The forest tells its truth to anyone who will listen. It will whisper to you softly while the light is awakening.
Will we ever listen to the murmurs of this land ... the wisdom and teachings of the mountains, streams, and woods?
Their words are simple, and their voices soft. Man does not hear them because he does not take the time to listen.
His mind is too loud with the howls of his hungers that are never satisfied ... for they desire the wrong things.
I sat by the campfire beneath these Redwoods that were old when a political execution took place on Golgotha,
when Caesar murdered the Roman Republic under the guise of saving it.
I sat and wondered over everything I've loved and lost. The loves that could not live, yet could not die.
The smell of campfire smoke caressed the scent of pine. The things that are broken are the ones that plead to hold them the tighter.
Unseen robins sang down to me as they were sky-writing their greeting to the rising sun.
Tiny quiet feet softly crunched to my right. Wide, worried eyes peeked out from the branches.
A little Indian girl -- a Yurok if my instincts were right.
She looked behind her and seemed afraid to run away but afraid to stay.
I spotted a Monarch Butterfly and willed the strands of life to tug it to me. I opened my palm, and it floated there.
"A Flutter Flower!" breathed the little girl in the tongue of the Yurok.
"That's a beautiful name for it," I whispered. "What is your name?"
I smiled softly. "It fits you."
My face hardened. "What are you running from?"
"A - A bad man."
I leaned my ear to the butterfly and smiled like a wolf. "Would you believe it? This Flutter Flower asks me to protect you."
And so began the friendship of a lost weary soul and Morning Sun, the Yurok girl who breathed healing wherever she went.
A sharp predatory voice shattered my long-ago memories as I stared up at
the marble face of the towering statue I had carved of Morning Sun, whose heart stayed pure despite all the sadness.
I looked at the hard face of the beautiful white girl who long since had lost any innocence as she snapped,
"Nothing is free, mister. We demand a donation from each visitor to this Park."
"Donation for the Morning Sun Foundation, of course."
"Certainly. It costs money to upkeep this Park and do all the charity work."
I sighed, "Morning Sun always gave, never took."
"This is the 21st Century, mister. Pay or leave."
I gave her the same smile I gave that molesting trapper so long ago. "I own this Park. And it is you that is leaving."
Sadly her taint to my memories stayed.
I had an evocative dream Sunday afternoon as I dozed from having worked all Saturday night.
A story of two feuding families stretching out over many generations, one rich from lumber, the other from fishing.
McCord walked among them from one generation to another.
And the life of an innocent Indian girl impacted many different whites, from the ones who abused her, to the ones healed by her,
to the ones profiting from her memory long after her tragic death.
I dedicate this flash fiction to that evocative dream.