Ha'von creche (Haa - von)
Testing Her Legs
The youngling found she was given new freedoms borne from her Ritual, allowing her to leave the watery nursery to develop her lungs and limbs. Being used to the water buoying her certainly didn’t prepare her for standing under the weight of gravity. Her body had much to adapt to. There was the bright unfiltered light being constant rather than the occasional peek in wonder from the water’s surface toward the dry land. The Elders had provided forested areas alongside each protected crèche with walking trails and benches to rest on. Hers was Ha’ven crèche, meaning First. The broad blue-green leaves would keep the sunlight from harming the youngling’s moist skin while it slowly toughened. She was also developing a second set of eye lids that would mute the light, protecting her eyes. Her singular decision to choose the dry existence set her matrix in motion, changing her body and mind in ways that would continue her whole life. Many would be rapid and very obvious this soon after her Ritual. Many would only be noticeable, over time, as she aged. Some would be so very subtle that even the learned Elders could hardly trace them in themselves or others.For now she would enjoy both worlds. She would play with her friends in the nursery crèche, learning from the nursemaids and her new instructors for a few twelve days before going to her assigned academy. Until then, she would join her crèche mates chasing food in and through the plants in dizzying patterns that only the long, lithe young amphibians could do. As days passed, her paw webs were slowly absorbed, her legs and joints were strengthening for the added load from gravity. She found her cartilage like structure was turning more bony and inflexible. She could no longer pirouette in the water like she wanted to. Her friends would impishly swim circles around her, laughing, and she had to work and strive to catch them. This was all part of the ancient pattern of change that would lead her to desire the dry land where she would be more comfortable.
As she walked in the forest, she found new delights in the scents of flowers, the sweetness of fruits, and the sounds and the tastes of the flying insects. There were larger flying creatures that nested in the trees, amazing and dazzling her mind, bringing new questions of how and why they could do that. Her attention would shift quickly taking in all the newness. The youngling played with the small ground creatures running over her feet. She would wander the paths with those ground creatures running with the youngling, following her, clinging to her feet and lower legs, almost singing a melody. Sitting on a bench, she watched the ground creatures cling to her legs and could just barely sense the tiny creatures’ wonderment of looking up at her from the ground. Eventually, she wandered along the edge of the nursery crèche with those same delightful ground creatures clinging to her.Standing on the shore, the youngling looked across her crèche nestled in the lee of Corbo River and Lake. Her new eyes could make out the river flowing into the large lake from the hills and mountains in the distance. Though she couldn’t see it, the Corbo did flow to the Whispering Ocean. Still, seeing this much with her own eyes brought a vivid reality to the map images of her training. Her leg ornaments felt her wanting to enter the water, leaping off to follow her as far as they could. She left them quickly behind and swam toward the distant living edge of her crèche. As she neared the boundaries, the taste of the water changed to a wilder flavor, and she couldn’t sense any younglings anywhere nearby. She did however, encounter older wet Brahmhow swimming slowly along the inside of the woven border.
They identified themselves quite proudly as the guardians and protectors of this crèche. They asked her, “Why are you here? Is this where your calling will bring you? We work at the edge of the crèche driving back the aggressive predators of all sizes. Do you think you’d be doing that, or be here to contain the rambunctious younglings within the crèche?” “No, I’m just curious about several things. What can you tell me about the lake outside the crèche? The river comes down from the mountains, but have you seen it yourselves? Do you know when the barrier was built? Who thought to create it here?” The patrols didn’t understand her questions; they only knew they were to protect the younglings.
They had tools to re-weave the barrier and long sharp lances to ward away the swimming predators while they repaired the barrier. Why would she want to know of things outside the crèche? Didn’t she know there were much larger creatures outside the woven barrier that would view her as a tasty morsel and were so much faster and agile than she was? She agreed with them that she was no match for the speed of the predators outside the barrier, then thanked them for protecting her crèche while she was growing up, letting them feel appreciation for their hard and dangerous work. Now with even more questions than answers, the youngling left the protectors to the job of watching and repairing the barrier, turning to find her mentors and instructors. She had so many questions.
While the youngling was gaining her new legs and exploring her new world, her assigned crèche instructors debated telling her the greater history of the Brahmhow and how much. This dry youngling seemed to inquire deeper than most. Typically, the more difficult questions were often submitted to the dry instructors and answered once a student was at their academy. They weren’t really prepared to answer deep and convoluted questionings. The instructors were also worried the youngling wouldn’t be able to handle the history and reality of their species. Although they were new to space, the Brahmhow were a very young species, with little more than twelve twelves of generations into sentience. The instructors themselves had only recently been taught the larger history of the Brahmhow. Being new to the training, they were still discussing and reviewing the information, and even they weren’t very comfortable with the new knowledge. They had learned that in the early history, the infusion of knowledge was almost a force, finding the Brahmhow struggling to build new knowledge into the fabric of their society.
In the dim past, the oral traditions related, the original ancient lake was drying up. With enormous difficulty, the water dependent amphibians traveled across the land through adjoining lakes to a much larger lake they named Ha’ven. Many died in the migration. The stronger and wiser of the species survived.
