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A little Red-Indian girl from the highlands Or when I´m listening to my children

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We were playing the Red-Indians with the children this week. We stayed at the highlands chalet by the woods collecting the crushwood and wood for the fire that we sat by when the evening came, playing drums and singing. We were walking barefoot, small feathers pleated in our hair, learning to shoot the bow. It was hot summer time and there were plenty of blueberries ripening everywhere. Some kids were collecting them into the tin mugs and some right to their mouths. Our faces were dominated by blue colour and there was a lot of childrens´shouting to be heard about the woods. A lot ado over the blue colored treasure or a hopping frog.

When the time to return home came we faced a steep hill to climb to get back to the chalet. Krystof ran ahead like a fresh wind but tiredness caught up with the younger Eli. She started complaining about her aching little legs and weariness thus requiring to be carried on a hunchback or in my arms. Just the mere thought of me carrying her all the way up the hill and through the woods didn´t appeal to me at all. So I did my best to persuade her to walk as she was well capable to get home on her own two feet. Yet Eli stood her ground and the thoughts like: „Everybody is already gone, we would miss the lunch other people prepared for us, the meal would get cold…..“ ran through my head and many other ones bringing me to realize that we should be getting back soon.

And then I had a bright idea. So what? It´s holiday after all and it doesn´t matter if we are late or that the meal gets cold on the table when it´s so hot anyway. I paused and suggested: „Now, Eli, why don´t we sit down here onto the moss and have a rest? Once we have had rested a bit we could go on.“ To my surprise she nodded her head silently despite the fact that the rest of the kids just ran past us and they were speedily covering the distance towards the chalet. We stayed behind and made ourselves comfortable on the moss.

Eli sat on my lap and as the kids disappeared we were surrounded by deeper and deeper silence. I didn´t say a word nor did Eli. She slumbered down into my arms as if to fall asleep and relaxed completely. There was only the sound of the wind in the treetops and some bird’s songs to be heard here and there. After a while I noticed Eli was breathing silently as she fell asleep. I was filled with peace and peace surrounded me.

It lasted only a few moments but it was beautiful. The silence, the warm breeze and Eli in my arms. I sunk into the peaceful feeling and noticed I wasn´t alone. „Mom, do you hear the silence?“ I heard. „Hm,“ I agreed. I could see the content and curiosity combined in her eyes. She made remarks on every sound and her voice sounded peacefully and fresh.

After a short while my little Red-indian girl got to her feet, took my hand and started up the hill jumping happily homebound. And I realized I haven´t been „alone“ in the woods in this fashion for quite some time.

Lenka Míkovcová, Inspired by a real life experience, September 2014

Translation: Dana Vachatová