Gnarled, old fingers worked their way slowly through the plies of beads until they grasped what they had been seeking. Turning slowly, he thrust his wrinkled hand under my gaze and told me that it was this one bead that had sealed it for him.
“It speaks to my very being,” he said, cradling it gently, but still where I could see. As far as I could tell, there wasnt anything special about the bead. Sure it was beautiful in win its kaleidoscope of colors and shine, but magical? Nope. Something sacred? Not as far as I could tell. But then again, that’s why I was here. For him to guide me and show me.
he thought it was best I slowly introduce me into his ways. I don’t blame him for being cautious, after all I came to him as a skeptic who asked for proof. Unlike many others, hehad decided to lead me through his traditional ways. He, after all, had traveled to the upper and lower worlds on a regular basis so dealing with a skeptic shouldn’t be an issue.
shamans have always lived on the fringe of their societies. Let’s face it “normal” people will always be a bit confused and unsure where shamans are concerned. How can they find helper guides, animals or spirits. How do they manage to do battle in the spirit world? How can you trust one who can fly and steal power if needed?
Granted he had to deal first with the fact that I thought his skills were slight of hand and an ability to make people believe the unbelievable. So while I had been expecting a drink from plants, or perhaps smoke. He instead decided to start with a small bead.
And in a way why not use a bead? Faith normally starts small, it is typically not something you can prove to another person in the same way, but nonetheless it is as real as the bead. It is as beautiful as that bead, as hard and practical too. It’s all a matter of how we see and experience things. And a bead is much like a seed, nothing huge, but full of wonder and hope, growth and purpose.