The 3 Sisters of the Sky – How Not to Be Afraid of the Dark

I finished the manuscript today for the children’s book.  Daz is hard at work on the illustrations.

If you were a child and you feared the night, would this comfort you?

Would it ease your fears to see the balance of night and day?  For centuries, we have assigned fear and danger to the night. I wanted to create a story about balance, about sisters who must share and perform their tasks.  They are all friendly and positive in their own way. They care for people, animals and each other. They benefit everyone in completing their specific tasks and taking their turns.

Selene

If my perception of night – rife with its histrionic terrors  – could be altered into the character of a young, helpful girl with a magic silver bow, then it would be my favorite bedtime story.  Please enjoy:

The Three Sisters of the Sky.

Celeste, Soleil and Selene, the Three Sisters of the Sky,

The merry daughters of Mother Earth and Father Time

Each sister takes her turn to play day or night

Each sister must do her part and share the sky

Celeste, the eldest sister, is the peace keeper in the balance night and day.  Father Time tells her that it is dawn. Her jackrabbits nibble their grassy breakfast.  Deer gather in the misty forests to watch the morning glories open their deep blue eyes.  It is time to awaken her sister, Soleil. She wakes her sunny little sister, pulling back her pretty cloak of all color stars.  “Up, up, little sister! Dawn is coming. Today will be glorious!”

Soleil, the middle sister, yawns and stretches out her golden rays. She puts on her glorious gown of red, yellow and blazing orange. Soleil calls out to the roosters that it is time to sing. She shines on the farmers who work with Mother Earth.  She strides across bright fields, warming the animals that graze and bask in her shimmering rays. Soleil opens wildflowers so honeybees can drink nectar and make honey. Sunflowers joyfully follow her journey. Songbirds tweet their happy melodies.   “Let’s play!’ she calls to the monkeys who follow her from tree to tree.

Soleil has traveled far today.  Celeste knows her little sister is growing sleepy. The crickets begin singing a sweet lullaby.  Celeste tucks her sunny little sister in under veils of lavender and gold. “To sleep, Soleil. Goodnight, my golden sister. Sweet dreams.”

And now it is Selene’s turn. “Up, up, little sister! Night is coming. All will be well.” Celeste helps her youngest sister dress in indigo and brush her silver-blue hair. Helpful fireflies will keep Selene on her path through the dark. “Don’t forget the dreams.” Says Celeste. Selene picks up her magic silver bowl of dreams. Tonight the dream bowl is full, bright with hope and memory and wildness. Little Selene giggles. Dreams are her favorite part of the night.

Selene strolls quietly through shadowed lands.  Moonflowers and jasmine open their blooms to greet her.  “Come help, my friends.” She whispers to the little bats that fly about eating mosquitos. “Come run and play.” She calls to her foxes who love the night.

Selene sprinkles dreams from her silver bowl over sleeping children.  She lights up the little stars for weary travelers to brighten the path until they are safe at home. She cools and comforts with her soft hands. The owls and wolves sing her wild songs.

The peaceful night is ending. Selene must rest and fill her magic silver bowl with dreams for everyone.  Celeste wraps her glowing little sister in a soft blanket of pinks and blues. The dawn has come again.

Celeste, Soleil and Selene, the Three Sisters of the Sky,

The merry daughters of Mother Earth and Father Time

Each sister takes her turn to play day or night

Each sister must do her part and share the sky.

FREE TO BE: THE SA-NEAR-I (Like a safari, but closer)

So we needed an adventure. There are places where all feels right with the world. And sometimes we all just need to go there. Blow the stink off, relocate your spirit, align your body to other meridians. Spend a Saturday doing more than laundry or grocery shopping.

Two hours away, near Arcola, Illinois, there is a wildlife sanctuary. It is owned and operated by the Aikman family; now in their first full year of operation.  Last year the Kaskaskia River limited their grazing lands. There are 150 animals from 50 species native to 6 continents living here in a peaceable kingdom. They are not caged.  The limited predatory species, hyenas and serval cats, have their own enclosures.

But here the buffalo really do roam. Alongside zebras, Watusi cattle, camels, elands, draft horses, miniature horses, donkeys, alpacas, Scottish highland cows, et. al.  They are loved and they are well-fed and each one has a name and a story.  Although native to other climes, they were born here in the Midwest.  They are all part of a conservation effort.

Those are the facts. And now for the feelings:

Wonderment. Joy. Happiness. Inspiration. Pleasure.

We sat on the wagon, tractor pulling us through the paddocks, going to wherever this diverse herd may be enjoying their morning. Fabio, the Bactrian camel (see above), was my immediate favorite. Although he was in the process of shedding his winter coat, he was still a very handsome and photogenic boy.

We were given small bowls of feed to scatter by our feet in the wagon.  We stopped, we scattered the feed, and then they came.  Bison, cattle, blue wildebeest, elands, elk, zebras, alpacas, horses, and emus. There are groups of ducks, geese, pheasants, peacocks, guinea fowl.

bison

Then there are the emus. Our guide told us that emus are both curious and ill-tempered. They will not attack four-legged creatures, but the will come after humans because we walk upright on two legs like they do.  So why have them around?  Because they act as guardians for the smaller four-legged species who appreciate them. Emus own “hangry” as an expression. They have zero manners, large pointy, pecky beaks and giant three-toed claws.  They remind me of Petyr Baelish from Game of Thrones. And yes, I love them.  How has an emu never been a Disney villain?

emu

In the midst of the herd, I was suddenly 8 years old again. Mrs. Huber handed me the lyric sheet for “Free to Be” by The New Seekers.  I would learn it and sing it and forget it for 40 years. Then today, I would remember the joy I felt when this wide, deep blissful adventure fit neatly into the ideals of a song written in 1972.

We walked the path through the other enclosures. Cavies, potbellied pigs, tortoises, goats and sheep. A miniature horse and cow and deer – all the same size – all living together in harmony. Different but equal. Different but not in competition. All amazing in their own little way.  Like us, without ego. Like us, without the fear of our perceived differences. Free to be You and Me.