Thomas (Part 22)

(Note: This has not been edited, but I wanted to post it anyway for those of you who enjoyed his story and were unfortunately left hanging. It’s going to be interesting to see where this story goes!)

Thomas Part 1

Thomas Part 21

Thomas rode without talking as Helki continued to try to talk to him. Helki told Thomas that he could become his number two person if he wished. He would provide the most beautiful woman in the community for his pleasure. He also informed Thomas that he had a choice, he could willingly comply or they could poison him with mind-controlling herbs and he would want to comply. He reminded Thomas that the herbs were addictive and once he started the herbs, he would forever crave them and would not be able to function without them. Helki bragged how he found pleasure without the herbs and how important it was for him to always have a clear mind.

Thomas did not know what he was going to do. He silently prayed as he listened to Helki ramble on about his community. What did God want him to do? He did not want to comply. He still loved Nara and did not want to be unfaithful to her, and he was growing to love Maren and could see him having a life with her and Daniel. He loved her family and wanted to be a part of it. He had heard about the addictive herbs and that it was possible to overcome an addiction, but the withdrawal pains were severe and many gave up or killed themselves.

As they approached the community, Helki made the ultimate threat to Thomas, something he hoped that Helki would not do. Helki reminded him that he knew he had a new baby sister and if he did not cooperate, they would eventually take his parents and sister and bring them to the community and raise his as a pleasure slave. They would use his parents as slaves. Helki as said that he would bring Maren to the community; many men and women would love to find pleasure with her.

After hearing the threats to his family and to Maren, Thomas jumped off his horse and wanted to go after Helki, but as soon as he was on the ground, he was surrounded by Helki’s men and one stabbed a knife into his abdomen, not enough to injure any organs, but enough to cause pain and bleeding. Helki informed Thomas that he would be given a beautiful woman that night and if he did not please her, someone would go after his parents and sister. Helki grinned and ordered Thomas back on his horse.

Thomas tried to resist but received another knife wound in the back; not as bad as the first but knew he needed to get back on his horse to safe his life. His family’s life. Maren’s life.

Thomas continued to pray as he silently rode behind Helki, pleading inwardly to God to help him to know what to do. He did not want to defile himself, yet he had to save his family. He pleaded with God to protect his family. Even if they tried to leave their village, Helki had eyes everywhere and he would soon find out where they went. He prayed for protection for Maren and her family. He prayed for the king’s guards that they would be able to find him and help him escape.

After praying for most of the journey to the community, an overwhelming peace overcame Thomas and a word came to his mind: love. Love? He wondered what that meant. How was he to love? Who was he to love? He could not love someone he did not know and was not married to. Or, a different kind of love. Peace continued to settle over him so he knew that he had to trust the peace.

After traveling most of the day, they finally neared the community. Thomas was in awe of what had been done there in a few short years. A large thick wall that was about ten feet tall and several feet thick which was made of brick and other materials that Thomas was not sure of, surrounded acres and acres of land. He did not understand how a great wall that looked to be miles long was built in so short of time. He saw many structures inside, including a large pyramid shaped building which appeared to be made of some type of marble. There were many empty spaces and he wondered if more buildings would be built.

Outside the wall, fields of grain and a variety other crops as well as fields for animals dotted the landscape. He saw several men, women, and children working in the fields with what appeared to be taskmasters on large horses watching them. He watched as one woman fell to the ground and one of the taskmasters hit her with a stick until she slowly got up and started working again. Thomas’s heart fell as he saw the woman’s anguish and he wondered how anyone could treat another person like that. Helki told Thomas that they used slaves to build the wall and other buildings as well as to maintain their fields and animals. The slaves were expected to work and if they faltered in any way, they would be beaten. Thomas was speechless. He wanted to jump off his horse to lash out at Helki but knew that would only bring him additional pain and he knew he had to keep his right mind if he wanted to escape and possible help others. Love, that word came back to his mind.

