Friday, September 16, 2011

The Forest of Spirits: Duty

Each animal in the Forest of Spirits has a duty to those of not only their clan or species, but the forest as a whole. Similar to how humans are trained in a trade, the animals are trained to follow their destined path until they can manage on their own. There are many diverse paths one can follow. Some of the more common ones are a Healer, a Guardian and a Warrior. The Healer and Warrior paths are self explanatory. The Guardian path is for those that will watch over the young in each species that need supervision.

I had a particularly difficult time finding my path, because at times I am drawn toward each of these roles. Finally I approached Great Bear for advice, and he responded: "One cub may walk many paths". Therefore I took his advice and chose the two paths that called to me most, the Healing and Warrior paths. This means I am a Protector. My job is to heal and nurture any that need it regardless of species or age, and if called upon to fight to protect my home, my skills as a fighter will be called into service. Balancing my time between learning the intricacies of both paths will be a challenge, but Great Bear and Sensei seem to think it is something I am capable of accomplishing. My teacher for Healing will primarily be Owl, and for the Warrior path it will be Great Bear, with Sensei helping and working with me where he can.

A month or so ago, a young black panther was being chased by one of the nameless dark creatures that lurk in a place called the Void, a barren black wasteland in the midst of the Forest. I shielded him while Sensei and the panther's father made quick work of the attacker. Frightened and lonely, as his father has been hunting the creatures ever since, I stepped into my role as Protector, and brought him to the Bear Den with me. This was Onyx, my "adopted" panther cub spirit. Physically, thanks to training from Sensei and myself, he is much stronger, and mentally his focus improves every day. Soon he will rejoin his clan, and be a true credit to them for the rest of his time in the Forest.

I only hope I can make Sensei and Great Bear as proud as Onyx has made me.


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