The hospitality of my hosts is exceptional. I am treated as though I am family, when, in reality, I am a perfect stranger. I eat a small bit of baked hare and it tastes better than I expect. I speak with the Chieftain and his family until about 10 at night. The windstorm comes and goes in intensity, but out here, away from the cities, the winds traverse the desert, canyons and cliffs with a ferociousness not normally encountered. While many would call these people modern day savages, It's easy to see that they have much the same insights as any city-dweller, merely couched in a different framework. They are also more spiritually intuitive and curious than the average modern day man. The power of a few dreams has brought me here and as I lie down with a beautifully woven blanket, listening to to the "wind spirits sing" outside, I try to analyze the Chieftain's dreams and what they mean. Is it possible Norchan overshadowers targeted him and gave him these dreams? They have the power and technology to do that - but it seems highly unlikely. For what purpose?
The artifacts here are fascinating. Some of the beliefs of the Chieftain and his people coincide with extraterrestrial visitation of the Earth. The Chieftain believes the founder of his people was, himself, a being from the stars who joined in spirit with a human woman, creating the many spirits of his people. That is why he is completely normal about me walking with women from the stars. All my preconceptions about this meeting have been completely shattered.
I start to doze off. The smells, wind and the flickering oil lamp hanging from a rope, rocking gently from side to side as the wind spirits brush past, create a strange mood. There is more at work here than I realize. There is a peace here in this cliff, a remnant of previous civilizations. A peace modern man has been denied.
I can almost believe in all the spirits of my guests. Nature here takes on a more vivid reality. I think of Yal-hune and Skuuinja before I drift off and they know I am okay, even though I didn't plan to spend the night in an Indian cliff village. My eyes close and I fall into a serene sleep.
I awaken and the storm has broken. I look at my Yacht-master and the time reads 3 am, precisely. The Chieftain is not there and I hear his voice outside the cave, "Spirits of the stars, I ask for guidance."
I get up, toss my blanket aside and walk towards the cave entrance. The stars are out in force - what appear like trillions of them in the perfect darkness. I see the Chieftain and he has his arms raised.
"What's up Chief?"
"Oh..it is you. I was appealing to the Star Spirits for guidance."
"Guidance in regards to what?"
"I had another dream. It left me confused."
"Would you care to share it with me?"
"Certainly. I was traveling with my people. We were going on a hunt. Game was scarce and we came to a enormous river. Some of my people wanted to cross the river and others did not, believing the journey too risky. I awoke before I knew which path to travel. I asked for the Stars to guide me and suddenly here you are."
"I used to have all sorts of wild dreams with many hidden messages. Each dream was like a lesson or many lessons which I needed to learn in order to confront certain things. I was certain someone was choreographing those dreams."
"What do you think the dream means?"
"I think it is about destiny and responsibility. You are responsible for your people and do not want to see them starve, you also do not want to see them sacrificed for an unknown. The river represents change and you are filled with apprehension as to whether change will be beneficial or result in tragedy."
"And I think you realize that there will be a bit of both. The voices opposed to crossing are those who are not yet ready for the changes. Those in favor, are. You are placed in a position to make the decision and this burden lies heavy on your spirit."
"Yes, I think you have revealed to me the meaning. This is the first night in which I have not dreamed of you or the women from the stars. I think now that you have arrived they will stop. I thank you for coming out here. You are a good Spirit."
The Chieftain looks tired and returns inside the cave. I linger awhile and watch the stars. So many stars, so many more worlds orbiting each. It is hard to conceive it and give it a real sense of scale. The flickering light from the oil lamp barely makes its way outside the cave entrance, but where it does, brief flickers of light illumine the total darkness. Then when the flicker grows dark only the starlight keeps the world from complete and utter darkness.