* Music: Bearns and Dexter, the Golden Voyage. *
Except for the day and night of Aeoliah, the only noticeable rhythm on this planet is that of the rain. It returns more or less regularly, about every month. But on Aeoliah this is a natural rhythm, not a convention. There are no real seasons, thanks to the slightly tilted axis of Aeoliah and to its quite circular orbit. This configuration is more stable over time, and it does not give ice ages as on Earth. Summer hardly differs from winter, neither by temperature nor by the height of the sun in the sky, but certain plants have their preferred month to flower. Therefore the Aeolian calendar is the most poetical, all in flowers and songs of different birds. The temperature is levelled by the dense atmosphere, so that it does not allow for ice to form at the poles. They are fresher and rainy regions, where the Eolis do not live; but we find here large mammals as on Earth, and yet other things, but quite difficult to explain.
The Eolis do not worry about counting time, and only some sages keep a calendar or chronicles for certain particular events. Of course they do that with aeolian years, which are a little longer than ours. Also, throughout this story, we shall speak about dates, years or centuries in the terrestrial time, for an easier understanding of the continuation of events.
Thus, for Aurora and Nellio, started a long period of ideal and uninterrupted Happiness. Aurora installed her weaving loom. At first, she went to seek Arnophilco the carpenter, who built the frame of the weaving loom. He began to search lengthily in the forest for suitable pieces of wood, dry enough, but healthy. It was fallen wood, as the Eolis avoid cutting trees. Arnophilco workshop was in open air, on a place like any other, into the life of the village. There simply was here a kind of vise, which could be tightened while twisting straps. One after the other, he fixed his parts in. Then he took his adze, and, sitting on the wood, he cut and drew chips with an incredible dexterity. From his chisel forms and volutes took shape in a trice! When one is training since six thousand years...
Others Eolis of a close village collected kinds of long and fine thorns of a plant, in order to make the heddles and reed, on frames prepared by Antonnafachto. It was a patient and precise assembling, which involved more than twenty Eolis and eolines in long calm and careful afternoons. Then Arnophilco brought the parts one after one on the back of a goose, a very popular transportation mean for the small Eolis, and very practical. With Antonnafachto and two old Eolis of the mountain, they assembled and adjusted the whole loom. Aurora was looking at and admiring, with other Eolis of the village, like Nellio and Anthelm who attended this event. Silently, almost without consulting, (especially the Eolis of the mountain who never speak) the artist-carpenters were working without any useless gesture, without only one hesitation, with the fluid precision conferred by a long practice. Gradually the machine was taking shape, each part marvellously engaging into its mortises. Their know-how, the delicate precision of their movements, their benevolent peace was really a pleasure to contemplate. This made that there were often up to ten Eolis looking, lying on the foam, forming a quiet admiring circle around them. When Arnophilco and Antonnafachto worked like this, they even forgot to play tricks to Aurora.
The birds themselves were looking...
Aurora had to learn how to weave. In fact, the aeolian weaving looms function in the same way that ours and are built on the same plan, but they also differ from ours in several aspects. First the heddles are much thinner, this is understandable, and much more delicate to thread. Then each moving part is actuated by a different eoli or eoline. To weave is thus a team work, rhythmic as an orchestra: it is a vigilant dance, which they do with joy and spirit. The most difficult role is that of the shuttle: on each side a strong eoli strikes in turn, using a flexible beater, so that the shuttle achieves its go and back movement. These two Eolis give the tempo, but for that they must understand and follow what their friends with the heddles and reed will do. In the event of an incident, broken thread or empty shuttle, they have only a fraction of a second to decide to stop the shuttle, instead of returning it. The handling of the heddle shafts is simpler, since in theory one just has to follow the tap-tap of the shuttle. But there is much more to do than simply following the rhythm, the heddle driver must react instantaneously when it varies or stops. For the reed too, but the eoline who drives it (it is almost always an eoline) must check if the fabric is regular. In order to communicate, the team uses quantity of short monosyllables, each one for a of very precise circumstances: to stop, jump a time, to slow down a little, much, adagio, andante careful, allegro, allegretto!
Around the weaving loom there are the related activities: the long and meticulous preparation of the feeding bobbin for the warp threads (a team fills one while another runs), filling the shuttles and other bobbins, with for each use one of these little machines of wood and craft which the Eolis adore. All this work appears quite complicated, but the Eolis are fond of it and in the rainy days the fabric comes out at an amazing speed.
The weaving pumpkin was, as we noted, installed just beside the spinning pumpkin, with a small tunnel of leaves between the two, in order to pass from the one to the other, by rainy weather. Curiously, these poets do not try to hide the technical parts of their machines; no, simply the poetry is already built in, for example in the subtly curved contour of the parts, finishing in leaves or feathers, or with a stylised bird, sometimes made of raw wood, sometimes so carefully sandpapered and enamelled that they looked like made of porcelain. They prefer the sober and intrinsic beauty of a part designed all in charm, adding only few patterns, decorations, and never hub caps or carters. But they seldom resist the pleasure of capping their creations with an old flower hat, preferably well worn. On the other hand their houses, although very simple, are carefully bent, polished and finished, without technical details nor joins.