As they neared the gates of the community, the setting sun’s brilliant colors filled the sky. Thomas wondered if the stunning sunset was a sign that God knew who he was and the trouble he was in. Three young men stood guard at the gates and Helki ordered one of them to find the healer and to meet him at his house. He informed Thomas that he did not want Thomas’s wounds to become infected, he had much work for him to do.

One of the guards grabbed the reins of Thomas’s horse and led him to Helki’s large house. It was definitely the largest building in the city, besides the pyramid structure. The guard helped Thomas down and pain shot through him from his knife wounds causing him to buckle to his knees. Helki laughed at him and reminded him that his wounds were not that deep and he would be okay.

A beautiful woman dressed in a deep red revealing tunic, walked over to Hermes and helped him stand up. She introduced herself as Leah and that she was one of the community’s healers. She helped walk Thomas to a room with a mattress that was on a wooden frame so it was off the floor. The room contained several small urns that Thomas wondered if they contained herbs. She helped him to lay down and then looked carefully at his wounds. She informed him that he was fortunate that the wounds were not any deeper. She took a small linen cloth and dipped it in a vase of water and cleaned the wounds as Thomas flinched from the pain. Next, she took some of the herbs from three different urns and mixed them together with a small amount of water, creating a poultice and placed them on the wounds, wrapping them in place with a long linen cloth. Leah informed Thomas that was a temporary poultice as he would take a warm healing bath later. Thomas questioned her about that and Leah assured him that the bath would greatly benefit him and his healing. She would stop by his room later to reapply the poultice.

Thomas wondered if Leah was the woman that Helki told him that he had to spend time with tonight. The thought came that she would be a beautiful woman to find pleasure with, but immediately thought of Nara and Maren and inwardly prayed for forgiveness for those thoughts. The word Love came back to his mind and he still did not know how he was supposed to love in this place.

Without warning, Leah suddenly laid down next to Thomas and began kissing him. He was shocked at the sudden passion and immediately pushed her away as he was certain that was not the type of love that the thought referred to. Leah expressed deep disappointment because she was extremely attracted to him. She told him that most of the women in the community, and many of the men, would want to find pleasure with him because of his well-shaped body. Thomas almost threw up at the thought of women and men wanting to use him. What kind of community did Helki have here? How was he going to get out before he got into trouble? Would he even make it out without being poisoned, or even alive?

After Leah left the room, Helki came in and sat on a chair next to where Thomas lay. He expressed his disappointment that Thomas turned down Leah, as she was one of the most beautiful women in the community, but he would have another chance with her in the morning. He reminded Thomas of what was expected of him that night and it was his choice if he was going to comply or not. Thomas wanted to kill Helki right then and there but knew it was futile. He did not like those feelings as they were hatred, not love.

Two of Helki’s men came into the room and helped Thomas up and walked him to another room in the house. This room had a large mattress on a wood frame like in the previous room. A large white marble bath with steam rising from the warm water was at the side of the room. Two young scantily dressed girls who looked to be about 16 years old were preparing the bath with flowers and scented oils. Both longingly looked at Thomas until Helki nodded to them to leave the room. The room sweetly scented room smelled like roses and something else which Thomas did not know and the scents momentarily eased Thomas’s heart. He hoped that Helki would also leave and allow Thomas to enjoy his bath alone.

Much to Thomas’s approval, Helki said that he was leaving Thomas for the night. With an ominous grin, he encouraged Thomas to enjoy his bath and to get good rest as he would have a busy day tomorrow. He also mentioned that guards would be posted outside his room all night so he should not try to leave and that he just needed to comply. The hairs on Thomas’s neck bristled at Helki’s words. What did he mean?

Shortly after Helki left, Thomas took off the herbal poultices and eased into the large hot bath, feeling the comfort of the scented water after a long hard day. After he had been in the bath for several minute, the door to his room opened and in walked the one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. She had long wavy light-colored hair and wore a deep purple silky robe. She smiled at Thomas as he looked for something to cover himself with and thought about the word Love.

Posting Again

It has been two years since I posted to the Jaredite Stories blog. It isn’t because I haven’t been writing, but needed to write Grace’s story about Hermes in detail. While writing that story, last January, I needed to stop to write a story about a girl named Natara that is now close to being finished. Now, I need to finish Grace’s story and other stories that are begging to be written.

