Last week we met and said thanksgiving under a sky mottled with clouds and a sun poking through just now and then. We found a place in the grass and played a new game that Marcus brought us. We made a rectangular playing field just twelve or so feet across and quite a bit longer. The kids scattered themselves inside this rectangle and stood with their arms by their sides. One by one, they were allowed the opportunity to walk through the course lengthwise, blindfolded, using only their sense of hearing and their gut to avoid bumping into their friends (we called the game “minefield”).
This week we sat on happy green grass under a warm spring sky listening to the sounds of flickers ka-ka-ka-ing their territories and murmuring soft wick-a-s to their dear ones. As we said our gratitudes and announced that we would tell a special story today, a great red-tail hawk flew and perched in a cottonwood tree nearby us. It’s beautiful and extraordinarily large body, covered in beautiful white feathers with distinct black markings on the under-wing coverts and wing tips, soared out of the tree, breezing low-nearly over our heads-as it passed our circle. Graciously allowing us to look upon it from such a close range, the hawk left us with a brief impression of what it could be like to fly above the earth.
Taking this as a good sign, and believing the boys’ growing maturity as a group and as individuals shows that it is a good time for them to hear this story, we found a quiet place by the creek and listened to the first half of the greatly shortened story of Peacemaker, passed down to our community by the very dear Jake Swamp. As we heard the true story unfold of a multi-generational war and the visionaries who saw a way out of the cycle of violence, the boys spontaneously built beautiful little villages of broken twig houses in the flood sands. These villages, they told us, were different peoples who all lived together in a good way. So we knew they must be hearing the story in a good way too! We ran out of time, however, and left off with a real cliff-hanger (literally).
Next week, we’ll play more fun games, and the boys will hear about what happened to the man left hanging on the cliff!