Masheka rolled over and put an arm around me. “I’ll pray to the spirits to give you a sign that will convince you we should travel in the same canoe down the river of life.”
I slept peacefully snuggled against him. Wind Chaser awoke me just before dawn. In the gray light I put on my moccasins.
Masheka groaned sleepily, “Why is Wind Chaser howling?”
“To awaken us.” I went over to my bags and pulled out my sacred pipe.
Masheka stretched. It was a warm morning. He wore only a breechcloth and didn’t bother to put on leggings.
We walked away from camp to a small hill overlooking the lake. I held my pipe to Father Sky, Mother Earth and the four directions. A soft humming sound filled my being and I felt my Spirit Guide’s presence.
I stopped, facing the rising sun. Great love for Mother Earth and for all life flowed through me as I held out the pipe and watched the sun rise in the sky, making the world come alive with color. Masheka stood beside me and there was harmony between us.
I shut my eyes and silently began to chant Hu-nai-yiee. I heard the pounding of distant drums and was transported to the spirit worlds. My body was made of shimmering light with an aura of blue and I was filled with a sense of peace and love.
Masheka appeared in a body of vibrating light. The blue light around him was intense and radiated out until his aura overlapped mine.
In the next instant we were in front of the Spirit Cave. It beckoned for me to enter it. The sound of drums grew louder. The light of this world became so intense it nearly blinded me. I knew I was hearing the drums of an ancient people and seeing the light of the Great Spirit.
I opened my eyes and stared at Masheka, aware now that he was part of my spiritual journey. His eyes were still closed and he looked lost in prayer. I felt a deep warmth for him as a kindred spirit. I realized there was a spiritual connection between us that I never had with Kicking Horse.
Masheka opened his eyes and smiled at me. “It’s strange,” he said. “I feel as if Wind Chaser spoke to me, telling me he is my brother.”
I smiled. “Wolves are den-orientated. Wind Chaser has accepted you into his den. You’ll start to learn his language now. He feels the connection between us. Last night I promised I would tell you of my vision.”
I hesitated because Masheka was not a family member, an elder, or a shaman, the only ones a vision is usually shared with. Yet his path was intertwined with mine, so it felt right to tell him.
“As you know, I am in training to be a holy woman. I went to the Sacred Mountains to clarify my spiritual path. While on my quest I had a powerful vision. My Inner Guide took me to Spirit Cave; a place of visions and ancient truths. He told me I must journey there to get my talisman, which will give me strong medicine. I’m compelled to follow this vision. That’s why I left my band and started this quest, even after my brother had given me to you.
“The cave lies to the southeast of here, in the sacred Land of Boiling Water. It lies in the Big Horn Mountains.”
Masheka listened attentively. His face revealed that he listened with an open heart and mind.
“Tam Apo sent you to me to guide and protect me,” I continued, “but I don’t think I’m to share a lodge with you. One of my animal guides is the hawk. I’ve chosen to fly high like a hawk rather than be earthbound. It hasn’t been an easy path to follow. I have to go to Spirit Cave, then return to help my people now that we no longer have a shaman. Will you let me follow my vision?”
I lowered my head, waiting in silence for his answer. He was a man who listened to the Great Spirit. He would understand that to ignore my guidance would cause great inner agony.
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