This has been quite a journey as writing does not come naturally to me, but the stories come to my mind and I do my best to put the images into our language. I hope you enjoy these stories that may give some insight to the lives of the Jaredite and other ancient people.

Grace Part 5

Grace Part 1

Grace Part 2

Grace Part 3

Grace Part 4

Grace continued to dance. As a young girl, she begged her parents to take her to dance competitions and festivals so she could watch all the dancers. She learned quickly from watching other.

She first danced in a festival when she was seven years old. She danced with a few of her friends who were in her dance class. Because Grace had such natural beauty and an elegant form when she danced, a short solo was choreographed with the other dancers supporting her. She actually liked dancing with a group as it provided greater opportunity for creative expression. Pahana choreographed several of their dances and even at a young age, Grace worked with her father to create dazzling dances.

In addition to dancing, Grace loved to read especially stories. The city she lived in, Sacoa, had an enclosed building where books were kept. Anyone could go to read the books that were stored there.

The books were printed with a type of lithography created by a man named Eon soon after Jared, his brother and his families arrived in the promised land. It enabled many books to be efficiently published and distributed throughout the land. Authors, poets, musicians, as well as the prophets could easily and effectively distribute their stories, information, music, teachings, and prophecies to the people.

When not dancing, Grace spent hours at the book room engrossed in the books. She especially loved fictional stories and the stories about the history of her people. One of her favorite stories was the story of how Jared and his brother and their families traveled across the large waters to their land. Occasionally, she read informational books, but did not enjoy those quite as much, although she loved learning about the stars and planets.

Not only did she like to read, but she loved to imagine and write her own stories. Even as a young girl, she wrote short and simple stories and poems. She loved to dream about the old world where her ancestors came from. She envisioned an imaginary world that she fantasized about visiting. As she grew into her teen years, the stories about her imagined world became increasingly creative and complex, so much so, that Pahana and Rachel encouraged her to continue to write.

One story that Grace began visualizing when she was about 12 years old, was about a boy named Hermes, who controlled a large and ornery dragon, Rouvin. They lived in a large cave by themselves because Hermes was not allowed to be in the kingdom of Geccal. As a child, Hermes accidently fell into a fire which resulted in many grotesque looking scars on his face and upper body. Because of the severity of the scars, many in the kingdom feared Hermes, so they shunned him and exiled him from the kingdom. His family pled with the villagers to let him stay, but the people were unyielding. They even pled with the king and queen, hoping they would allow him to stay, but instead, they listened to the voices of the people in their kingdom.

Soon after Hermes left the kingdom, a wizard came to him and presented him with a large sapphire colored egg. The wizard instructed him to love the egg, take good care of it, and as Hermes did this, he promised that he would find love and happiness. Hermes, surprised by the gift, carried it with him to the cave that he had made into his home.

Due to the deep pain of rejection, Hermes carried a considerable amount of hate and anger in his heart. Instead of taking care of the egg as the wizard instructed, he just set it on the floor in his cave and basically ignored it. He would occasionally pick it up and admire the beautiful color, but mostly, he gave it no attention. He saw no value in this gift and did not understand why the wizard would give him this useless egg.

One day, while Hermes examined the egg, it started to gradually crack. Surprised, he took the egg outside into the sunlight where he could better see it. Slowly, the egg progressively cracked until a pointed mouth and sapphire colored eyes began to appear. Whatever was in the egg gradually fought its way through the shell until it was completely free. Hermes was amazed when a baby dragon emerged from the shell. He immediately thought about all the myriads of possibilities that he could do with a dragon, including taking revenge on those who sent him away from his home and family.

Hermes named the dragon Rouvin after his grandfather, the one person from his hometown that he did not hate. Rouvin grew into a large, beautiful, and ferocious looking dragon. He was twice as tall as Hermes and his length was about three times his height. His golden colored scales and piercing sapphire-colored eyes contributed to his regal look. His tail was long and strong. He could breathe out fire when he wanted to. Unfortunately, from the time Rouvin hatched, Hermes did not treat him well and trained him to suit his own despicable purposes.

