CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

August 16, 2008

RAINBOW’S END Conclusion


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
RAINBOW’S END Conclusion

To read previous segments click on: RAINBOW’S END Part 1 &  RAINBOW’S END Part 2 & RAINBOW’S END Part 3

     Rushing Waters tipped his cup, lightly sipping its contents. As his pain abated, he laid back, thinking about several European men whose spirit, like his, was moved by Mountain-Laurel.

     In 1749 he’d met Peter Kalm, from a country named Sweden across the big waters. Peter favored the plant above all others he collected to send back to his homeland. Rushing Waters wouldn’t know that Peter’s teacher, famed botanist Carolus Linnaeus, would name the plant Kalmia latifolia in Peter’s honor.

     Rushing Waters chuckled softly as he recalled why Peter nicknamed Mountain-Laurel “lambkill.” Some of his sheep came close to death after foraging on the shrub. If only Peter had consulted with the Native Americans he’d have known not to allow his animals to graze on this plant’s leaves! 

     Kalm told Rushing Waters about another European, Mark Catesby, who wrote about Mountain-Laurel in a General History of Virginia in 1624.

     During the 1750 blooming of Mountain-Laurel, Rushing Waters met Christopher Gist, the first white man to arrive in the Latrobe area. He was passing through Loyalhanning while surveying land for George Washington. Sadly, they were preparing for a European move westward to settle lands beyond the Alleghenies, a plan which Rushing Waters suspected meant yet another uprooting for his people. Despite their differences, he and Christopher and could unite in their awe over the spectacular Mountain-Laurel blooms.

     By now Rushing Waters pain required deeper sips of the golden elixir inside his cup.

     Truth be known, he’d frequently used this herb to seek relief from his own bodily pain. The Mountain-Laurel salve he massaged into his aching, swollen, feverish joints had helped initially, but as the symptoms progressed and his joints stiffened the remedy became less beneficial. He also struggled to keep weight on his bones and avoid night sweats. Sleeplessness contributed to his constant weariness. The limited movement in his fingers, knees and elbows made it difficult to rise from a sitting position or even to hold a cup. Because his survival now depended on the use of resources needed by the young, on whose backs tribal life depended, Rushing Waters considered himself a detriment to his people.

     Comfort came from the knowing he’d completed teaching his herbal remedies to his students, who now competently carried on the traditions of medicine men.

     Rushing Waters leaned back against the rough oak tree bark. It was time…he was ready to take action for his community. The golden elixir in his cup felt comfortably warm as he gulped rapidly. The shrub that had been his friend throughout his life was serving him one last time. He knew what to expect—the vomiting ending in a final coma, but he was at peace, knowing by this time tomorrow he’d be with his ancestors. In twelve days he’d even meet his Creator.

     He passed into the spirit world on a balmy spring day in 1751. Overshadowing the scene was a beloved Mountain-Laurel with its shroud of pink-tinted white blossoms. He looked down on them from above with a pain free and perfect body.

     He left earth never knowing that the shrub that was his harbinger of summer and his support through life was to be the state flower of both Pennsylvania and Connecticut (photo:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/2767214932/in/photostream/)

and would lend its name to places like Laurel Mountain Borough and Laurel Highlands.

ADDITIONAL READING:

THE CORPSE FLOWER (Amorphophallus titanum)—A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING-Is in Bloom

HOT DOG LIMERICKS

SOCKATORY

A KUDZU COVERED VEHICLE GRAVEYARD

I HAVE A PERMIT TO CARRY…

JASMINE & JEWEL — A DOVE STORY Part 1

TIMES CHANGE: FROM A KITCHEN TO AN OFFICE GRANDMOTHER

STARTLED BY A CRITTER IN THE CAR!

THE ICE CREAM MAN

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

What is your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: