The Women in the Valley

May 19th, 2013 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women

A brisk wind blew. Across the valley floor, the men could see gentle movement in the women’s billowing robes of all the colors of the rainbow. Their hungry eyes took it all in. The sun glinted off the women’s raven hair, and the snowy white heads of the elders shone like stars in the sea of brilliant silk, but the women’s faces were turned away from the men and towards the ancient stone altar where Mother stood tall.

“My daughters, you are our greatest hope!” Wisps of silver hair blew gently about her ebony face, but Mother paid no heed. Her strong voice carried to the furthest side of the valley where the hills rose up and thousands of men stood watching. “Soon our Earth will be at peace once again. Just as this breeze caresses us, you are moving lightly through your communities spreading a new Old Way of being. Go forth from this place. Gather the women. Save the world!” The women heard a low roar swelling up from behind them. Like a flock of exquisite birds, the women turned as one to face the hills. The wind, blowing stronger now, carried the rumbling sound to them. “Huzzah! Huzzah!”

Barbara Belknap
This is a very short story written for Alaska Women Speak, a literary magazine, in 2006. I was inspired to share it by the picture of all of us swathed in colorful scarves at our GTW gathering in Wisconsin.

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