Copyright Daniel Halsey 2009 1
The broken land lay silent many years. Wind blew across it and ice broke it apart. Water went from the shredded Land into Cloud because nothing was left to hold it. Wind grew strong moving Cloud and Land as one. Losing many layers of Land exposed the ancient and scared, awakening some. The broken Land would not heal. From under the broken Land came Ebo. He was thirsty and out of balance.
Ebo walks across the land. As soon as he lifts his foot, Wind fills the step. He leaves no tracks. Soon a draw would come and he might find water if the silt was not deep, but all have been filled or removed. The skeletal ridge rises up against the green horizon which comes to meet him. Yellow plumes hang behind across the sky pointing to where cities had been. At night they glow and in daylight skies help guide Ebo's direction. Rivers dry and trees fall with each season. Ebo walks, looking, observing. waiting for the sign that will raise his eyes. Bird finds seed but lays no egg. Deer has no fawn. Dicot no bloom. Barren land begets barren land. What feeds is seed and what grows is seed, but no seed sprouts to life in these desiccated fields. Possibility races with consumption as the separation widens with time. It is called Raqiya. The space between land and the highest sky.
Walking still, Ebo’s sling holds a pouch, the last of many. He sustains his search consuming what he most desires of his quest, the last seed surviving in a niche. Wind comes again and whirls the ocean of silt in towering columns. The giant columns fall and roll across the land, contours are made ever level with tiny ridges. Flat, lifeless, and shaved clean. Valleys fill as hills of alluvial soil rise. Ebo walks in the sandy basins between them.
A green horizon nears with darkening clarity. Trembling echoes shake Land and Sky. Wind pauses to catch its breath. Shadow covers shadow. Undying silence ends as Light strikes the ground when Water moves toward Ebo. Sheets fall in winding cascades. Ebo pools water in his palm and fills his steps flushing out the silt only to see it fall away. As Cloud moves away it slows the rain in the basin. Ebo pulls off his sling, swings it above and catches Cloud, pulling down more Water. Wind resists the tow pushing Cloud high into Raquiya, raging against the sling. Wind’s time has ended. Unabated Wind has cleansed the plateau and scoured the past. It has been working many years and the desolation is complete. Ebo has found no life
With pouch in hand and sling outstretched, Ebo rises tall with rising eyes. Ebo swings his head back, closes his eyes and with arched back and chest heaving he inhales the sky. Cloud, Water, Rain and dusty silt, all pass within his nostrils,. Yellow plumes, ice, and all things outside the Moon, all pass within. Only the land remains. It’s rolling hills and stripped plain.
All the sky is overflowing with stars and black ruins of emptiness. Moon casts a tall shadow across the earth. The shadow crouches down; collapsing on outstretched hands, falling to its knees. The shadow burys its face in the Land, it clasps fingers behind its head and exhales. Into the land all life is poured. Into the rock, soil and crevices. Water rushes to fill the void. Giant geysers shoot silt, water and air into the dark sky, catching the sun and warmth. Ebo exhales the rain into springs, rivers and new lakes. As Cloud is forced into the land Ebo forbids it to leave. Cloud will stay in the soil to hold Water in Land. Wherever Rain will fall Cloud will be to hold it for Land. The three shall become Soil and from Soil shall come all life. All others, Rain, Water, and silt may move freely, but Cloud must stay in the darkness and hold the water from falling away.
Cloud protests that the desolation will be too great. Sun, Sky and Air agree. Ebo considers the anguish in Cloud. Ebo says,” Cloud, this is how you shall move about. You may not move by your own power but by the wishes of Wind and Sky.
You must remain in Land until a claw or hoof breaks Soil that you might breath one breathe. Then you may rise to Sky as Air. Other ways you will find, but all must be done through the life I will provide in Soil. As long as the Land is unbroken you will remain and take breathe, as life needs. You must always return with Water as Rain. By this you will find Sun and cool the Land”.
Ebo rolled back on his knees and rose to his feet looking at the new blue Sky and deep rich Soil. Cloud was in the Soil holding Water. At this point Ebo slid off his sling and opened the pouch. He pulled one seed and pushed it into Soil. The seed sprouted and grew roots and two leaves. “Cloud, Ebo said, with these you may breath. I will provide many for you. But if you breath too much, it will die and you will again be trapped. Be careful with these. They grow slowly. These shall hold Soil so Wind blows no silt and Water does not fall away”.
Swinging the sling Ebo spun the pouch over his head. With a loud crack the pouch split and the multitude of seeds were cast to all points of Land. Some close under foot and others far off. The seeds sprouted. Some slowly, some fast. Ebo walked to the ridge and rested. Soon he was covered with Soil and plants. The silt stopped under the new plants and Wind abated. Cloud began to breath. Low areas with many plants filled deep with water over time. Cloud found it easier to breath in the wet land. Under the Moon, Cloud gathers breath above the reeds before taken away by Wind. Deer has fawn and Bird has egg. Each scratches Soil so Cloud can breath.