Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-four): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
If you know of a worldwide organization that does keep tabs on how much food is consumed and forest cut down. Send us a message.
Rita sips at the sweet tea made of Salal berries she ordered directly from Haida Gwaii. The order took six months to arrive. It reminded her of the goodness of the world. Laws are now in effect that make the availability of food based on how much there is instead of trying to have it available everywhere all the time. Crops and livestock are catalogued to make sure there is always abundance in nature. If someone can’t buy salmon they’ll have to buy another fish. Wood considered unusable from demolition sites or removed from homes is ground into sawdust and used to create engineered wood. Stalks from hemp, corn, and bamboo are also used to replace wood so forest can thrive once again.
As she sips the tea and contemplates the safety of forests and other lifeforms she listens to stories and songs in Xaat Kíl, the original Haida Gwaii language. It reminds her of her mother, father and brother, before darkness overcame her and she fell into the long sleep.
She was coated in sweat within her family’s cedar plank house. The deerskin and woven cedar blanket her mother covered in her lay in a heap beside her. Her body jolted.
At the bank of the Masset Inlet, sitting on a rotting log she saw Rae facing the water. Without looking at her Rae lifted her right arm up with the palm of her hand facing up. Upon her palm a flame appeared that flickered in the wind. Within the flame was a tiny image of Ailbe Rose.
“Wanda Chéile,” Ailbe Rose called to her, “you must await the time when Kaneki is closest to the surface and the World is in greatest peril. I will slow your heart rate and those that love you most will think you dead. They will not burn you in your grandfather’s way but bury you. Remember them when you awake. Use not the name I call you by but the one Rae gave you.” At that moment the flame shot out of Rae’s hand into Rita’s chest. Rita has no recollection of the centuries that passed only the moment she awoke. She did not dig through the dirt but merged with it so that she emerged on the surface in the clothes she was buried in.