It was first needed to make training sessions, especially for Aurora, on a very slow rhythm. When she got used with the handling of the reed, she went faster and faster, and then Elora showed her the various weaving stitches, the minimum technical stuff. When the gestures became automatic, Elora began to teach the most important. Aurora was about to work poetically, while slightly balancing her body, making light, flexible, floating gestures. Still more, once free of the effort of learning, she had, while remaining vigilant, to contemplate her work with a certain detachment, while enjoying the pleasure of breathing amply, of perhaps singing, of appreciating the beauty of the noble gestures being accomplished, or feel herself happy of the joy of whose who will wear the beautiful clothes to be cut out of this fabric. The earthling brain, which evolution is not complete, would have some trouble to do all this altogether, though we can arrive honestly with training. The Eolis, them, manage very well, provided that no learning step is missed. In the instance, Aurora enjoyed to pull her reed. What did she preferred: the pleasure of the body and the spirit in action, the poetry and the beauty of cotton, its odour, its softness, its colour (her first weaving was of this pastel orange that the Eolis of the seventh continent especially love) or the joy of taking part in a creative and beneficial activity?
The Eolis are prettily well organised. When they feel that the rain is about to start, from a fresh breeze, the perfume of the air or many flights of travelling birds, some Eolis or Eolines goes in the workshop to prepare, sweep, and bring food for two days. Then, when the rain is really there, everyone comes. The weaving workshop buzzes with merry activity. These meetings have a charming aeolian name which we could translate by «cute factory party», kinds of merry celebrations of activity and abundance. The Eolis form teams, the one preparing the work for the other. Usually already threaded warp bobbins remain from the previous month, thus the weaving itself can start immediately, in an unrestrained dance, on the tempo of the shuttle takatac. Everyone knows exactly what to do, and when sometimes a thread breaks or a reel is finished, everyone stops instantaneously. Aurora, in her first «real» session, in the lovely village workshop full of merry Eolis and eolines, was so radiant, that everyone cherished her hair and held her hand, moving gestures of the Eolis and eolines, from friendship or satisfaction. She adorned herself with a long indigo blue robe and a hat of the same colour, a new one, specially prepared for the occasion. She chirped and could not remain sitting without balancing her pretty little bottom. But once the dance started she was the most seriously absorbed in guiding the reed, which role is to pack the weft thread which was just left by the shuttle, against the finished fabric. For this she must let accurately proportioned strokes, right at the very moment where the shuttle changes of direction. It is not that easy. If she hesitates, the Eoli who returns the shuttle can send it more slowly, or stop it. For this first session two well trained beaters were there, to ease Aurora's task: Sondouneou, with fair hair in scrolls in the Louis XVI style, and his merrily impulsive partner Tzilnia-Linia, a very nice Eoline with a round face where always wander some small curls of black hairs. To run these weaving looms is in fact more difficult than for their Earth counterparts, but it is better like that: it is much more fun.
During this time a second team prepares another warp thread bobbin, which is, in contrast, slow and meticulous, as several thousands of threads must be carefully winded and aligned. Not to stop weaving, there is a second set of heddles and reed to thread. Still previously, others had measured these threads one per one on special reels; the off cuts are not thrown, they will be used for sewing, embroidery, or for the enormous glossy pompoms. There are also replacement shuttles to wind, and also to range, unpack, pack. And also to cut fruits to eat, or mushrooms, because during the rain everyone eats whenever he wants. All that occupies a lot of people, but there are still more in the pumpkin, because the Eolis enjoy very much the warm ambience of hard working workshops: some are just here like that, chattering here and there, treating themselves with a large slice of aeolian pineapple, or perched on the bundles, the ones singing, the others dreaming or kissing each other...
Nellio adored these days of activity, which he offered from his heart, where he saw the fabric being worked out, which would become clothes, curtains, sheets. Algenio was literally fascinated, and in the beginning he stood for hours looking at the weaving. Anthelm and Elnadjine both undertook the preparation of warp thread, showing from the very start the greatest skill, as if they had always done that since an eternity.
But Nellio, apart of cultivating, was also interested in painting, after his visit in Alambo's workshop. But he left several years passing by, before really involving. He had plenty of time. As many do, he came here only gradually. He first cultivated plants used for painting, with Algenio, Liouna and others. The job was to gather the leaves, to crush them and allow them to decant, in order to collect the gum properly. He let Alambo doing that in the second workshop, a sort of wet cave, selected to limit evaporation. Sometimes, while bringing in the leaves, Algenio found Alambo and Elzinia busy to ram in large half-coconut basins, or foaming their contents carefully, or using a kind of ladle to decant. Then he stayed a moment, just to look and ask questions that Alambo always answered precisely. Nellio enjoyed these long discussions in the odd odours which emanated from the preparations. Alambo explained lengthily, stopping to open a pot and to show its content; when he finished they continued all three in silence for a moment, until Nellio asked another question. Elzinia always stayed quiet and silent, just exchanging some sentences needed for the work. It was a silence of a surprisingly dense and warm quality; in fact she was entirely approval of her companion, all hearty attention for him, and even for their visitor. Also, from time to time, she stopped crushing or foaming, and, taking a completely charming pose, send a very lovely smile to Alambo... who left his gesture unfinished, surprised, somewhat discountenanced, for some seconds. He one day confided Nellio that these smiles always strongly moved him, as much as the first she made to him when they met for the first time. She did it at any time, and he was always seized by a flash of very powerful love. He needed some moment to recover... until the next.
