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Chaos and Order (Book Six)

“I’m confused.” said Paolo, “What happened? Didn’t we go to the Boabob grove of trees?” he asked.

“What do these dreams mean, anyway?” queried Ansel.

“So many questions…”said Solomon with an impish smile on his wrinkled face. “…and no answers either” said Daniel with wrinkles of puzzlement on his face.

“Well, plenty of time to think about that, young dreamers. For now you must write…write down what you dreamed, and quickly before it escapes you.” said Solomon again, this time passing out the notebooks and pencils to each of them. “Write, write, quickly now.”

The boys did as they were told, rubbing their eyes and drinking the tea offered each of them by the old men from the campfire.

They were led stumbling back to the market place and the alley between the booths. Daniel’s father was waiting for them and drinking tea made by the old woman who led them there, it seemed so long ago. Suddenly, they who had been so quiet as they walked back began excitedly trying to tell it all at the same time, babbling and shushing each other to tell their story.

“Enough,” laughed Daniel’s father. “Tell me over breakfast, OK? …anybody hungry?” “I’m starved,” said Daniel. “Me too!” said the others. “Let’s go then, but first you have to thank your hosts for the little adventure last night.” Each one bowed and gave the old men a grateful “Thank you, Mwalimu” and a big hug in turn. With a wave they left and immediately began to whisper and gossip among themselves until they got back to the lodge and a hot heaping bowl of delicious local dishes of porridge and greens topped with palm oil and roasted sesame seeds.

“Wait a minute…” said Daniel, “They said we would find out what our dreams meant, but they didn’t say when.”

“That’s right, I’ve got the dream written down but it still doesn’t make sense to me”, said Paolo.

“I know…”said Solomon, slowly “…but it will be a mystery that depends on each of you.”

“What does that mean, Dad?”

“It means, be patient, little seekers, and obedient.” Solomon said. “Now did you play chess? No? Why not? Why don’t you play a game tonight and read your bibles.”

“What does that mean?” asked Ansel when they were alone together watching an anthill grow. The ants were busy moving in lines back and forth making new chimneys for air inside. “I don’t know, but maybe we should just be obedient and see what happens, huh?” “Yeah, right.” answered Paolo.

They went to see the Makonde carvings and their fascinating work from the “spirit world” they were told, by the curator, a dark pretty woman who owned the little shop and museum on the main street. “They say they get their ideas, shapes and forms from dreams.” “Dreams!?” exclaimed Ansel, almost shouting.

A quick huddle, and then; “Can we visit their workshop?” asked Daniel “We want to see them at work.”

“Well, that’s not usually allowed because their work is so personal and they don’t like to share their techniques for carving the ebony and walnut wood,” said the curator. “But I’ll ask my contact and see.”

“Please, tell them we are friends of old man Solomon from the marketplace” said Paolo, thinking that it might make a difference.

Back at the Lodge they took a nap after lunch and then began to study their bibles around a big table in the foyer. Daniel began with the alphabetical concordance at the back just as his grandfather had taught him. He first looked up “dreams”, then “fire” and finally, “water”. He showed the others where to find some reference to their dreams too. Then they read and read. Everybody used the dictionary to figure out some old English word or other.

“I still don’t get it” said Ansel. The “earth” has so many references I can’t make it out, symbolically.”

“Remember to wrestle like Jacob, Ansel” said Daniel, “What do they have in common?”

“Well, first of all, it’s like it’s alive and a mother, giving birth all the time to fruit. She also drinks water… and blood but it doesn’t like to receive blood of men or animals. The ‘sun’ and the ‘stars’ are also confusing, Daniel. Worship of the sun is forbidden, but it brings ‘light’ and life to living things; Sometimes it seems to mean ‘son’ as in the son of God too. And the ‘stars’ can be popular people or other suns in ‘heaven’”.

“My head is busted too,” said Paolo. I give up, for now. “’Wind’ is spirit and yet it doesn’t say which one; the good or bad, or how it moves around the earth.”

“You two have it easy, I get both ‘fire’ and ‘water’ to figure out. OK, let’s take a break and try again later.” “Who’s up for a game of chess?” said Daniel.

“I’m going to check out my science book, maybe it’ll give me some ideas” Ansel said. “I’ll play…” said Paolo, “just to relax and think of something else for a while.”

Hours later, it was time to go to bed. The boys got baths and flopped down and went to sleep right away…but they dreamed again and heard the chess pieces muttering in the background.

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