Opening that sharing place in her mind to full sensitivity, Caela feels bathed in totality of loving joy, bliss. All the busy interplay of forest life flutters through her senses. Not so much walking as dancing in that interplay, she partakes of life’s daily rituals. It is a brief, though eternal, idyll.
A human voice not her own, but one now well recognized, falls like thunder into her peaceful reverie in forest time. It is the boy who called her here, his own mind, not the forest’s allegory. He is somehow physically nearer, though still at some distance. Perhaps she has been moving with purpose, closer to his situation. It is not her mind he set out to link to. She is an accidental recipient, along with the intended ones. The story he relays tells her that in the greater scheme this accidental receiver is exactly the person required by that situation. Currents are crossing, lives in the balance.
The boy, Lukin, his story, sifted out from what he relays from his grandfather to the other children, his family. They were more comfortable sharing this information in a manner avoiding the wrong people’s overhearing. Not sure how or why she was let in on these family secrets, Caela delved deeper into Lukin’s memories. She felt no resistance, despite his clear alert cunning in the face of danger. “We both know I am not dangerous. It is understood that I am here as ally.” Caela listened and took in the background of her original calling into the forest by this child caught up in more than he could clearly comprehend. Caela, from her vantage point outside the maelstrom, could apprehend the bigger picture.
The children had been sent, under cover of subterfuge, to a sort of uncle, Toriv, a witchfolk teacher of the young. Their parents were being hunted down malevolently, essentially for thought crime. Guilty of the wrong kind of identity, of hiding their guilt. Conspiracy. Cover-up. Making authorities in control of terrible power feel like fools. Yet, it is the quiet power of these frightened, pitiful few that those in authority fear to the point of demanding extermination. A real mess these kids have been thrust into. Now they have word from Lukin’s grandfather, Merin, with whom he has maintained a mind link, that the adults in question, himself included, have been arrested. No further help can be expected for these forcibly abandoned children from their forcefully incarcerated kin.
The forest is complicit. These children must be aided. While Toriv may be a good man, he is too much an innocent, caught up in too much that he can not understand. His education has been more in ideals than practicalities. He has allowed himself to be sheltered from truly harsh experience. He has been foolish enough to see his disappointments as tragedies. Faced with so much more drastic circumstances and consequences, he is but another frightened child.
Does Lukin, the young leader of his small troop of frightened children, possess and pass on these insights about Toriv? The forest somehow amplifies Lukin’s mind for her. It has a stake in this meeting and outcome. Caela, beloved, healer, has intertwined missions to accept and follow through. This is a time of crisis. A point of stress built up of forces now converging offers unique opportunities. For abiding consciousness, preparing, alert to rumbles and shiftings that foretell action available to outside direction, this is a sacred occasion.