Happy May Day! I am excited to say that my “fairy tale” is being published in a Twin Cities publication this month. It seemed like a great story to honor the spring and our awakening earth. Hope you enjoy it.
The Stone People are nocturnal and wary. They live long, long lives, so long that the passing of seasons, centuries, even eons go unnoticed unless something unusual happens to disturb their peaceful natures. They measure their days by the cycles of the moon. The full moon is their morning and the slim stick moon their night. A month is but a day and a year a single week. Only under the full moon are the Stone People able to release their spirits from grainy rock so they can emerge to dance and sing and share stories beneath the glowing orb.
Not in a million years did Josia expect to fall in love. Although he is surface Stone and not one of the Elders embedded deep within the body of earth, still, he has been around for a good long while. He remembers a time when his broad, flat surface was a place of prayer and the stony hillside a great cathedral of the night. There was such celebration as both human and animal gathered around his Stone clan—that is until they forgot to listen.
It happened this way—the falling in love thing.
One night, during one of his long slumbers, Josia was plucked from his tribe (his spirit unaware) taken in a truck, and placed on the empty corner of a groomed human lawn to act as adornment. During the first full moon after his capture, he rose out of the stone expecting to dance and chant with his people but awoke instead to find himself alone, surrounded by concrete, and houses, and Humans. How embarrassing, how undignified to discover he had been taken captive in this way.
This busy corner was not a place of sacredness, not like the old days when he had patiently accepted the tears and pleas of the people who honored him. No, these Humans ignored him except when they walked by, tethered to barking dogs who performed the most unnatural acts against his base.
He would have died but, in truth, Stone People never actually die. Each grain of their dense bodies is imbued with the essence of life and so, even should the stone be shattered or turned to sand, each particle lives on. Josia wouldn’t have minded becoming a beach, but this—this was a fate worse than death. How could he bear such loneliness? He would have withdrawn completely except for the Children—the little ones. They, at least, had always revered his tribe and had not lost their ability to hear the murmuring and song deep beneath the surface of the land.
Now, Josia had always been a mindful Stone, and he knew it would do no good to bemoan his fate. Beneath each full moon he still took the release afforded him and wandered the neighborhood. Stone People are especially sensitive to the energy and vibration of all around them, and so it was during this nocturnal roaming that Josia forgot his own deep loneliness and tuned in to the wider energies of the night. He stopped before each home on the street to sense the Human’s who lived within. The experience shocked him. What he saw and felt hurt him deeply. These loosely held Human spirits were more frightened and alone, more desperate than he. The Humans wept. They wept for their Children. They wept for their Old Ones. They wept for their own sad spirits. Their cries nearly overwhelmed Josia.
What had befallen these poor Humans since the centuries long ago when he had received both their tears and their prayers and songs, taking their burdens onto his own back? With the question came the answer. His human brothers and sisters had lost their ability to listen to the earth, to the Old Ones embedded deepwithin.
Josia had a plan. He decided to attempt to communicate with just one of those desperate Human beings. Just one. If even one could remember to press his or her ears again to the Earth, perhaps others would remember.
He decided to focus his attention on the daughter of the house in whose yard he had been planted. Her name was Selena. He already had a connection of sorts because the young woman had claimed his surface as her prayer perch. Over the past many days he had felt her tears and appreciated them. She came almost nightly (according to her calendar) to sit and look out across the world, asking questions and scanning the sky for answers.
It was a simple plan, really. On the first full moon he waited for Selena. When she arrived, he felt her weight, tested her presence, searched her heart to measure its sincerity, its integrity, and decided yes, she was the one he would approach.
Josia felt the grainy solidity of his body loosen and release him. He began a slow, low hum—Remember me. Remember me. It was not very sophisticated, but then he was a Stone, not smooth with the Human ways. Remember me, he chanted.
He sought the help of the Old Ones, the embedded relatives below him, and was pleased when they joined his chant, Remember me. Josia was pleased when the young woman placed her hands palm down on his back and listened quietly. He felt he had made some progress, that she had heard his chant.
Rather than retreat back into slumber when the full moon had passed, Josia forced himself to stay conscious and continued his efforts during each of her nightly visits. It cost him a great deal to not retreat into his own deep communion, but he was patient and somehow sensed it was the right thing.
Then, one night just before the full moon, Josia got a bit of a jolt. Selena had arrived to sit on what she had come to call “her stone” when, suddenly, Josia felt her thoughts join his and she began chanting, Remember me, remember me. The next night she came again, but this time she did not repeat their chant, but hummed words softly to herself. “Come to me. Come to me,” she sang.
