Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Favorite Scene From "We'll Have The Summer"

Howdy Friends! 

Today I thought I'd share one of my favorite scenes from, "We'll Have The Summer." I hope you enjoy!

Then, at last, the owl watched from its final perch as they passed beneath, into the clearing. Sam could see the form of a man huddled by a tiny fire in front of the mud-and-log cabin. The man tossed dust into the fire and bright silver sparks shot into the air as deep red flames lit his weathered face. Anaba.

“I have been sitting here thinking of you, my friend. We will smoke by the fire tonight and speak of these things you cannot understand and those that weigh heavy on your heart, until the sun burns the darkness away.”

After removing Bullet’s saddle and bridle, Sam turned him free to pick at the wiry grass.

Then he simply folded his legs and squatted next to the fire, facing the old Navajo. He drew deeply on the pipe handed to him, held the rank smoke long enough to burn his mouth, puckered his lips, and allowed it to drift out. Sam looked across the fire at his dear friend.

He studied the faded shirt that covered shoulders made uneven by the passing of years, and the deeply furrowed skin sagging around Anaba’s still keen eyes. Such a man was Anaba; you needed to study his worn-out body closely to notice the wear of it. The spirit living in those rich black eyes created a cloaking aura that prevented all but the most determined examiner from seeing the toll the years had taken on the mortal Navajo. But even quickest glance could not miss that vibrant spirit.

“I remember the times I would come here to listen to your tall tales and legends. Now, it seems I only come when … Ah hell, Anaba.” He sucked the pipe.

“We must try to understand, my friend. You are passing through a very difficult and important time. It will not be an easy journey, but like all journeys, it too will end.”

Sam dropped the pipe and covered his face with his hands. “Like my daughter’s journey ended? How much must one man bear?”

“That is not for us to know. No one of this world could help your daughter for she came into this world with an imperfect body. But she had a good life. Her memories rest in your heart, and her spirit surrounds you and Mary. Do you not agree it is better for her spirit to have enjoyed the happy life she had with you, than to have had no life at all?”

“She was still a little girl. A sweet, innocent young girl who loved life and who was loved by everyone who ever knew her. Why should she have such a short life?”

“We do not know why some travel this world long and some only a short time. I have outlived all my children. And three wives. I have left two brothers in faraway lands, too far to even bring their bodies home for sacred burial. I do not know why I have been asked to live this long life. I do know it is right and natural to sometimes feel sorrow.”

Sam pulled himself up and walked to the edge of the clearing, staring down the vertical wall to the desert floor some thousand feet below. He yelled Mary’s name, fell to his knees and screamed out over the dessert, “I’m not ready to live without you.” He sat very close to the edge, wrapped his arms around his knees, and wept. Then in a broken, sobbing voice, he told Anaba, “It’s not sorrow I feel—it’s emptiness. Emptiness and anger.”

The old Navajo grabbed him by the shirt and dragged him back from the edge, back to the fire. He sat hunch-shouldered and glared into Sam’s eyes, yet his voice was calm.

“Emptiness and anger are selfish feelings and they do no good. They will make you bitter.”

Sam glared back at him. “I am bitter. Damned bitter.”

Anaba gave him a tender look and handed Sam the pipe. “We will smoke now. We must not speak again until you have a question.”

Gitty Up, Dutch Henry

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