Teaching Without Telling

Photo: Sue Vincent


If only she could get there …

The mist and tears obscured her view, but she trod on, insistent and desperate for the safety of the circle. It had saved her ancestors. It had become a thing of lore.

But if the magic still held, she would be helped. The spirits that guarded the stones would weave protection over her. Bar the weapons. Shun the anger. Ward off those who wanted to do harm.

She tripped twice, the cold air breathing malice on her nape. She fought the urge to curl upon the damp ground and give up. She gathered up her tattered courage and wrapped the threads of memories around her shoulders. The incantations of her grandmother, sang softly into the cauldron, stirring soup and stories, teaching without telling, showing without spelling out what was forbidden to be known.

In the darkening damp she mumbled some forgotten fragments. “Help me, Nana,” she sobbed when her knees skinned on a stone and her breath caught.

“Rise, Child,” she thought she heard. She wanted to believe.

She rose. She stumbled on.

If only she could get there, she would be saved. The spirits will protect her in the mists of old.

The pitchforks. The firebrands. The mobs in their lust and calls for blood in smoke? They would not be able to see her. Not once she crossed into the circle. Once there, she would be scooped up, sheltered, danger gone.




For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto



18 thoughts on “Teaching Without Telling

    • If only. Amen.
      With hate manifesting in other way, rising on the voices of those who need to power over others to feel powerful themselves, I often think about the supposed ease with which people turned against neighbors and helpers, children and midwives, and the brutality they allowed and even perpetrated against them in the name of whatever they were convinced to believe was the fault of said women and children and vulnerable groups. The witch hunts of the past (and lynchings, and pogroms, and using cars to murder) aren’t so far away in history that we can pretend they cannot happen or aren’t something to look out for. Especially in times of strife.
      I hope she found safety in the stones.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I really enjoyed reading this and loved the idea of ancestors and deep lore, makes me wonder what more there is to the character’s background. A circle of familiars is much more comforting than being surrounded by those that cause anger and harm.

    Liked by 1 person

Feedback welcome! Please leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s