As the years went by, Hermes used the dragon to steal, plunder, and ravage from those in the kingdom close to where they lived, as well as other kingdoms. The king’s guards and the people desperately tried to kill Rouvin, but he was powerful and the fire blew from his mouth burned whatever it contacted.

One day, while the king’s beautiful daughter, Brisa, was walking in the woods with her large black dog and her three guards, Hermes and Rouvin came upon them. The guards immediately surrounded Brisa, but Hermes threatened them with Rouvin’s fire if they did not let Brisa go with him and also, he threatened to burn the homes in the kingdom. Brisa, understanding the situation, informed the guards that she would willingly go with Hermes to help save the kingdom.

After Brisa left, a strong, powerful, and kind wizard came to the kingdom to teach the people how to improve their love for each other, and especially to love Hermes. At first, the people did not know how love would help Hermes, but they believed the wizard and so they tried it. They sent gifts to Hermes and even to Rouvin. At first, Hermes commanded Rouvin to chase after them, which he did, but after a time, he began to accept their gifts. Some of the best food in the land was sent to them. Hermes devoured all the food that was brought to him and gave very little to Brisa. He smugly seized the generous gifts without showing any appreciation.

Brisa’s natural affection for animals helped her capture Rouvin’s attention by treating him with love, rather than dominance like Hermes treated him. She learned that Rouvin loved to be scratched between his sapphire eyes and behind his ears. Eventually, Rouvin trusted Brisa enough to allow her to climb on his back and ride around. This upset Hermes as Rouvin never allowed him to climb on his back, even after trying several times. Over time, Rouvin changed his loyalties from Hermes to Brisa. Hermes could not understand why since he has raised him from the time he hatched. Brisa carefully explained that she treated him with love.

Between the love that Brisa began to show to Hermes and the love he began to feel from the people in the kingdom, he finally let Brisa go and told Rouvin that he could go with her if that is what he desired. Brisa tried to convince Hermes to come with her but he had too many negative memories of being cast out. She informed him that she would go back to her kingdom and ask the people if they would accept him, and if they said yes, would he then come. Hermes thought about it for a time, then lovingly looked up at the beautiful Brisa and said that he would go back.

Brisa rode on the back of Rouvin back to her home in the castle. At first, the guards threatened Rouvin with their spears but Brisa commanded them to stay back, assuring them that she was safe and Rouvin had been tamed. The did as she asked. Her parents, hearing the news that Brisa was back, ran out to her and embraced her. They ordered a huge feast for the entire kingdom to welcome home their daughter.

At the feast, Brisa asked her father if she could talk to the people. He agreed. She recounted the story of Hermes and why he had become so wicked. She then asked the people if they would take him back and love him, despite the grotesque scars. She reiterated to them that he was just like them, he just had an unfortunate accident that left severe scarring on much of his body. She reminded them that any type of an accident could happen to anyone of them.

The people of the kingdom all shouted with one accord that they would accept Hermes back into their kingdom and would treat him with the love and respect that they knew Brisa treated him.

Hermes was warmly welcomed back into the kingdom. In time, he and Brisa married and lived happily ever after.

(To be continued…)

Eon and Books

Soon after the Jaredites arrived in the Promised Land, Eon, a grandson of the Brother of Jared, was asked by his grandfather to create a way to publish their prophecies and writings. He was a prayerful man and sought inspiration and guidance from the Lord.

Since they brought records and writings with them to the promised land, Eon used those as an example of what he needed to do as well as crafting new methods of printing their records. All the resources they needed to create the best supplies were plentifully found in the Promised Land. Gold, silver, brass, copper, among other metals, were found and made into thin plates. Different types of wood was harvested and made into various types of paper. Flax grew in abundance and was used to create linens for a type of paper, as well as cloth. It seemed that the ability to publish writings and scriptures came easily for Eon and those who helped him. They found amazing resources to formulate the best inks, paints, and other materials to write with. Because God knew how important writing down their scriptures, prophecies, histories, and stories was and He provided them with the various processes to do that.

