Caela found she could heal in another way. She knew without thought that she had profound feelings of empathy, profound insights, much more than was ordinary for the extraordinary people of whom she had been born and nurtured. She had from earliest times learned without knowing she was learning to encapsulate the feelings driving into her from all around that she might work through and understand them without being overwhelmed. It had always been like a special extra mother within her teaching and protecting, perhaps an extra gift from Letta who had not been able to learn such necessary protection well enough for herself.

Though little girl Caela had tried and tried to use this gift of separating, working through feelings to move in with care and incisive healing, to help her beloved mother, Letta, cope with the demons that crippled her mind, she had not the power to effect that cure. Letta had not learned to protect herself. She had not felt the need in her protected environment where her naturally strong healing abilities had given her a fine, well-respected career. She had never expected a need to prepare for her denouncement or the escalating troubled times eventuating in exile from the life she depended upon for emotional anchor.

Though Caela’s efforts to heal that breach continued to be heartbreakingly unsuccessful, the failure did not deter nor break her. It was like layers of strength being built by practice and reflection. She found, bit by bit, that she could look into the core of dis-ease and injury to encourage and accelerate natural healing processes of those who suffered. She was also drawn to learn about healing plants, meditative practices, techniques of touch and movement. Not all callings are so strong. Perhaps she had been learning from Letta, even from the womb, to take this offered gift farther, to develop the instinct for self-preservation needed to make it a blessing rather than a curse, even should her world fall apart.

Lev had been a writer in the city, a journalist of wry social and political commentary published regularly in the most popular news magazine. In this new life, he was finding artistic and physical outlet in learning carpentry – a craft he had never been exposed to in his former life. It amused and amazed him how much he enjoyed working with his hands to miraculously create a useful product. He had been quite appreciative of Maris’s skill in weaving beautiful fabric of the fur and plant fibers of their now farming community. He continued to appreciate her creative skill, even more so, as he learned his own craft. Former city business types were having to relearn how to be alive, become people they had never known they were, processing radical change, a broken linear norm revealing to them that it was only a convenient fantasy. For Caela it was all perfectly natural, the colorful adventure of life.

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