You are always going back into the forest. It helped to form you, as did your father’s seed, your mother’s womb and milk. What forms us, becomes us, we must explore, if only in dreams or strange obsessions, or unnatural silence.
Caela and Larik are quite a pair. Old and young, female and male, hyper-sensitive and numb to sensitivity, working out who they need to become in the cabin once a happy home to Caela, Singer and Felicity (with Maea and friends of the moment in tow). It naturally fell out that they be together. The boy who could not bond, could not fathom what was common to those around him, was bonded to Caela. She alone made sense to him. She had always been a part of who he was. Caela too felt a strong and special connection to this child. She also felt a need to find a way to heal him of the affliction resulting from a wound she also needed to heal within herself. Larik’s mother, Maea, meanwhile, was having difficulties and unpleasant awakenings of her own.
“He acts like I got pregnant on my own. Now it’s all my situation to deal with. As if he had no part in it at all.” Maea is speaking bitterly of Larik’s father, Larn, whom she clearly still adores. He has shown considerably less interest in her since it started to become evident that she would be more of a drain than an energizing inspiration. It’s not that he didn’t care for her; but there are many for whom he feels great fondness. All are subservient to his brightly shining visions, his grand plans and their imperatives. It is not that he is any different from the man she has known him to be, loved him for being, all along. Yet she feels bitterly disillusioned. She has lost her anchoring, her way, her understanding of and belief in who she had thought herself to be. She no longer feels part of the House community. For awhile she tries staying with her parents, spending much of her time with Caela and Larik, attempting to be a family. It is clear that Larik greatly prefers Caela, is shy and confused around Maea. Mirra and Doren have become set in routines to which Maea feels an outsider. She feels their love; but Maea feels awkward when she needs to find a respite of serenity in which to reconnect to herself, discover where her next steps need to lead.
Maea’s grandmother Maris’s place had been left behind, not too far from Jase’s outpost, as building moved further outward. The house is surrounded by plenty of land for their grazing animals, crops for fiber, feed and food for the household (supplemented by trade). It was a large house, built onto over the years to accommodate people and projects. Maris and here older daughters, Arla and Cali, still kept up their busy textile workshop. Cali’s longtime lover, Lilia, does her part as well, including her magnificently intricate and lovely embroidery to their bag of tricks. Lev, who has been living with Maris for decades now, assists with his carpentry, building equipment and furniture for the household and as part of their stock for trade. Always plenty of work for another pair of hands, and Maris informally takes in whoever wants to stay for as long as it all works out for them all. There is plenty of room in which to enjoy solitude, and plenty of companionship, easy-going or intense, depending on what one seeks. Caela comes around frequently with Larik. He likes the more private simple chores as he learns them, working with the animals and plants, away from the main farmlands of the community. His family knows not to pressure him, not to overwhelm him with expectations he has no ability to comprehend. Maea is getting better at dropping her own expectations for how life is meant to be.
Less enthusiastically involved with Larn, though still sympathetic to his vision, Felicity and Teren now live in their cabin near the House with little Solia. Solia, beautiful entertaining, entrancing, cuddly imp, is their perfect muse. They are developing their own project, based on their combined talents. Felicity’s knowledge of healing and Teren’s experience with creative expression have given them ideas about exploring the realm of possible expressive therapies. Working with others who are excited about possibilities of working out personal issues, improving health and attitudes, getting more intimately in touch with their inner muses, they are figuring out together how their theories can best be turned to practice.
A life expands into other lives, energies combining and recombining, creating human ecosystems. Like trees, each living through its own cycles within the cycles of the forest, we create our stories, our lore, our social networks.