Writings that Eon wanted to preserve for generations, especially scriptures, prophecies, and histories, were carefully etched into metal plates. Many different metals were used, depending on the book and what the author desired. Original scriptures and histories were put on the best metals Eon could find then preserved in a safe place to be handed down through the generations. Eon prayed earnestly that those records would be preserved, even in times of wickedness, which he knew would come. In answer to his fervent prayers, God reassured him that the scriptures, prophecies, and histories would be preserved so in a future day, they would bring light to an ever darkening world.

Using the best paper they could make, Eon created a type of lithograph to quickly and easily make several copies of writings. Working with the authors and orators, they etched the words onto specialized plates and covered the plates with selected inks. Then he placed the sheets of paper on the plates and the words and sometime pictures were transferred to the paper. The sheets would then be tied or glued together and enclosed in a leather cover to protect the pages. Several books could be made in one day and then sold in various markets. This method of publishing made it possible for several copies of scriptures and histories to be distributed. Eon knew that printing on paper would not last as long as metal plates, but it was an excellent way to produce multiple copies of documents. Although a copy of the scriptures, prophecies, and histories were etched into the metal plates for preservation, copies were printed on paper so each person could have their own copies. Authors who wrote and published stories, poems, and information generally used paper. Occasionally, some authors chose to preserve their work and would take the time to etch their words on plates.

As the Jaredites continued to gain knowledge, they recorded what they learned to be passed down through the generations.

Grace Part 4

Grace was adored by her parents and all that she met. She had her mother’s light colored hair and eyes and had a cute little dimple in her right cheek. Rachel especially doted on her as that helped her to heal from her previous losses. Losing so many babies had been difficult for Rachel. Even though she still danced and wrote additional poetry and stories, all of which were therapeutic for her, she continued to carry a deep ache in her heart.

When Grace turned three years old, she began taking formal lessons in one of Rachel’s classes at Micah’s home. Micah had a large attachment to her home that had a beautiful hardwood floor and was completely enclosed. There were several windows in the room to provide light and to open during the warm months of year with a fireplace to warm the room during the cold months. Even though Grace bounced around before she could walk, once she began walking, she danced more than she walked. Like her parents, she was a natural dancer.

During these years, Rachel lost three more babies, one at about 10 weeks, another at about 14 weeks, and a third baby at 16 weeks. This took an additional toll on Rachel as these new losses added to her already profound grief. Finally, when Grace was four years old, she delivered a healthy and happy baby boy whom they named Mato.

Grace quickly fell in love with her baby brother. She loved to help Rachel with him and was actually very helpful for a four-year old. Grace continued to take dance lessons, but now from Salali instead of Rachel since she struggled with severe depression after Mato’s birth and was no longer able to teach.

Rachel’s depression utterly devastated their entire family. She continued to nurse Mato, but it became difficult as she frequently needed to be reminded and sometimes needed someone to sit with her. She cried often as she continue to grieve the loss of her other babies. It was as if Mato’s birth brought back to her mind and heart all that she lost.

Pahana ached for his wife as she acted like a completely different woman than the beautiful woman he married. Several times, he lost his patience with her out of his own frustration and inability to understand what Rachel felt. He could not understand the depth of her grief and why she continued to grieve so intensely. He struggled making a living for the family as well as taking care of the children; it was too much for him. Whenever he lost his patience and treated Rachel unkindly, Pezi and Rueben, being sympathetic to Pahana but still protective of their little sister, reminded him that his wife still needed to be treated with kindness and respect.

Beth and Maia helped as often as they could, but had their own children to take care of. There were many days and nights that Grace and Mato stayed with them. Paul spent many hours with Grace and Mato, but he also had a business that he needed to attend to. Grace readily attached to Paul as he provided much needed love and attention.

