It has been a fun day. The longer I am here the more I think this is the perfect place to live. I was sitting on a log near the creek thinking about life when Palesa came up behind me and wanted to know if I wanted to see a wedding ceremony. Oh course my answer was “yes”.
The Sequoia tribe has an interesting way of finalizing wedding vows. The ceremony was actually quite beautiful. The bride and the groom were lovely and looked so happy. Like our wedding ceremonies back at Bear Country there were lit candles, a lovely speech, songs about love and blessings. Everyone gave the happy couple a blessing of happiness even the smaller children. At the end of the ceremony the couple stripped naked, jumped into the waterfalls and bathed each other as everyone cheered them on. It was very sweet and a unique experience to watch.
After the ceremony Palesa asked me about the ceremony Tony and I had. She was just curios about how my world handled weddings. I had to tell her that Tony and I aren’t married. He is my friend. A couple of times he has been more than my friend. We have a bond to each other but we aren’t married. Palesa was a little surprised. She said the way we act toward each other she just assumed we had made a life time commitment. Maybe someday Tony and I will make a lifetime commitment to each other but for now I am still hurting over the death of Yates. Tony has made it clear that he loves me but he understands that I need a little time.
I am enjoying my stay. I think I could stay here forever. The Sequoia’s have a simple life but it is a good life. Everyone shares everything. Everyone has chores. No one fights. The small children run around play and act as if they don’t have a care in the world. Palesa is an inspiration. She has so much energy and a good heart. I watched her mend hurt feelings when one of the smaller children couldn’t keep up in a game of keep away. All the children go to school. Palesa said that everyone learns to read. Story time is one of the highlights of the day for the younger children.
Tony is enjoying his hunting trips with the men and has been helping Xu with the mending of shelters. I think he is enjoying his time here also. I love the evenings out here. The stars are so bright. Last night we say a meteor shower that lasted more than an hour. One of the smallest children brought the meteors to our attention. It was so cool. The children all giggled in delight every time they saw a bright light fly across the sky. Tony and I also enjoyed the show. When we were certain the show was over the smaller children were sent to bed. The evening hours are so peaceful.
Tony and I have decided to stay a couple of days with the Sequoias. Their tribe leader Xu has graciously invited us to spend as much time as we wanted here provided with help out with the chores. Tony is out hunting with the boys. Xu’s wife Palesa gave him a grocery list of things to bring back for dinner. Palesa was very insistent that Xu find everything that was on the list.
I have been sitting around most of the day. I did help prepare breakfast and wash the dishes. This tribe has a large number of toddlers and smaller children. I am amazed their infant survival rate is so high. A large majority of the women here look as if they are pregnant and couple of them look as if they were about to give birth any day now.
Xu’s wife Palesa already has two children and it looks as if she is going to have another. I like Palesa she has a sense of humor and a very happy disposition. I asked Palesa if it is hard raising her children out here in the wilderness. Palesa assured me that it was actually very simple. Not one child has died since the Sequoia tribe was formed. This is amazing because I have seen at least a dozen girls have babies back home since the virus and only two of them delivered babies that survived more than a week. Aleece is one of those babies.
I hope Aleece and her Mom Casey are safe and happy somewhere. Aleece must be getting very big by now. I wonder if she is crawling yet.