Controller of the Wind

STORIES that stretch your mind

The Best Metaphysical Fiction of the year from Thresholds Quarterly

Controller of the Wind
by Dr. Laurel Clark

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen. -- Hebrews 11:1

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there lived two women. Nayla was a mother, with many children of whom she was very proud. Some of her sons were very good hunters and others were warriors who helped the people of the tribe with their strength and bravery.

Neba was also a mother, but her children were all female. She was jealous of Nayla, the Woman with Sons, for she believed that strength came from being able to have sons. She identified her strength so much with being able to have sons that she thought she had no strength as an individual.

Neba, the Woman with No Sons, felt that having no sons put her in a lower class than the Woman with Sons, and that it was only through chance, no fault of her own, that this had occurred. Since she did not know where strength came from, nor how to produce it, she decided to destroy it in the other woman.

The two women had very little contact with one another until the day that the Woman with No Sons began to insult the Woman with Sons.

“You think you’re so high and mighty,” the Woman with No Sons sneered. “You think you’re better than me because of your sons. You are in favor with the powerful elders of the tribe through bribery and through selling yourself. I hear they have given you a new name. Ha! That was no gift. You bought that with a bribe.”

The Woman with Sons was proud and did not back down from the slanderous remarks. She countered them with the truth.

“Neba, I have sons of whom I am proud but they are not the source of my strength. I have taught my sons what I know and they are, indeed, strong and mighty. You, too, could draw upon strength, sons or no sons. But do not lie or place blame, for that is what weakens you. No one puts you down except yourself.”

“Mother,” asked one of Nayla’s daughters, “why does Neba say such mean things about you? Have you hurt her?”

“No, my child,” her mother answered. “Neba does not understand her own strength. She is jealous because she has no sons like your brothers, the strong and mighty warriors and hunters. She wants what she does not have and knows not what she does have.”

“What does she have, mother?”

“She is a very gifted designer. Not too long ago she taught all the women in the tribe how to make and decorate clothing. This beautiful beadwork is hers, did you know that, my daughter?”

“No, I had no idea,” answered the young girl, “Why does she no longer teach this craft?”

“She has become consumed with her jealousy, my dear,” said her mother, sadly. “Her health has deteriorated in recent years because she thinks she is weak, and her anger has clouded her judgment, so we have had to remove her from this much-honored position she once held.”

“Mother,” her daughter persisted, “what was she talking about, when she said you were given a new name?”

“Ah, my child, that is true. I was given a new name for an accomplishment years ago,” said her mother, humbly.

“What happened?”

“It was the year of the great storms. There were many high winds and many trees were broken. The wind made it very hard to see because so much brush was blowing, and so much rain was falling. Two children were lost in the high winds and the search parties went out to find them. They searched and searched, and finally gave up because they could not find the children and could not see. I was heartbroken. They were not my children, but all children belong to the Great Spirit and I wanted to find them. I struck out on my own without telling anyone and found the children. When I returned with them, they gave me the name Calisse which means ‘The Controller of the Wind.’”

“Oh, mother,” her daughter said, breathlessly. “I had no idea! Weren’t you scared? How did you find them?”

The woman with sons smiled. “Yes, my dear, I was scared. But fear is not the biggest thing. Faith is much bigger. All I knew was that those children were lost, and alone, in the strong wind and I wanted them to be safe. They had to be somewhere and I knew that they could be found. I did not think about fear. I thought about the children, and my desire to find them was so strong that I went right in their direction. I felt their presence so I didn’t have to see.”

The daughter paused in her questions for awhile, deep in thought.

“Mother,” she resumed. “How can we help Neba? She has no sons and probably will never have sons, so as long as she thinks strength comes from sons she will always be weak. And from what you say, the more jealous she is, the weaker and weaker she becomes.”

“That is a good question,” sighed her mother. “I have tried to help her but she doesn’t seem to want my help. Perhaps the best we can do is set an example and maybe one day she’ll decide to follow it.”

“I have an idea,” said the young girl. “Tell me where your strength comes from.”

The next day, the daughter of Nayla, the Woman with Sons, went to the home of Neba, the Woman with No Sons, carrying a small box in her hands. When the Woman with No Sons saw her, she snapped, “What do you want?”

“I have a gift for you,” said the girl. “It is from me, from my mother, from her grandfather, my great-grandfather.”

The woman eyed the box suspiciously as the girl held it out to her. She finally took it and opened it. When she lifted the lid, she looked up angrily.

“Is this some kind of joke or insult?” she fumed, “There is nothing in this box.”

“Ah, but there is,” said the girl, with a sparkle in her eye. “This is the great gift my mother’s grandfather, my great-grandfather, gave to her. When she was a young girl, her grandfather told her that strength was not within the winds or the waters or the land, but that strength was what controlled the winds, the waters, and the lands.

“My mother pondered this and prayed to understand it. She draws her strength from the thing she believes in but can not see that controls the winds, the waters, and the lands.

“This box is from me to you, Neba, to remind you that strength is not in any thing. It is not a thing you can see. Believing in and identifying with the power you cannot see that controls the winds and the waters and the lands is what gives you strength.”

The Woman with No Sons accepted the gift. She did not transform overnight, but gradually began to examine the ways she had insulted the Great Spirit with her jealousy and anger. She began to pray for understanding. And she began to listen -- to the wind, the water, and land -- to build her faith in the thing she could not see that controlled them.•

©1999 Vol. 17 No. 3

This story is based upon a true past life experience, of two women in an Indian tribe in Florida in the 1600’s, revealed in a Past Life Profile from the School of Metaphysics.

copyright School of Metaphysics 2002

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