Standing Around the Fire

It was late at night, after their evening feast. The villagers, men and women stood around a large burning fire, as it was a cold winter night. They sung beautiful songs, in deep conversations they triggered memories of the past. As the drum played, some had gone in a trance, at times even burning their hands and feet as they felt no pain. The gods had entered the place, and the grace of the old spirits was upon them.

As they danced around the fire, a childlike figure appeared from the center. She spoke with a huge voice as though speaking through a body of primitive ancestor. Her voice echoed in the mountains, caves, forests and rivers. She spoke with uttermost command and clarity.

Though speaking in a language never heard before, from underneath their feet they all understood the meanings of her words. Her eyes had a light unseen before, and anyone that looked directly into her eyes was pulled into the fire and soon vanishing. When the audiences noticed that, they began to listened with their eye closed fearful of disappearing into space.

Some panicked to a point of even attempting to escape, but her presence and that of the gods had amplified, gravity anchored their feet so deep in the ground. At some point no one could even move.

She seemed to be completely uninterrupted by all that was happening. She just looked at them then continued to speak saying ‘I’m sent by your forefathers and mothers that now live in another world.’ Then she said ‘they have found large enough lands to accommodate you all.’ She took a pause, then said ‘they have attained freedoms as great as the skies and deep as the oceans.’

After this statement, many started to sob, they cried because, over the years, they had accepted having no land, having no freedom. Freedom had become too abstract an idea for some that they believed their freedom lived on the edges of slavery. Similar to their land, they had been pushed away to live on the edges, their center had been stolen. They had tuned in to a frequency of indigence.

Some did not want to hear about their past and ancestors. Even saying they did not want to encounter a future that carried any overtones of their past. They had disconnected from heritage, and their abandoned legacies.

Sensing their fears, she then said ‘I’m now leaving to go back home, those whom have sent me are soon coming. The underworlds will soon emerge on earth. All that was buried in the past, is the future that you await.’ Then she vanished

Iphupho

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Nduduzo Makhathini

3 thoughts on “Standing Around the Fire

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