In addition to leaves, they also had to collect pollen of various colours to make pigments; for this they spent long moments of gentle peace, among friends, in the crocus fields which grow up to the chest, completely lost into their powerful fragrance, smeared with gold or mauve dust scintillating with the sun. On the contrary of weaving, the manufacturing of paints was not a team work, but a delicate knowledge of a few ones, a kind of special brotherhood, a quiet and very sympathetic guild. Nellio gradually learned it from Alambo and Elzinia, and also from Landernako and Niouline. The two couples had each their workshop where they came in turn to work together, in a gentle melodious and friendly silence, only punctuated with a few necessary words and smile pauses...
Ha how all this was typically Eoli!
Alambo regularly prepared the most common colours, and on request for the others. From time to time some Eolis of the mountain went down with bags of rare pollens or other coloured powders, and left back without any word, and sometimes even nobody could see them passing by. Gentle silence, eternal agreement, poetic effectiveness... The Eolis of the village who knew how to paint coloured themselves their houses; whose who did not knew asked them for assistance, or asked directly to Alambo who knew how to make very regular gradations, or to paint flowers, birds or Eolis, realistic or stylised, but always still more beautiful than natural.
Alambo and Elzinia spoke little, but they radiated around them a gentle calm, however strongly energetic.
Never Alambo inquired to know if Nellio would one day or another put into practice all what he taught him. He did even not wonder for himself. He gave his knowledge for the simple pleasure of sharing, and would have been happy even if Nellio had never followed him. But the latter began to enjoy gradually, and more and more often came to the workshop to hold a rammer or a brush.
Nellio enjoyed this ambience and he also, later, learned to paint portraits, which is a real craft, even for an Eoli.
Nellio also often went to his friend Anthelm's house. Anthelm had grown up into a tall Eoli with a frank glance, somewhat mischievous, with a fine nose and chestnut brown hairs falling down on his shoulders. He was often dressed in pastel orange with a large hat of petals radiating around his regular face, but sometimes he wore like the sages a long indigo dress with stars, contrasting with his luminous eyes. Elnadjine was also a beautiful Eoline, tall and slender, dressed with clear golden, with her long and opulent cream-coloured hair floating down to her thighs. Elnadjine and Anthelm almost never spoke together, probably they were in direct communication from spirit to spirit, like Nellio and Aurora still did from time to time, unless quite simply there was nothing to comment about their sweet happiness. Their presence was calm, but of a merry calm, full of energy and light. Like all the Eolis, they spent a fair half of their day in the fields, sharing the same daydream while their hands were working. But when they re-entered in their home, at the end of the afternoon, they were never doing the same thing. Elnadjine tirelessly sew the tunics of the Eolines and Eolis of the village. It was for her an always renewed joy, almost a delight: She did not need to learn to work poetically! She involved in there with an extremely touching warm heart and kindness. She especially loved to make the embroideries at the end of the sleeves or at the feet, which are different for each Eoli. Let us remind: the tunics of the Eolis are almost all cut the same way, long, with a small simple opening for the head and two great loose sleeves, all in very luminous pastel colours. In fact each was characterised by a small detail, and sometimes by a large detail. For example Aurora had gathered herself the top of her dress. When these clothes wear, they need to remake others, which precisely the Eolis and the Eolines like very much.
Anthelm was left unsatisfied when the knowledge scrolls of the school were took somewhere else. He had studied them all, oh not as far as devoting all his time to this, but passionately. You remember that he had made their house in a long marrow with two rooms. One moment the first room remained unused, but then he invited Nellio to paint it with a beautiful gradation of warm orange and luminous yellow, which the latter did readily. One day arrived a first scroll, we shall see how in a while. Others were to follow. They were of course not the same that those of the school, but the level above, as we shall see, available for any Eoli who wished to study. Besides we can always find some in an Eoli village, if we really look for them.
If Elnadjine was always with Anthelm during his work, on the other hand she never spoke to him, neither she interrupted his thought (The telepathy in love requires a very refined form of delicacy, as indeed there is nothing more unpleasant than to be all the time cut and muddled in our reflection or meditation) But she was happy to feel his own joy in his discoveries, and he enjoyed her own approval, and his heart was glad to feel her besides him while his spirit explored. We thus should not be surprised if Elnadjine also learned most of the scrolls without having unrolled only one of them. From time to time he admired the charming spectacle she offered, nearby covered with fabrics, her fuzzy hairs and her soft frills, from which a naive elbow or a long smooth tapered thigh emerged. At that moment she was imperceptibly troubled... Sometimes, surprisingly, we could see her also looking up, intrigued, at the very moment where he discovered a beautiful image or a strong idea. They lived in the very miracle and never they were astonished.