Grace thrived at her dance lessons as they gave her an outlet away from the effects of her mother’s depression. While home, she played more with Mato than Rachel did. She also loved to dance at home. Rachel loved watching her dance and would smile and help her. Grace, often was a bright star for Rachel in her darkened world. One reason Grace often asked to hear the story of her parents meeting was that Rachel always seemed to lighten and smile more while recounting the story. There were other stories that Grace loved to hear from Rachel and would beg her to tell her.

When Mato was close to one year old, Rachel, in the despairs of depression, attempted to take her own life. Thankfully, someone in their city found her passed out, very close to death, and quickly found a healer who was able to save her life. Pahana, desperately concerned for Rachel, wrote to his parents and asked if they would come and live with them. Len and Azelia were more than happy to come and help their family.

Grace loved her paternal grandparents and enjoyed their presence at her home as they seemed to bring sunshine with them. Even Rachel started smiling more. Mato’s growth and development progressed better than it ever had; he was finally thriving for his age as he received the love and attention that he desperately needed. It was a matter of days that he went from crawling, to walking and running. His father and grandparents soon had a hard time keeping up with him.

One of the healers, Tala, had also once suffered with depression after the birth of one of her babies. She worked closely with Rachel to find the right combination of herbs to help her depression. At times it would seem that she would find a combination that would work, only to have Rachel fall back into a depression after a week or two.

One of the highlights in Rachel’s life was dancing with Pahana. Somehow, that seemed to be able to free her mind of her grief. When they danced, he helped her feel like she was a beautiful queen. Unfortunately though, there were days when she felt too low to even dance.

One night when Grace was five years old, she was on her sleeping mat trying to go to sleep. Mato was close to her and was already asleep. She was tired as she had a busy day of dancing and playing. She also felt sad because Rachel had an unusually difficult day. Thinking about her mother, tears started falling from her eyes. She wanted her mother to be well so she could dance and play with her. She sat up on her mat and wiped her tears on her blanket. As she did this, light entered her room. It was not light from a candle, lamp, or a fire, it was different. Even though the light was brighter than the noon-day sun, she could still look into it. As she looked, she saw two people. One, with a kind, gentle voice informed Grace that she was her sister Letzi. Grace was astonished! She did not know that she had a sister! Letzi told her that she was born before Grace was born and was immediately called home. She said that she only needed a body and that their parents were willing to create a body for her. Letzi asked Grace to tell their mother that she is fine and happy and doing the work that God wants her to do. She said that she felt sad that Rachel suffered so much and asked Grace to tell their mother than none of the losses were her fault. It was part of Heavenly Father’s plan and that she could be healed from all her grief and guilt. Grace asked Letzi what else she could do to help. Letzi reminded her to continue to be the sweet, kind daughter that she always had been and that the time would soon come when their mother would be healed from her depression. This excited Grace. The light and two spirits stayed with Grace for several more minutes while Grace fell asleep.

The next morning, as soon as Grace awoke, she jumped from her sleeping mat and ran to her parents. Pahana was already in the cooking room preparing some bread for their breakfast. Grace excitedly asked where her mother was as she had something exciting to tell them. Pahana answered that Rachel was still sleeping. Just then, Rachel sleepily walked into the cooking room and sat down on a cushion.

Grace ran over and hugged her mother and excitedly said that Letzi came to see her. Stunned, Rachel looked at Pahana, who looked equally bewildered and shrugged. Grace repeated that Letzi came to see her last night before she went to sleep and she stayed until after she fell asleep. Rachel slowly and carefully asked Grace who Letzi was. Grace knowingly answered that she was her sister! She described what had happened while Rachel and Pahana looked at each other in amazement since they had never told Grace about Letzi. Pahana asked about the second person in the light; Grace said it was Jesus. Pahana asked how she knew that. Grace responded that even though he did not talk to her, she just knew it was him. She described him as very handsome as he looked very calm, peaceful, and loving. She described that the love that she felt from him was greater than any type of love that she had felt before, even from her grandparents. Hugging her mother with tears streaming down her face, she decisively told Rachel that Letzi was happy and now she could be happy.

