Tradition (Still Life)

His tan skin and straight dark hair braided down his back were illuminated by the bonfire’s glow as he sat staring intently into the flames. Beside him lay his spear, tied with leather thongs and feathers. His legs were crossed and his hands rested on his knees, a posture of submission and relaxation.

The flames reached high above him, warming him and providing a backdrop of orange for his visions. He did not twitch a single muscle as his destiny played out before him in his mind’s eye, projected onto the dancing flames.

Little Gray Owl watched for his destiny to be revealed to him, so he could choose a new name for himself and be declared a man of his tribe. Determination, tradition, and pride kept him frozen in place for hours. The night was full of sounds Little Owl did not hear, full of motion that did not enter the firelit circle in which he was ensconced. He would never speak of this night, but remember it clearly for years to come.

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