The sun was bright and the air crisp. The trees seemed alive and the beauty of the mountains in the distance with their snow covered peaks made it even more so. The sun would be setting soon and I had begun to make a fire for the evening. I had been camping here for the last four days and had been able to again connect with our Mother Earth.
I had just started the fire and began to make some coffee. It would be a cool evening but not bad and the stars would be shining brightly. The moon would provided much light during the night on its path across the sky.
As I was doing some things around the camp, I noticed an old man coming down from one of the hills that surrounded his area. I wondered what this old man was doing out here in the middle of nowhere. He carried no backpack or other camping gear. He only wore a jacket. His long white hair hung below his shoulders. As he came closer, his eyes were a crystal blue and his features were obviously Native American.
Little did I know that during the evening with this old man, I would learn much about this world and the creator and all that they had given us.
You could easily see that he was old and his eyes showed that he contained much wisdom and knowledge and had lived many years. He had come and I asked his to sit and share my fire. He accepted and we sat quietly as the sun soon began to descend below the horizon. Then without any prompting, he began his story.
“My name is Mingan and I have lived many years and my age is timeless. Some would call me an angel or Prophet or perhaps a figment of the imagination. The Creator knew that mankind would eventually need the help of some special individuals, thus he gave this world the Earth Walkers. They began as any normal men and were selected to become an Earth Walker and follow the path given to them.
This story was passed to me many years ago of one such Earth Walker. May we learn from him and heed his path.
The year does not matter; it was long before anyone can remember. But the events of this day would be felt and passed down through time. Only a small few over the ages would have certain details of the events and what transpired on this day. It started out like any other day long before civilization or permanent communities were established.
His name was Asani, and he was hunting and gathering food for his family like each day. That is unless he was able to make a large kill and his family could eat for several days. Then he could fish or relax for a day before the routine would begin again. It was a nice day, not too hot and not too cold. He knew that it was a special day but he was not sure why. The old ones had told through time that on this particular day each year it was special. No one really knew why but they accepted it and always felt that this day always seemed to give them luck.
He had been tracking the bear for several hours now, but he was noticing that he was going into an area that he had never seen before. At first he did not know if he should continue on this path but he felt something pulling him forward. He noticed it looked like he was gaining on his prey and hoped to have it in his sights soon.
The area that he was going into was full of life and vegetation. He noticed that it had plenty of life-giving plants and there must be a good water source. How come he nor anyone else in his tribe had seen this place? He was amazed with the beauty here, and there seemed to be a peacefulness that existed in no other place he had ever been. He looked up over a rise and could see some snow-covered mountains in the distance. The air was fresh and clean and he reveled in the feeling it gave him. This must be a sacred place or one that only the old ones knew about.
He looked down and could see what looked like very recent tracks of his prey. The thought crossed his mind about the possibility of this place being sacred. Should he consider giving up this prey since it might be bad luck to take an animal in this place; they might be protected by the one above all others. And if they were that could mean a bad omen for his family and tribe. If he takes this animal, it could also give him great power and respect. He then heard something to his immediate right in some very thick brush. He could not see anything, but he heard the movement of something very large and massive. He looked at his spear and arrows and wondered if it would be enough. He also had a knife made out of the best stone that could be found in this area. He had worked a long time in honing it to just the right size and weight. It could cut through the toughest hide and had served him well on many hunts.
He then heard it again and crouched down to lower his profile. Whatever was there, it seemed he was now the one who was hunted. He moved back a little farther to put some distance between him and whatever was in the brush. He then listened and did not hear anything. Then again he heard something but now it was behind him and seemed to be close. He again moved this time farther away from the two places he had heard the movement. He waited again, trying to control his breathing as it had been taught to him many years ago. This kept him calm and in control, which was vital in being a good hunter and provider.