Anthelm initially wished to discover the continuation of the scroll which we would call mathematics. Certain parts were rather comparable to what we could read on Earth, but others would be more exotic, because the Eolis know several forms of logic. The one we call Aristotelian is the most simple, but they more often use the «fuzzy logic», discovered on Earth by the Iranian Lofti Zadeh, and which can control a vehicle much more gently than a human conductor; more the non-dual logic that we call Yin-Yang, more the quadripolar one, which is implicitly expressed on Earth in the Hebraic Cabal, and still others, deliciously non-Aristotelian, spiritual and many others (see the first part of my book «General Epistemology»).
One of the Eolis of the distant village where the school scrolls went, had told Anthelm that there were many others of them, and there was a long list at the end of each scroll, for whose who wished to deepen their knowledge or get more information, from need or by pleasure. But nowhere it was told where nor how to get them. This deliciously embarrassing lack was undoubtedly intentional! Anthelm hesitated before asking. Who to ask for? Where to go? Everywhere around the village, there were only trees and fields, birds and flowers, but nothing which resembled polynomials of the second degree. He asked the question to his gentle friend Nellio, one day that they were out of the village, squatted under large leaves, occupied to collect seeds fallen on the ground.
«Do you remember the mathematics scroll, friend Nellio?
-Oh yes, I remember well this one. Blinking mathematical scroll. We made it, at last, nevertheless.
-A the end, there was a list of some others, with their content.
-I wonder how...
-... to get them and read?» Nellio finished. He sometimes picked up Anthelm's though, but this one was easy to guess!
Nellio reflected a moment without speaking, while Anthelm looked at him. Then:
«I do not know. But for this kind of thing we may have to ask... Adenankar.»
This name was synonymous of mystery, and it made Anthelm open large eyes. They stayed like this a quiet moment. Oh they knew him, Adenankar. Or at least they saw from time to time his good smile and his clear glance of a Sage... From there to guess what he did, what he thought, what he wanted, it was another story. Adenankar really looked like belonging to a different world than their, with different and completely unknown motives. Adenankar came from time to time for Algenio. They were going alone in an isolated place, and did not say anything of what they did together, not even to Liouna, Algenio's lover. Adenankar was not living at the village, where they almost never saw him; he used to appear suddenly, walk through the places with great quiet strides, exchanging some discrete sentences with one or another inhabitant; then he left away without saying more.
Adenankar had something impressive for a young eoli like Nellio. He used to always dress in strong purple, with a hat of mauve and pink petals. His hairs, colour of sunny bronze, undulated on his shoulders; his face and his very person emanated a serious Gentleness, a deep Kindness, and in his curly beard flowered a benevolent and reassuring smile. Sometimes he joked, but he had anyway something imposing, without they knew why. He was a Sage, Adenankar. He was the Gardener of the Souls. Admittedly the aeolian souls almost always grow alone without trouble, as on every planets in Harmony with the Universal Source of Life. But sometimes it was not so simple, and then the Gardeners of the Souls were here.
He had a lover, like all the Eolis. But Adenankar's lover, they almost never saw her. She was the mystery, and only some privileged could describe her: Milareva, with her eyes always faraway in a dream, was, as it was said, even more than an angel. Villagers were seeing her sometimes at night, in her forest, behind the village, white evanescent silhouette. She always wore a long white dress, Elora remembered to have cut several for her, the sleeves and the bottom embroidered with pink. Antonnafachto, the hats farmer, used to provide her small ones, pinkish white or with mauve reflections, of which she enhanced her curly hair, also white with pinkish reflections. The presence of such a creature, even on Aeoliah, could only have an exceptional significance. But nobody could give the least explanation, and it was the mystery.
Wise Eolis like Adenankar were not really necessary in a village of Eolis, all full of Kindness, superbly resourceful, and anyway safe from anything annoying. Thus he was here for another reason, undoubtedly extremely significant and difficult to require the Love and the support of such a sublime being as Milareva. Was this in connection with Algenio, their mysterious meetings and the discrete discussions at night with Algenio and Liouna's parents, of which nothing ever filtered? But the Eolis, if they are extremely curious and hastened to know, are also completely discrete; they would never had the idea in their head, they did even not have the desire to know what they were not invited to know, and which most probably concerned the intimacy of the soul. The intimacy of the soul is much more demanding than that of tenderness... (...with which the Eolis sometimes plays, for the great confusion of the eolines) Another reason for which the inhabitants of the village did not worried to know Adenankar's secrets is that the evil being completely absent and unknown on Aeoliah, there is thus no need to control anyone, ni necessity of the ones supervising the others, and everyone is thus completely and superbly...
Adenankar lived on the same small hill than the village, but on the northern side, which is covered with a thick forest. It was farther than the brook, farther than the young Eolis ever went. We must admit that all the enthralling occupations of their life did not (not yet) gave them the desire to explore the surroundings, but this travel was completely within their range.
Nellio and Anthelm decided to go there the following day, when an event occurred which very much impressed Anthelm. It was the middle of the afternoon, the hour when we feel happy of the accomplished work; they were still under the bush wearing pungent sloes, and they almost finished filling up their seed bag. They suddenly had the feeling that someone called them by thought. They looked at each other, surprised.
«You... you picked up too?
-Yes, and you? Who calls? What does it says?»
