The moments I speak of now are carved deep within the child I once was. The breath of my soul, fearless in the path of the great mystery, I stood proud, in the place of my time; in the place of my knowing…

I am Lucinda Mae. I was born and raised in Dusty Spirit Springs; an old mining town encroached upon the forest like some large, dead shadow of a place. A large forest, abandoned places, old stone graves crumbled, dusty and sun melted in too many Midwest summers

Ole’ Grandpier Primitive Baptist church once was congregation in praise and forgiveness…

Now spider and dust and the darkness vibrate the ether.

I live with my Father, Magnus. Like his Father before him, he is a miner, woodsman, master hunter and my protector; always watching but has a suffering allowance for my independent and curious nature.

Father, lighting his pipe, sits with me on our large, southern wood porch every evening I can recall since I was a girl child. His stories weave a magic spell; lucid, hypnotic and sensual are his words that speak of the ancient gifts shared by the light and dark beings.

He speaks of the love he has for my departed Mother. Her name meant something to him I will never know deeply nor could I speak of with the finest words. I knew her as Aislinn; He called her, Angell…

I wear her dresses she made by hand, now. My favorite is the antique white slip she kept in her cedar box, wrapped in a satchel of cinnamon and coriander.

I am now 22 and Magnus, after slowly exhaling the dark scented pipe smoke, tells me “daughter, you walk in the light of your passing Mother; you favor her in the good ways I can’t be for you. Lucinda, you will find your way just fine, girl. Gentleman Caedmon sees you running tall in his fields, choosing the ripest herbs and plants for your mixin’s. He has a mighty strong fondness for you child. He might come callin’ soon for you.”

I just stare dreamy into the dusk, listening to the deep sound of Magnus and the vibrational drone of the cicada; feeling a sweet desire for the way Jupiter touches me, not the kind of ‘touchin’ you can tell Magnus about. Do we keep some of the sweetest things hidden, in a dark place for fear of losing the rich memory of intimacy or are we just afraid?

Caedmon may be a proper suitor for me, ruggedly handsome, strong and well off, with him being the largest owner of the the calcite and fluorite mines that dwell in these river towns; but my thoughts, my passion are entwined with another. Caedmon, I believe is powerfully dark. In his presence I always hide my true thoughts.

Magnus says my hair is fine and gold like a child in summer. My blue eyes are the color of a winter sky, sometimes they look darker… I am long of limb from running in all of old man Caedmon’s fields of clover and goldenrod.

My story, like others, will stand the test of time because of the combined and distinctive gifts me and my three friends Leroy Rose, Jupiter and Kane came to be in our time. I suppose I must also speak of the very large, (miniature) Pig that Leroy Rose had and so endearingly named ‘Pearl. I called her by another name I will not speak, for my Daddy would frown upon such language that he felt a southern lady must not utter. These are some of the things I also, keep hidden.

The people of our town were gifted in a strange way. Some of us had a gift they called  ‘the sight’. The townsfolk had a nickname for us, the ‘lanterns’; we were taught to use this for the betterment of all creation, by our town’s Elders. Not all had this particular gift, for there were many other gifts too; some so powerful ‘hot’, they had to be used in darkness and only the most disciplined in will and spirit were graced with. My Mother was one-

I cannot speak of these things, it is forbidden of me and grave consequences will befall my spirit if I would. I am only allowed, as Lucinda Mae, to speak of my own story and my three friends who shared this gift of knowing in our time, in our town…our secret old mining town.

Jupiter, Leroy Rose, Kane and Me had a secret that went beyond what we all shared as gifts…

(to be continued) …

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