a hand with a smile in her eyes as though she already knew why Catori was here for.
Catori told her about the adventure she wanted to make with Dyami beyond their village. For a second, she had that deep look of longing. Then Cheveyo went to the room where the clay pots with the seeds were kept. She finally picked up one exquisitely crafted pot with a seed and put it in Dyami’s little, chubby palms. The child was delighted to be given such a responsibility. Additionally he saw his father’s name engraved on it. That was double-fold joy.
Cheveyo blessed both of them and gave her best for their travel. Then she whispered instructions in Catori’s ear and gave her instructions. Catori listened intently lest she missed anything that Cheveyo said. She also said that the twins would accompany them till the next village crossing. There was
She nodded and hugged Cheveyo. Dyami did the same and they left the house. The twins would accompany them to the next village crossing. Then there was this long bridge that led into the outer regions. It was a long haul from there on but somehow Catori never dwelt on the arduous nature of the journey. She had been waiting too long to do this.
They started early next morning and the twins came along. They were travelling by foot for some distance and then got a wagon ride from the neighbouring village. People looked at them with great curiosity for they had never seen anyone leaving Aiyana.
Catori and Dyami waved a farewell to the twins and started journeying across the bridge. After a few days, they reached this tiny village by the shores of Awena.
They had reached their destination. She was going to live there with her son for a few months. If they wanted she could always return to Aiyana. But what she felt now was to cross the shore possibly in a few years when Dyami was a little older.
Meantime, the clay pot that contained the seed that Enapay had left behind needed a home. Catori and Dyami found a clearing in the middle of the village.
Dyami was about to take out the seed from the pot when Catori stopped him. Cheveyo had asked her to put the container with the seed just into the soil and to keep watch over it till it grew into the tree. Dyami did not understand why they would not go back to Aiyana. But then Catori told him that they would be travelling further in a few more years across the shores.
Years passed, Dyami returned to the Awena. And then he saw this huge banyan tree which had grown from the same seed that his mum and he had planted many years ago. His mum continued to live here. She was the Cheveyo here though not as old the original.
Dyami was proud of his mother for the seed in the Unicorn container had now grown into the banyan tree. There were many more children playing under its shade. Like him they would venture across the shores. The journey of peace and love. Dyami – flying Eagle continued to soar in the high skies.
Catori welcomed him with open arms and he was home once again.
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