As soon as Rachel arrived home, she excitedly ran to her father, gave him a big hug, and thanked him over and over again for allowing her to go to the festival. Paul looked at her animated eyes, smiled and asked if the festival went as well as she had hoped. Rachel hugged him again and proclaimed that it was so much better than she could have even imagined! Paul invited her to sit down and tell him about her week.
She excitedly recounted to her father about her practically perfect performance. Paul was thrilled for her and informed her that he wished that he could have been there to watch her. Rachel agreed. Then she told him about the sunrise, the mid-day meal, and the dances! Paul listened to his love-struck daughter describe her week. While Rachel was expressing her thoughts and feelings about Pahana, Pezi walked into their house.
Playing his typical role of the overprotective brother, he asked Rachel all types of questions about Pahana. Feeling frustrated with all the questions, Rachel exclaimed that Pahana would be here in about one month and he could talk to him then. Smiling, Pezi assured her that he would determine if this young man was good enough for his little sister. With Paul smiling at the interaction between the two, Rachel playfully hit him on his arm and guaranteed that he would like Pahana.
Later in the week, Pezi and Rueben visited Micah and Donn to inquire about Pahana. They promised that Pahana was a great man and would be a good match for Rachel. Donn told them how well Pahana treated Rachel, how he looked at her, and that he was an amazing dancer. He also admitted that he would not hesitate to allow Pahana to marry one of his daughters; but since he had eyes for Rachel, that was out of the question. This helped alleviate Pezi and Rueben’s concerns about Rachel’s relationship with Pahana.
About one month after the festival, Pahana moved to Rachel’s city. Upon meeting him, Paul immediately loved him like another son and knew that he would be a good husband for his daughter. Pezi and Rueben quizzed him incessantly until Rachel looked at her father with pleading eyes. Feeling amused, Paul finally warned his sons to leave Pahana alone. Pahana thanked Paul, with a look of relief on his face. Pezi and Rueben broke out in good-humored laughter. They assured Pahana that they questioned any young man who Rachel was interested in and declared that he met their approval. Pezi surprised everyone by inviting Pahana to share a house with him since he had extra space. Pahana agreed to the arrangement.
Five months later, under a full-moon and by a gurgling creek, Pahana asked Rachel to marry him. She excitedly answered yes; initiating their betrothal.
Pahana and Rachel began dancing together professionally They entered many competitions and due to their grace and elegance, they almost always won. Rachel learned to enjoyed dancing with a partner, but they would usually choreograph a short solo for her into their dance.
After a six-month betrothal, Pahana and Rachel were married. Their marriage was a fabulous celebration with festive music and dancing. They decided that they would live in Rachel’s city to be near her father.
They continued dancing, but knowing that they needed to provide a living for themselves, Rachel began teaching dance lessons with Micah. She especially loved working with the young girls who were about 3 and 4 years old. Pahana developed his gifts as a choreographer and created many dances for Micah and Rachel’s students. He also had a gift of music composition as music would come to his mind while he created dances. He collaborated with many different musicians to help orchestrate the music.
Pahana was also an exceptional artist. His maternal grandmother was well-known for her magnificent paintings. She and her husband were also renowned for their abilities to create superb quality paints. Pahana developed an interest in creating different hues of paints when he was young. He spent a lot of time at his grandparents’ home learning from them.
Knowing that he may not be able to make a good living in the dance world, he focused his attention on improving this craft. Rachel lived in an area where there was a different variety of plants, flowers, and soil than his hometown. He experimented with different materials to create unique pigments. He eventually became well-known for the quality and color of his paints. His grandmother even came to visit him and purchased paints from him to take back to her town to sell.
Pahana and Rachel desperately wanted to start a family but sadly, it proved to be difficult for them. More than a year after they were married, Rachel was finally with child, only to lose the baby after three months. A few months later, she conceived again, only to lose the baby. More than two years after their marriage, Rachel became with child again and carried the baby to full-term. After a difficult delivery, the baby, a beautiful tiny girl, peacefully passed away. Even though the baby died, they named her Lutzi after one of Pahana’s grandmothers. Rachel and Pahana were heartbroken, as well as their families. Rachel was practically inconsolable. Pahana assisted her in choreographing a dance to express her feelings and overcome her grief. As part of her healing, she wrote a poem to which Pahana and a couple of their musician friends composed music to accompany the dance. She performed the dance at a competition, some festivals, and other various performances. The women, especially, felt the grief in her dance and were touched and inspired. The dance was powerful and helped Rachel to heal, as well as others.
Another two years went by before Rachel was with child again. She and Pahana felt cautiously optimistic that they would be able to deliver a healthy baby. In fact, Pahana felt a powerful peace that they would raise this child. With the help of the healer, Rachel took very good care of herself during the pregnancy, even better than she had done before. She marveled at her growing belly and loved to feel the movements of her unborn child. Pahana was gleefully certain the baby would be a dancer and was already practicing.
Towards the end of the ninth month, Rachel became quite anxious. Part of her could not wait until the baby came as she felt enormous and uncomfortable. The other part feared losing this baby. She had grown to love this baby growing within her and did not know if she would be able to endure another loss. Pahana continued to reassure her of his peace and conviction that this baby would be born healthy and happy. Rachel wished that she had the same reassurance, but instead, trusted Pahana.
The day for delivery finally arrived. Pahana rushed to get the healer. On his way, he ran into Pezi’s wife and two children; she promised that she would tell Paul and then she would be on her way to be with Rachel.
Pahana impatiently waited outside his house with Paul, Pezi, and Rueben. Pezi’s wife, Beth, and Rueben’s wife, Maia, helped the healer and Rachel. After one final loud scream from Rachel, a baby’s piercing cry was joyfully heard. Pahana immediately and excitedly hugged Paul and ran into the house, uninvited! He quickly, but quietly, rushed to Rachel’s side, then saw his precious baby daughter on Rachel’s belly. He put one hand on Rachel’s head and the other on his very beloved baby girl. The healer, Mecha, gave Pahana a scolding look for coming into the house so soon, but the look quickly and easily turned to a big smile as she asked him if he wanted to cut the cord. He replied that he would be honored to do that, but felt strongly that he needed to wait few minutes. He spoke sweetly to Rachel and thanked her for all that she did to bring this beautiful baby into the world. Mecha put a warm soft blanket over the baby and Rachel while Pahana kissed her forehead.
After saying a silent short prayer, Pahana said that he was ready to cut the cord, which he did with the help of Mecha. Then Beth and Maia helped to clean the infant. Maia, with joyful tears in her eye, asked Rachel what the baby’s name would be. Rachel immediately said Grace, then looked at Pahana for approval, which he gladly gave as he kissed his wife again.
(To be continued…)