The Stone Gatherer by Jeanne Burrows-Johnson
The cries of the fallen were carried on the winds into the atmosphere. From there, they reverberated throughout the Universe. Even the manna of the rocks and riverbeds wept at their demise and the heavens joined in their death thrall, as myths of the great and small mingled in an echoing story of the lands that once covered the face of the Earth.
Throughout my short life, I have sought to know my calling. I am told that my brother Adeo knew his almost from the moment he could speak. But never has there been a hint of what would become my purpose. I have often thought that I have taken much and brought nothing to my peoples to justify my presence within their body.
Sometimes my mother brings me the writings of those who lived before the End Times. The language is not that different than what we speak and write today…except for there being less words from across the spectrum of languages that have mixed through the ages and more of technical and scientific terms that are not relevant to life as we know it. I think the fascination with such unknowns is what attracted Adeo to seek a life in scientific recovery.
Who am I? I am Elira. I am a speaker from your probable future. For the very reason that I have no purpose, no calling high or low, I have somehow found a way to reach out, back, to you. Of course, I have no way of being certain that these words I strive to share will be discovered, let alone understood by you. I must remember that although you may be the source of our being today, we are not necessarily the destiny that your existence assures.
I am merely a gatherer of stones from across the lands that I and my peoples walk upon. My collection of stories of and from my stones grows ever larger with each season I journey with my papa. Directed by the time of year, the weather, and the goods we will take, our pathway is chosen. I may not yet be tall or broad enough to carry much, but I have come to see I play an important role in the success of these journeys for my family and our calvern.
You see, my being with him provides a sense of trust in the societies we visit. For surely the father of a young girl can safely be received. My curiosity about and acceptance of their varied lives alone makes me a welcome guest. And what do they see me carry away when I leave? Only a few stones by which to mark the remembrance of my abiding in their calvern for a short while. They are the ones that call out to me in hues of brown, and green, and red, and sometimes best of all, with no hue at all...merely the clarity of a crystal impregnated by unseen energies that urge me to carry it home...
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