It seemed like an eternity until he heard it again. It was right behind him. Whatever it was, and he thought it was the bear, it was the fastest and most elusive prey he had ever come across. It was very confusing and made him worry now on what this was and if he would be able to stop it. He then decided that this was a sacred place, and he must move to leave here as quickly as possible. The problem was he did not know which way to go. He must have gotten turned around and lost his bearings, which was something that hadn’t happened before. He stayed where he was at and looked around trying to key on something that he would recognize from before. He saw nothing that was familiar. He then heard movement again; this time to his right. It did not seem to be getting closer but keeping its distance for now.
He then heard the voice. At first very quiet and then a little louder; he held his breath so he could hear it better. The pounding of his heart in his ears was almost deafening and made it more difficult to hear. Then he heard the voice again, he still could not make out what it was saying but it was definitely a voice and not an animal sound. He then noticed the large tree and how it seemed to give off a glow that made it appear more than just a tree but something that was filled with life itself. It seemed to be the embodiment of life and wisdom of everyone and everything. He had never seen a tree like this before nor did he think he would ever see one again. He wondered why he had not noticed it before, but then without another thought, he knew that it could only be seen if its desire was to be seen by anyone or anything. This was a sacred place, and he knew then why he or anyone in his tribe had ever seen this place before. It would not be seen unless it wished them to see it. He now wondered why he had been allowed to witness this place of great beauty and power.
He heard the voice again, much louder now. It was speaking in a language he had never heard before. But he somehow understood what it was saying; it was telling him to come forward. No harm would come to him. It was the tree talking to him but it did not give him a good feeling at the sound in which he had heard before. He knew whatever it was, it was still around, and with that he would be cautious. He did think that with this being such a sacred place, he would be provided safety to a point or until his use or purpose was done and then he would not be safe anymore.
He moved forward with caution but in total amazement. He could not believe what was happening. As he moved closer, it seemed the thick brush parted and allowed him to move forward. He came into a clearing and could now see the tree clearly. It was an old oak that showed many years of wear and he could see that it had been there for hundreds and probably thousands of years. It could have been there for all eternity or when life began. Its limbs were strong, and its trunk was so thick that 20 men could have hidden behind it. As he walked closer he thought he could see a face outlined but then it disappeared. He wondered where the voice was coming from. Then he heard it again. It was deep but reassuring.
“Come closer and let me see you,” he heard the voice say.
Asani finally found the courage to speak, “Who are you and what do you want?”
The voice responded, “We will get to that in time, but for now, do as I ask.”
As he moved closer, he could see that the tree really was magnificent; he had never seen anything like it before. Its leaves were perfectly formed and held by firm strong branches. Its trunk had heavy bark that could withstand the most severe storm anyone could imagine.
When he was about 10 feet from the tree the voice said, “That is close enough.”
Asani said in a halfhearted manner, “Show yourself.”
He immediately wished he could take those words back, but he was sure there was more here to see.
Then from behind the tree he saw something move. He hoped it was not whatever had been stalking him from the brush. He thought of grabbing an arrow and preparing his bow, but thought against it. He did not feel threatened, but knew his fear was causing him to have these thoughts.
What he saw next, he would never had believed it. What stepped from around the tree was something of a legend that he had only heard of from the ancient ones. No one ever really thought they existed in this world.
The voice stepped out from behind the tree and there was the most magnificent creature that anyone could be imagined. It stood at least 10 feet tall and had feathers that had so much colors that they were almost too bright to look at for very long. It appeared that they were on fire. It moved with so much grace that it took Asani’s breath away. But the one thing that caught his eye was the creature’s eyes; they were a blue like he had never seen. They were clear and you could see that there was so much wisdom and knowledge behind them. Anyone looking into those eyes would never question and would accept anything that it said.
Asani took a step back as the creature stepped around the tree and moved forward. If he could have made his legs move, he would have turned and ran. He knew he was witnessing something that may never happen again, or if it did, it would be a long time from this day. Asani also knew he was brought here for a purpose, and he would now have to see it out since there was no turning back. He would have to see what this would bring and what his part in this was going to be.