Once upon a time the land had become restless and uneasy. The Grandfathers had been neglected and, seeking peace, nourishment and reconciliation from their descendants but finding no connection, had taken away all the homes on the land in order to reach them. While they wandered, they would be looking, and while they were looking there was a chance they would find them and all would be put back in its rightful place. And so it was.
A grand daughter had been homeless for years, wandering, from the ocean to the gold ,to the river that winds like a snake, to the place where the hills jut out under a hot sun in the naval of the land. One day she found herself again by the ocean where she had begun. She came to a little house where a wise woman with white hair lived. The wise woman looked at her shells and told the granddaughter that a great movement was underway. The grand daughter was needed to do her part to put right all the mess that had been made. It would be a long and difficult journey and she would need to make many offerings, going deep into the earth to recover the connection that had been lost and find her way home again. The wise woman told her that the only way to heal the land would be for the grand daughter to die and be reborn.
They made a long journey, flying in iron birds and riding iron horses to the place where the mountains met the stream and the Great Mother had whispered into the memory of the land a greeting into a tree with long red roots to invite the grand daughter back into the earth she had forgotten. The Monkey King came with his people to see them safely through the gate.
The Great Mother chose the Keepers of the Land carefully so they would recognise the wise woman and the grand daughter when they came. A great feast was prepared. The keepers of the land made a fire and stood guard as the grand daughter lay down in the grave she had prepared, ready to die so she could be reborn.
The wind blew. Creatures who lived in the earth crawled and connected. She sank deeper, inhaling grains of sand and dust. As she descended, the keepers of the land and the wise woman sang songs so she would not get lost. The spirits that had gathered came forward to be seen and known, their stories told. The old man who had been buried at the top of the hill came first, followed by those who had died in the wars. The Earth was heavy and cool; it enveloped her, comforted, as she surrendered into the loamy scent.
When the Death Arrow landed, it pierced her side so all of the sadness poured out, and the Great Mother laughed and laughed as she rocked her child back Home. A great rage rose then, coursing through like hot blood. All the subjugation of the entire world, all the women who had been made to submit through violence. She shook and shook and shook and a great sound wrenched out and vibrated around the entire cosmos.
Then the Three Grandmothers came, so she could weep.
Only when she was emptied. Only when she was emptied the Grandfather’s took their place. She called out to the one who held back to witness and speak out the story that had kept him hidden and shamed. You are our ancestor too. And so it was. Taking all the burdens of all the sons she placed the bundle in his hands and said, take care of this one. We have been waiting for you to find us the Grandfathers said, waiting for you to remember our names so we could do our work. Make homes that are sweet and strong and true. An end to the wandering. And it was good.
A great crowd had gathered around the tree, spirits of all the lineages, of the wise woman and the keepers of the land and the old old ones. The gathered so they could take their places in constellation around this buried girl. They gathered to welcome her home so she could be born again.
And the fire came and ate the clothes and everything was still again and empty.
It is enough that you have been born whispered the wind and the river when she came at dawn, a foetus slipping out into the birthing pool. The blue light. The hard ground. The soft cloth wrapped around her.
Warm hands. Sweet stories and a great love spreading out into the world. The Monkey King knew she had returned and sent a great greeting party to welcome her back. They jumped through the grass and stared and cheered and laughed.
The Life Arrow pointed the way out, calling the black dog to come in the dreamtime. Flying over the cusp of the hill at the centre of the Earth. Flying Home. To keep doing the work. And keep doing the work. The Garndmothers and Grandfathers smiled. And so it was.