They were unable to say who called them: That came from nowhere nor from nobody. The nature itself resounded with an inaudible but pressing warning. Nothing visible was changed, but the whole environment was now attentive, alert. The birds spaced their songs, flying away by flocks. Anthelm and Nellio suddenly felt a pressing desire to clear off from under their tree, what they did immediately, without exchanging a word. Once in open terrain, they felt somewhat serene again, but the silence and this strange ambience announced something imminent.
They did not waited for long. Some fast birds streaked above them, the air whistling on their wings. The others began to flutter everywhere. Anthelm and Nellio suddenly felt the ground disappearing under their feet, sending them tumbling on the right side; hardly had they touched the ground that it set out again in the other direction. To their unutterable surprise, the ground was oscillating, like the plate of the spinning wheel. The ripe fruits fell down from the bushes, the trees groaned, shivering from all their leaves. Some dry branches cracked, awaking the echoes of the mountains. On all fours, they held on to try to understand something, in spite of a furious desire for taking off.
This hullabaloo decreased gradually, while the entrails of the hill resounded with a muffled rumbling, lengthily reflected in remote thunders in the mountains. Then there was a moment of silence. Gradually the birds resumed their songs, the gates of the abyss half-opened for a moment were closed again, and gradually the ambience became again normal, merry, sunny, accomplice of tenderness.
Nellio and Anthelm rushed to the village, amazed. On their path, all the shrubs had let their ripe fruits fall, and deadwood strewed the ground. They arrived on the place where all the Eolis were gathering, excited, laughing, calling themselves, as after a good joke.
«Ohoooh Nellio! Anthelm! You saw that?
-Oh yes we saw! What it was?
-But just a gentle little shiver of our mother the planet Aeoliah, quite simply. It is the first you see?
-Yes! She often does that?
-From time to time. It was a good one, that time. You had to be warned. Were you?
-It was for that this warning?
-Yes. If you are under a tree, for example, not to get all the fruits in your face»
Aurora arrived from the place of the cotton, completely upset.
«Nellio! Loved Nellio! What a rumpus! I flew away until it did not move any more, all the cotton bags fell on the ground!»
They embraced, while Anthelm slipped by to join Elnadjine.
What they saw was, you guessed friend reader, what we call an earthquake. This one was powerful enough for Aeoliah, and it would send a good part of our chimneys on the ground. For the Eolis, there was no other damage than the pumpkin of Sondouneou and Tzilnia-Linia's which was turned upside down: they got their bed on the ceiling, and that made everybody laugh! But ropes and levers quickly came out of their stores and everything was back to normal in less than ten minutes.
At this stage the reader will certainly ask a question. We stated loudly and strongly that Aeoliah is a perfect planet, where no evil could happen; however earthquake is for us synonymous of catastrophe and mourning. Truth is that Aeoliah is not a planet of dream or spirit. There are such universes, where the rocks, the trees, and the ground itself are only projections of the thought of the inhabitants, a kind of movie, a collective dream. Obviously there cannot be accidents in such worlds, unless we are really pessimistic. But Aeoliah is just like the Earth, formed of matter, of hard and heavy stones, with also a powerful fire in its depths, with all the consequences: earthquakes, volcanoes and the like. However indeed never an Eoli nor a bird was the victim of them. Of course, the Aeolian quakes are weaker and less dangerous, although more frequent (the continental crust being thinner); but it was really this invisible spiritual alarm which warned Anthelm and Nellio and preserved them of any risk. We could be astonished, that the inhabitants of Aeoliah are so efficiently protected. This is however the case on every planet were evil is not accepted, and even on Earth some animals feel the approach of quakes or eruptions, and sometimes humans themselves are warned by dreams or inner voices of the imminence of an accident or a key choice. So Anthelm was really astonished and intrigued, and also somewhat his friend Nellio. He made to himself the promise to ask to Adenankar if there were scrolls on these topics.
But the most mysterious was still to come. Elora found Nellio and Aurora close to their house, right before eating. This evening they had to come all together to the meeting place.
When the meal was finished, at the time where the Evening Mountain stands in purple over the pink sunset, the red gleam which always throbs on its summit was more intense and immobile than usual. This mountain was in fact a powerful volcanic mountain range, rather remote and high, on top of which was a conical peak sometimes capped with white snow. The small Eolis would have trouble to climb there, and indeed they did not went, except the Eolis of the mountain, but them, when we ask them questions, we do not obtain any more answers than with grasshoppers.
When the night was complete, they started to sing as usual, on the meeting place of the meal, completely on the top of the village, above the place of cotton. The sight was free there, with a beautiful panorama, at the top of the hill, as the Eolis like to have. There grew several large trees, preludes to the forest which descended along the other side of the hill. The Mountain of the Evening was quite visible from this place and Anthelm realised that a kind of luminous crimson ray was pointing from its summit towards the sky.
In spite of a strange and unusual feeling of tenseness, this evening resembled all the others; the planetary ring was a golden dust in the sky, the light flowers illuminated the Aeolian countryside with their luminous fairyhood and coloured tapestries, answering to the stars. Only the trees, the rocks and the Mountain of the Evening were standing out in black. The Eolis were gently singing, accompanied by the concert of the crickets, more varied and melodious that on Earth.
