The smell of baking fish woke him up. Rafe had gotten up ahead of him and managed to catch some fish.
Tobal laughed and asked, "How did you catch fish?"
Rafe just shook his head, grinned and said, "I set some lines last night and checked them this morning. We got a good batch of fish for breakfast. You got lucky today", his eyes twinkled mischieviously.
"Will you teach me how to catch fish?", Tobal asked.
Rafe looked soberly at him. "There is only so much you can learn in a day. Relax a little. It will come at it's own pace. We've got to take it easy, but we will get there. The way I figure , it will take a month to learn what you need. Then you can solo for a month. We're doing pretty good right now. You go ahead and enjoy your breakfast.
The first week of being in the woods will wipe you out. It will take awhile to build your strength and stamina. So these first few days I'm going to take it easy on you. After that, you better look out."
The fish were wrapped with herbs and baked in the fire. He tore into the trout and washed it down with water from his canteen. He couldn't remember anything that tasted so good and he really felt alive. The morning air felt crisp and chill with a slight breeze. It was going to be a good day.
"What are we going to do today?", he asked.
"Well", said Rafe, "I don't know if you noticed last night but it is almost the full moon. Every full moon we have a big get together."
"How many of us are out here?" Tobal interrupted.
"Oh, it varies, there are somewhere between 150 and 200 of us out here. Sometimes we see each other and sometimes we don't", Rafe answered. Then he continued as if Tobal hadn't said anything, "We have our meetings, social time, get-togethers and parties. We share stories and connect with each other. We also share the latest gossip", he laughed.It's also when we initiate newbies like you".
"You know what time of year it is don't you?" He looked over at Tobal.
Tobal was puzzled, "It's April."
"That's right", Rafe said. "The full moon in March or early April is a very special time when we celebrate the beginning of spring and Osteria."
"What's Osteria? What's that mean? I've never heard of anyone celebrating Osteria before."
Rafe answered, "When we live in the woods we try living in harmony with nature. We try to understand the tides and energies of the seasons. Have you ever felt the energy of spring before, the energy of the spring thaw? Have you felt nature coming back to life again after the cold winter? When you tap into that energy it makes you feel alive and great! We study the natural forces of nature and how to adapt to them.
The yearly cycle has major festivals to celebrate the energy changes that are important to us. There are eight major festivals in the year. Four of them are solar festivals and four of them are lunar festivals. You will learn more about them later."