Rita Walker (Blog Seven): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
Black argillite is only found on Haida Gwaii. The Haida artist would often carve out the design for a totem pole on the argillite rock first.
Native American bands have a name for the full moon of each month. The Sturgeon full moon occurs in August.
She clenches her eyelids closed knowing the Sturgeon moon is trying to pierce its silver light through her curtains. Her hands clench onto her bed sheets as her body twists with desire to rip the curtains away. It is good she lives alone now. When she opens her eyes everything in the room is lighter and more distinguishable. She forces her eyelids closed again and focuses on calming her breathing and her need to change. Her thoughts wander back to her younger years.
Her parents took her and her brother to camp beside Tlell River. While her father and brother fished for salmon her mother weaved a new hat for her farther out of cedar bark and spruce roots while watching for bears. Bored, Rita decided to explore on her own. Entering the cedar forest that borders much of the river she became lost. She tried calling out in every direction but there was no reply. Terrified she sat on a moss covered log and grabbed up a handful of soil. She lay down on the log and exhausted slept.
In a dream she stood up from the log and opened her hand. On her palm was a small pile of soil. The soil levitated off her hand as tiny kernels and drifted in the moonlight towards a cavern made from the roots of an ancient redwood that stood tall and strong. Mystified by the floating soil, Rita followed it into the maw of the cavern where it pulsed with light. Inside she heard breathing and turned abruptly to her right. She saw a young woman wearing the same type of cloak as the Vilas. The woman’s dark hair and stern eyes told Rita that this was a Tuath Dé Danann. The young woman held out a necklace made of argillite stones. Rita’s hands shook as she gently took the necklace and clasped it around her neck. To her horror the necklace buried itself into her skin and attached itself to her collarbone. In a hypnotic voice with an Irish accent the young woman in the cloak told her, “When the Salmon Moon arrives you will dream of the ancient one Ailbe Rose and she will bless you so you may change for real. Soon after that you must call upon Rae, for she is originally from here and will guide you well through these lands. For now see little one, see with feline eyes but let neither wolf nor bear catch sight of you.”
That’s the first time Rita’s vision changed so everything became brighter in the night. She found her family’s tent but did not go near until her sight returned to normal.