Anthelm was keeping an eye on the red light, in top of the Mountain of the Evening. It did not vibrated any more, and the ray was now rising majestically. Also Nellio, his heart beating, had a presentiment of some mysterious event. Aurora was snuggling against him; he was happy to feel the living warmth of her body and they smuggled under their cover: the fresh breeze announcing the rain was setting on.
The songs suddenly stopped, together with the crickets, in a solemn and moved emotion. The crimson ray was gradually climbing into the sky, rectilinear like a laser, just to fade at the zenith, incredibly high. The light swelled by pulses until illuminating the entire mountain. The small Eolis were contemplating this amazing spectacle, silent down to the depth of their hearts, with sometimes discrete sobs.
The ground vibrated in a replica, gentler than this morning, like a long shiver, and, from the summit of the mountain, a chain of coloured stars rose majestically along the ray, scintillating while accelerating higher and higher, right up towards the sky, so high in the firmament where they faded, palpitating in an ultimate good-bye, and then escaped instantaneously towards the infinite space. Some Eolis had tears in their eyes, other raised their arms to the sky or cried, so much the emotion had been strong.
Gradually the beam reabsorbed and disappeared, the reflections on the Mountain of the Evening grew dimmer and dimmer, the light on the summit decreased irregularly, the crickets resumed shyly their partitions. The Eolis remained quiet, sitting in lotus, their faces toward the ground, or dreamy. The eight new Eolis, who did not yet knew the meaning of this mysterious ceremony, were even more moved than intrigued. Nobody had told them, and only a long moment after their parents or friends came to meet them. As you guess, it was not a kind of eruption they witnessed, as the volcano of the Mountain of the Evening was extinct for ages. It was really a supernatural ceremony.
Actaran with dark hair, Nellio's father, and Elora, Aurora's mother, sat down besides them. Elora was still feeling strange. Actaran began with a serious intonation, with his always somewhat solemn voice.
«They are ours, they are Eolis, who finished their life experience on Aeoliah».
There was a moment of silence and astonishment from Nellio and Aurora. To end up their life experience on Aeoliah was for them such a remote term that they were only seldom thinking at it.
«They gave up their flesh body and set out again towards the world of the spirit, the incorporeal realms.
«After having remained a moment there, they will come again, on other more advanced and more beautiful worlds than Aeoliah, or perhaps they will go in other extremely mysterious places, about which we do not know very much»
Actaran's word bought a vertigo in the young Eolis mind.
«There are places more beautiful than Aeoliah?» (Think that life on Aeoliah is already much more beautiful than on our Earth)
«Still much more beautiful, and the inhabitants of these universes much more beautiful also end up dreaming about other thing still much more better.
-Where does it end?
-It never ends.
-But we have plenty of time to go.»
Nellio and Aurora were silent and pensive, puzzled by these vertiginous prospects about the infinity of the evolution of life. However the sumptuous coloured tapestries which illuminated the hills and the distant landscapes of Aeoliah were for them the summit of wonder. Undoubtedly they were not in a hurry to seek elsewhere, and they needed to first fully enjoy all the pleasures this loved planet granted them so liberally.
Around them, whispers and chants had begun again. A little further Anthelm and Elnadjine, curiously leaning, were also listening, undoubtedly the same thing. Aurora asked to Actaran:
«How does the departure occur?
-It is on the Mountain of the Evening. It is a mystery, because only the Eolis of the mountain go there. When an Eoli and an Eoline aspire to more than what they can experience on Aeoliah, they start to travel, to study certain things. They start to visit the Eolis of the mountain, or the Wises, or those of the idyllic islands, and become gradually like them. They gradually separate from their former companions, keeping contact only with close friends and soul brothers. They more and more often travel in the world of the spirit, where they can meet their future companions in their next universe, as usual when we are about to change of universe. And one day, they meet with their friends and they prepare to leave. We do not know exactly how this happens; undoubtedly as when we travel in the world of the spirit. They give up their flesh bodies somewhere in a dark and deep forest of a secret valley of the Mountain of the Evening, where they will be quickly covered with pine needles, and, at the time of a shiver of Aeoliah, their souls celebrate the ceremony of the departure which you just contemplated.»
Nellio and Aurora remained quiet. A little further Anthelm and Elnadjine did the same. The ground was still tepid and smelling good. One heard nothing any more but the crickets, the low rustle of the wind in the leaves, and, somewhere, invisible in the night, an Eoline who sang only a soft melody with long pauses...
* * *
It was the next day that Nellio and Anthelm went to visit Adenankar. The breeze had softened, and they could still enjoy the radiant sun for a couple of days. They did not dared to say anything to anybody, even not to their partners Aurora and Elnadjine. The laters suspected something, but discretion is a solid quality of the Eolis and Eolines: they neither sought to question, nor they put obstacle.