With tears streaming from their eyes, Pahana sat down by Rachel and hugged her, hugged her like he never wanted to let her go. They did not say much as they embraced the goodness from what their daughters had shared.

About this time, Mato wandered into the room, looked at his crying parents, suddenly felt afraid and started to cry. Rachel stood up and went to Mato, hugging him and assuring him that everything was alright. Len and Azelia also walked in, at first looking concerned about the scene before them, then Pahana gave Azelia a big hug and announced that everything was going to be alright. He began depicting his daughter’s encounter, with Grace determinedly interrupting him saying that it was her story to tell. She finished retelling her experience, ending with Len and Azelia in tears. They all hugged as they all sensed a measure of peace and comfort that had not been felt for what seemed like a very long time.

The peace and assurance from Grace’s visitation helped Rachel to improve, however, it was sporadic and Rachel still had more bad days than good. Pahana felt a new hope as he began to see light more often in Rachel than he had since Mato was born. Tala continued to work with Rachel trying different herb combinations and additional healing methods.

Two months after Grace’s experience, she turned six years old. Azelia helped Rachel plan a grand, yet simple celebration. They invited her closest friends and all of her family. They purchased a large piece of meat that they prepared in a savory stew with some vegetables from their garden. It was one of Grace’s favorite meals. They also made her favorite sweet honey cake. Grace delighted everyone their by performing one of her favorite dances. After dancing, she went to Rachel, took her by the hand, pulled her up and begged her to dance with her.

Beth was a musician and played a type of a flute, among other instruments. With a big smile on her face, Grace asked her to play one of her favorite songs, which she readily agreed to. Still holding Rachel’s hand, she started dancing a simple dance that Rachel taught her in rhythm to Beth’s music. Rachel, somewhat unwillingly, began following her daughter’s steps. After a couple minutes, Rachel began to put more emotion into the dance. She let go of Grace’s hand and lost herself in the music and dance. Pahana then joined her in the dance. They danced for several minutes with Grace happily looking on. Then, interrupting their dance, Grace took one of each of their hands in hers and the three of them happily danced together. Mato, seeing his parents and sister dancing in the middle of the room, decided that he wanted to be a part of whatever it was they were doing, ran over to them and to the delight of everyone, barged his way into the middle of the threesome. Both Rachel and Pahana took one of his hands and they danced together to the captivating music that Beth played.

When they finished their dance, the family hugged each other. Rachel had tears streaming down her eyes. She hugged Pahana, then Grace and Mato. She thanked Grace for encouraging her to dance. From that night on, something seemed to have clicked in her mind to where she was finally able to begin to come out of her depression. She still had setbacks, but finally had more good days than bad.

Grace was very sensitive to her mother’s depression and seemed to know when she was having an extra hard day. She learned that if she could encourage her mother to dance, that would almost immediately help brighten her mood. Then, of course, Mato would want to join.

Finally coming out of her devastating grief and darkness, Rachel began writing poems which Pahana and others put to music. Many of her poems were about intense grief and darkness. Those who read her poems and heard the poems sung to music, learned a part of what Rachel dealt with during her years of depression. Pahana especially, had no idea how Rachel felt until he read her written words. There were many times as he read her poems that he sobbed and sobbed at what his beautiful wife had been fighting with. He sadly learned that Mato’s birth triggered the depression that devastated her and the family. Rachel falsely believed she was responsible for the loss of the other babies and that guilt overwhelmed and debilitated her.

Watching Grace blossom in dance, Rachel again desired to dance and to teach lessons. She and Pahana began to practice together more regularly, often creating dances to go with the songs she wrote. Mato, observing his parents and big sister dancing, begged to take dance lessons, which he did from Salali. Although Mato enjoyed his dance lessons, he preferred to be with Pahana as he created new paints. Pahana usually let Mato test his paints as he already proved to have strong artistic gifts and understanding of how to put colors together to create beautiful pictures.

With Rachel feeling much better, Len and Azelia thought about returning to their home, but decided that they loved living near Pahana and Rachel. So they went and retrieved their belonging and animals then returned to live close to Pahana and Rachel.