Josia experienced a profound confusion. It had been so long since a Human had bid him to come, he’d nearly forgotten one of the fundamental laws of his people. When called by one pure of heart—he must respond.
Selena sang again. “Come to me.”
With great effort, he materialized from the dense energy of stone, pulled his particles together, and emerged, taking a shadowy form. Josia did not mean to deceive poor Selena, but hHis loose particles just naturally arranged themselves into a configuration that she would recognize—that of a young, male Human. The smile on her beautiful face was worth the intense effort it had cost him.
Josia had existed for so long, beyond memory really, that he did not at all expect to feel this sparkle and flash again. Alas, he was in love, instantly, with the pale, moon-kissed Human sitting on his Stone back.
And alas, Selena fell instantly in love with Josia.
This was not a romance destined to progress. After all, he was of the Stone clan and she was Human. Still, the energy between them was strong. Selena yearned for his strength, his long-enduring qualities, his ability to carry any burden with ease; and Josia could scarcely resist the light-infused quickness of her form, the pulse of her warm blood pumping through her equally warm heart.
In the months and years to follow (on the human calendar) the love between Josia and Selena grew. Josia no longer seemed to need the long slumber between full moons, and Selena spent each night planted on his stony form while fully entranced with his spirit form.
What a love they shared. Josia told Selena all he had learned from the embedded Old Ones. Selena told Josia of all the light, bright things of her fleeting Human life. He could hardly fathom that of which she spoke—a world of colors, alluring scents, and flickering emotion. The two lovers could scarcely wait for the sun to drop low in the violet sky and disappear so they could continue such exchanges.
At last, the lovers came to the same conclusion at the same time. They realized their love was an echo of their two worlds—that Stone needed Human love, and Human needed Stone love. How they laughed together when they discovered this oh-so-simple truth. And they felt the humming amusement rumble up from deep within the Earth as the Old Ones shared their amusement and insight.
“So what shall we do here?” Selena wondered aloud one night.
Josia couldn’t answer her. It was only her pure heart and sincere plaint that had enabled her to see him in the first place. Neither Stone nor girl knew how they could go about sharing their simple love with others.
And then, disaster.
One full moon night Josia emerged to find no girl perched, palms down and singing, on his dense stone body. He waited. And waited.
He waited until the birds awoke in the trees, until the moon faded, until the first light touched the sky. When at last he reemerged into his Stone body once again, he knew. Selena would come no more. The Old Ones below spoke it. The weeping hearts in the home in whose yard he sat spoke it.
Selena had given up her human body and her spirit gone to distant realms. She was now beyond even his reach.
Josia, the Stone, wept. He wept for the loss of Selena, his love, and he wept for the broken hearts of her family. He wept for the lost chance for Stone and Human to meet and share so great a love as they had shared.
Josia was not aware of it, so lost in grief was he, but the weeping stone was causing quite a commotion in the neighborhood. The Children noticed it first—a stone wet and seeping beneath a clear shimmering (and very dry) sky? They gathered other Children to come and see. Arriving in twos and threes, the children held hands and watched the weeping stone. For some reason, the sight of it brought tears to their eyes. One small brave Child, moved by inner impulse, leaned over and licked Josia’s tears—and tasted salt.
The Children told their parents about the Stone that Weeps. One by one, the Human parents crept out from their cubicles and came to inspect. They found no source for the waters seeping from the stone.
From all over the neighborhood and surrounding area, the Human families gathered to see the Weeping Stone. On one of these days, a father, one pure of heart, whispered the words aloud, “A miracle.”
Disbelievers and Scientists came to inspect the tears but found no source for the water seeping from the stone. The holy men and the innocent ones came and added their tears to the surface of the Weeping Stone. Birds and small animals, wiser in their ways, came to drink the waters and to bathe in Josia’s tears.
Josia again remembered the long ago tears he had received from those who knew to call his name. And as more and more came and prayed and wept and sent their prayers into the earth where the Old Ones could hear and respond—he at last understood.
Selena had left her body behind and traveled so others would come. He could hear her sweet voice whispering, “Weep for me, Josia. Weep for all who can’t remember the love between Stone and Human. Help them remember, Josia.”
Yes, his clever girl had found a way to make their great love alive in the world once again. And so Josia wept his tears, and the people came and they wept with him.
And they remembered.
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