They had to pass through the place of the meal, very busy at this time; they had a feeling as if everybody was suspecting where they went. Quickly they engulfed under the pink cistus which crowned the hill. These bushes were forming interlacing tender tunnels of greenery, flowered with pink, marvellous natural arbours, carefully maintained by the Eolis and a kind of blackbirds. The two communities had the same use of it: To play here, to love and sometimes to inhabit. Some Eolis nests and blackbirds houses were hiding almost invisible under the flowers: It was one of the most poetical and calmest parts of the village, always quiet, always scented... The warm sun was playing with the fresh shades. Above these charming bushes some isolated trees were stretching their branches covered with nests, each one carrying a different specie: The villages of the birds. These delicious shady paths were leading under the woods which went down gently on the other side of the hill, toward North. Nellio and Anthelm had to fly, as out of the villages there are no paths on Aeoliah.
They went through this cathedral of greenery and sunbeams, clad with tender green moss, among myriads of birds. Immense foliages and trunks, straight like the I, formed majestic vaults and pillars; whole trees were covered with sumptuous floral ornaments, poetic mauves, luminous oranges, blazing reds, deep or tender blues, distilling the most astonishing scents. These flowers provided in superabundance nectar, fruits and seeds for all kinds of birds with marvellous songs, tiny lustrous hummingbirds buzzing in swarms, small groups of paradise birds with marvellous dresses, choruses of thrushes, solitary blackbirds with sumptuous suits and melodious song.
Nellio and Anthelm, filled with wonder, almost forgot their goal and thus went down the slope, until the clear and free undergrowth let place to a kind of half-jungle of a deep green colour, entangled with lianas bearing enormous heavily perfumed flowers and large multicoloured toucans, each outdoing the other with his gobble-gobble. They suddenly realised that they they had absolutely no idea of where Adenankar's home could be. They followed an increasingly steep slope, in a dark silent jungle more and more dense and mysterious, until they heard the hiss of the torrent, at the bottom of the hill. They glanced at each other, hesitating, and then realised that a supple and regular wing beat followed them since a moment, while quickly catching them up.
So they posed on a mossy branch, in a kind of cave made of greenery, bronze toned and strangely tortuous. Far above, the higher foliages formed a jade and emerald stained glass, with interlaced branches standing out in black. Toward the bottom was a well of misty shade, not letting them see the wet ground thirty metres below. There was no more flowers nor birds, except one which from time to time uttered a strange and deep appeal. Lower the torrent made a blowing sound and drops were falling from wet lianas, clicking on some rocks. They could confusedly distinguish, in the hiss of the torrent, some deep laughter, of a kind that no Eoli could ever have produced.
A great white dove emerged from the foliages behind them, and posed beside them: they recognised Musia, the friend of Adenankar, who had followed them. She posed her beak on Nellio's shoulder, who embraced her head in his arms. He allowed himself to this tender gesture, while admiring the ordered and clever layout of her feathers. But quickly the heat of the flight dissipated and our two folks felt the desire to leave this wet and fresh jungle. Deep laughters... This was absolutely not a place for young Eolis.
Musia then gracefully spread her wings, flying away nicely at their own speed, and they followed her, carried by the wind of her flight. She went up the slope to the place where the heat of the sun harmoniously moderated the freshness of the green lianas and low bushes. They passed there a moment ago, but they did not saw anything.
In a tree among the other trees, firmly blocked on one of the main forks with clear bark, the house of Adenankar and Milareva awaited them. It did not resembled those of the village: imagine a plate, in the shape of a cone the point at the bottom, in carefully adjusted wooden logs, so well covered with ivy and arranged that it completely merged with the trunk, like a natural part of the tree, a nest between three branches. It undoubtedly owed its existence to the art of Arnophilco the carpenter, but at a closer look this construction was much too massive for him to have built it alone. On the edge of this platform, against the trunk, several ball-shaped houses nested under this flowered foam of which Aeoliah holds the secrecy. The plate itself was a miniature wonder, a landscape garden with stones, paths and staircases, a whole collection of light flowers, tiny plants and even a small basin. A fine foamy round place invited to tenderness, right in front of the entrance of the main house, closed with a mauve and pink curtain and framed with flowers of the same colours. This small scented paradise for winged beings needed neither stairs nor guardrails.
Higher in the tree there were ball-houses occupied by gently and tenderly cooing doves. What a pleasant music! The eolian houses were hardly different from the ones the doves had built, with the same clay and covered with the same moss. Besides the house of Adenankar and Milareva, two balls sheltered the doves Musia and Orno. Others, with strangely worked doors somewhat like ironwork, were used for some mysterious rite. A kind of ivy covered the trunk, the branches, the plate, and flowered with long translucent mauve calyxes which could be found nowhere else, emanating a marvellously suave perfume...
Sat on a small step for taking-off, (on Earth it would be the threshold) the legs hanging above the drop, relaxed and reassuring, Adenankar was awaiting for them, his good and somewhat mischievous smile on his lips. To their disappointment Milareva was invisible, although her unutterable presence was to be felt, in the aura of Peace and mystery which surrounded this charming place. Undoubtedly it was her invaluable soul who had given a so sweet perfume to this ivy flowers... Her dreamy eye surely observed them behind one of the vaporous curtains, uncovering the most intimate secrets of their souls, smiling with an infinite Benevolence of their childlike hesitations...