Adding a nearly incomprehensible complexity, while this was going on, the Elders discovered a new breed of Brahmhow. Through an unknown influence, their bodies would find a metamorphosis that would allow them to migrate to the dry land or remain in the water. The dry land was an unknown place, full of new dangers, or so the Elders thought. Those that desired and chose to seek the dry land were held back in the safe waters where they slowly withered and died. Their purpose in living seemed to float away on the streams.
The Elders were, if nothing else, able to see the error of that decision. They would deliberate long on what could be done with those choosing to migrate to the dry land. Then, a strange new strength showed itself, manifested as an insightful, quiet meditation. Meditation seemed natural to the Elders lately and they used it to seek understanding. Turning to a quiet place in their minds, they began to see there was a new, unknown, underlying force, leading younglings to make the dry land decision. Why? None would hazard a guess. Even a few Elders also felt that calling. All the Elders were natural students and so, wanting to learn about this, those hearing the call, consciously chose the dry path. That choice would bring strange new feelings to each, allowing their bodies and minds to change within, driving them to the dry land.
It was a wonder to all the Brahmhow that there could be two, yet one species. The new dry Elders helped build safe places where the changed younglings would grow. They all learned together on the dry land. The changed dry Elders and younglings then brought knowledge back to their wet kin. All the younglings and Elders found they couldn’t stop the choosing, just as they couldn’t restart the flow of the river that had fed their earliest home. It seemed to be a force unto itself. Those choosing to live out their lives in the water changed into creatures that were driven to protect, understand, and promote the health of their species. The wet brethren had varying mental powers and physical strengths. Their individual callings could run the spectrum of caring for zygotes in a crèche, to lofty heights of understanding, delving into the very structures of the physical elements that few could understand. Yet all the wet Brahmhow reveled in their callings and sought to grow the Brahmhow.
The dry land Brahmhow observed the wonders of the dry land and their eyes and minds soon turned to the sky above them. It seemed there was so much more to their world than the lakes and streams they knew so well. The wet and dry Brahmhow would meet in one environment or the other, communing, touching, and meditating. They came to understand they lived on a living and dynamic orb, circling a life giving source of energy, swimming a path through the cosmos. With this revelation, the wet Brahmhow now had a new responsibility; protecting the whole planetary system. The wet Brahmhow asked their dry land brethren to find the means to extend protection around the planet, creating a vastly larger safe place for the Brahmhow first, and then the rest of multitude of species that called the planet Brahmhow home. Though those creatures might not have understanding beyond their simple existence, they would be protected, nurtured, and be part of the burgeoning Family. Balance would be found and revered. The dry Brahmhow asked for guidance from the wet kin on how to unravel the mysteries they had before them. They felt that every time they opened their eyes, a new wonder was in front of them. The cycle of discovery, understanding, and taking steps forward came quickly for both the wet and dry Brahmhow. There were changes on an irregular cycle when those in class would begin to understand new teachings. Like a dry stream filling with a fresh rain, they suddenly began to see the meanings behind the words thrown at them. Old and new concepts were suddenly grasped, making the working students see their callings in a whole new light.
Knowing all these things, the instructors brought the new, dry youngling to a quiet, watery grove. Here the other younglings wouldn’t intentionally intrude and her new instructors would attempt to answer her questions. They knew this could take several days and they let the youngling know she could interrupt this time of discovery if she found herself overwhelmed. That heavy weighted feeling in her chest returned and she worried, thinking this time might be beyond her, what? Capacity? Ability? Sentience? Somehow, she found confidence that she would rise above her fears and grow even more than she hoped for.
Relaxing together, she began, asking her instructors, “Where did we come from? Why is there a crèche barrier? How come some choose to live in the water or, like me, choose to live on the dry land? What are we to find in meditation?” Her questions came at the instructors faster than the large predators beyond the barrier could swim. The youngling made their minds spin and for a long time, they could only answer, not realizing the limits they thought to impose on the knowledge shared was a lost cause. They found themselves drained emotionally and physically in the course of a twelve day cycle. Rest and sleep were in limited supply, so great was her desire for knowledge. Her intense desire to know and learn strained the instructors to their core. For the youngling she felt as though her very being rang in joy with each answer shared.
Her instructors slowly recovered and discussed this event, this youngling, her strange new seeking for knowledge, and the myriad complex questions. They knew they would have to quickly let the Elders know of this relentless pursuit for understanding. Should they have stopped the youngling or tried to slow her swimming for knowledge? Walking in the forest, the youngling had many other sights, sounds, and discoveries to hold her attention. Her mind was a pool overflowing beyond its shore with new learning. It was all she could do to take in all the newness and find homes in her mind and heart for all of it. Each thing learned seemed to lead to other questions and greater knowledge. Many cycles later, the youngling would reflect on her early years and be amazed that so many and varied individual pieces of knowledge would swim so perfectly together. That entwining of knowledge would create a foundation that all the rest of her journey of learning would rest upon. From that distant, future observation, she would comprehend the differences of all the Brahmhow and find peace and joy in each of her brethren.