There were smoke signals on my phone. A brother, who became a chief, reached out to me from over the hill. He had heard about my troubles.
We talked over an electronic fire. He told me, we're connected by strings and when one person falls, all feel the pull. I said, I was still falling and was divining the reasons why.
"We've been telling you for months, the sparrow and I. You don't dream, you daydream. You could become a chief, if you would but apply yourself." No anger in the chief's voice, just empathy.
He told me stories of his battles, some won, others were lessons. Reminded me of a few battles we fought together. As he talked, I noticed by the light of the fire, silhouettes of disappointment perching on tree branches all around us.
"You gave me every opportunity to succeed in that role." I said, "The missteps were mine. The poor choices were mine, the wisdom to be gleaned is mine also. "
Are you sure you can't stay?
"The tribal elders have set their faces against it. I will go. I will go into the desert and become a medicine man."
Medicine? How will you feed yourself and your family?
"I don't know, but others have done it, so can I."
How will you make this transition?
"With as little pain as possible, I hope."
Just understand brother, you still have the heart of a chief, if you would just apply yourself. Don't give up, if not in this tribe, perhaps another. The fire burned out and I was alone with his words.
Putting those words in my satchel, I rose and faced the desert. If I could take this chief heart's into my medicine journey, it would be worth all the pain. I walked toward the horizon with a cautious smile.