Musia the dove joined a higher perch in the odorous foliage; Anthelm and Nellio landed on the beautiful plate. Adenankar, smiling and quiet, gave a hand to each of then, and then, taking each of them by the waist, he went toward the foamy round place where he sat down in lotus, inviting them to do the same. He was a beautiful eoli, Adenankar, with very gentle gestures, his hands crossed on his chest and his large purple dress. His hat, as funny as all the other eoli hats, was making around his face a holy aureole of mauve petals, that I must tell he wore extremely well. His hair and his large fair beard with golden glint undulated generously, and his benevolent eyes and his luminous smile of Wise could speak of serious things without ever playing the wise! Nellio and Anthelm were told that he sometimes made gentle jokes; they did not really believed this, but he quickly gave them the demonstration: Adenankar obviously knew why they were here, but he did not said anything, letting them speak at first in spite of their delicious shyness.
«Eeh Adenankar... We came for...
Nellio helped him: Yes, we came for the scrolls.
-Ah for the scrolls» repeated Adenankar with his gentle and serious voice, like about an already agreed thing.
Then, as the Eolis are still a lot resourceful, Anthelm quickly got bolder:
«Yes, for the scrolls, I would enjoy to see the continuation of that of mathematics.» He did not dared to speak about the shivers of Aeoliah. Not yet. Nellio though nice to add:
«He likes that.
-Which one would you like? Where you are, you have a choice of several tens.»
Adenankar knew the lists of the scrolls, at least the most common. Anthelm had only the trouble of the choice; he quickly found one which title enticed him. But it had to be brought to him. For one or two, Adenankar would make them come, but he did not answered the question about where were the scrolls. Not all the pleasure at the first time!
Anthelm hoped to be introduced to Milareva, but he would never dare to ask that; especially that he would surely got a reply of the kind «She is in meditation», which, on Aeoliah, is about the same as on Earth «She is in a management meeting».
They leave Adenankar, not without admiring his splendid hanging garden. Imagine one of these miniature gardens that we see in garden stores, with more foam, replace the small Japaneses bearing sunshades by Eolis wearing hats, and you will obtain Adenankar's garden, so lovely!
Anthelm and Nellio went back on the way they came. They had some trouble to find again their path in the flowered arbours. They just had to fly over to find their bearing, but they did not dared. At last, on the place, they had a strong feeling as if everyone was about to ask where they went for so long a time. This of course never happened, and even their lovers did not asked them the least question, in spite of the knowing nods they were exchanging all along this morning. It is hat ah yes we are really free on Aeoliah! And if Anthelm and Nellio were fleeing the glances of their companions in the village, it is by no way from fear of any reprobation, but only from the moving timidity of those who take their first steps on the path of their aspirations, who gradually uncover the beauties of their souls, who are starting to realise what they really are.
But Anthelm could not hide anymore when, some days later, in the sky washed by the rain and merry with the new Sun, appeared two large snow white geese, mounted by an Eoli and an Eoline of the mountain, who landed close to the long marrow of Anthelm and Elnadjine. Such a visit in an Eoli village is about as much discrete as on Earth to receive in your garden a minister in helicopter. Perfect way to make everybody show up and put yourself at the centre of all the conversations for several days.
It is what happened to a very confused Anthelm: the Eolis adore landings of unknown geese, and in no time there were more than fifty around his two rooms marrow, harassing him with questions.
«Anthelm, who is your guest?
-Eolis of the mountain! How did you knew them?
-What do they want? What are they bringing to you?
-Crowned Anthelm! Just arrived on Aeoliah and already having business with the Eolis of the mountain!»
Even Elnadjine, that Anthelm did not dared to told, was looking at him, mouth wide open with surprise, her hands on her hips.
Anthelm, red like a poppy, could only mumble that he had just asked a scroll to Adenankar, from pure curiosity, but that it had never seen those two mountaineers!
Those two mountaineers carefully avoided to derogate from their rule of silence! The Eolis of the mountain, on Aeoliah, are somewhat like the senior citizens on the Earth, but as fresh as the young Eoli peoples of the villages, because their bodies continue to regenerate in spite of their great age, just as in their pristine youth. Summarising the experience of a whole existence, preparing to another even more beautiful one, they are the Wises, realised beings at the limit of what is currently possible on Earth. This one was dressed with a tunic made of flower petals, for the ones who always live outdoors, orange, somewhat worn but irreplaceable under the rain. He ostensibly held out a heavy scroll to Anthelm. He did not spoke, but he perfectly understood, the guy, what was going on, and he burst out laughing, launching at Anthelm a deliciously friendly glance. His lover had a mass of golden hair falling in cascade on her waist, and a dress made of sky blue petals; she did not went down from her goose, sitting astride on the basis of her neck, eyes half closed, undulating her body, smiling to who knows which mystical ecstasy... Unless she was in a permanent bliss, from too much enjoying certain tantric practices. Who knows? They are really very odd, the Eolis of the mountain, you know.
A while later and all this people gone, Anthelm was alone with Elnadjine and his scroll, in their marrow of love. Elnadjine had a happy and clear laughter, a broad approving smile, and, balancing her waist and splendid hair in a gesture he loved so much, she embraced her Anthelm. What question could she ask? None, obviously. Anthelm was following his way, everything was perfectly right.
They went together, arm in arm, to find Arnophilco and his good laughter, for the scroll holder.
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux.
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