The three of them had a lot on their minds as they broke up the meeting and went back to join the others at the drumming circle. Tobal felt thirsty and went looking for fresh brew and light conversation. Later he even joined in with the dancing although he kept his robe on. So did many of the others as the wind was chill and it was several degrees below zero.
He and Crow said their goodbyes and left the circle early the next morning after the usual hugs and kisses to the girls. The days were getting shorter and there was only six hours of light for useful travel. As they snow shoed their way back to Tobal's winter camp they talked about Crow's initiation.
"They are worried about you", Crow said to Tobal suddenly.
"Who is worried about me? What are you talking about."
"The Lord and Lady. They came to me during my initiation and said they were worried about you. They said you have a piece of your soul missing and you need a soul retrieval."
"What is a soul retrieval?" Tobal asked puzzled.
"That is when a shaman goes on a soul journey and brings back a part of someone's soul that has been missing or stolen from him or her. My grandfather trained me in the spirit journey method and I can do this for you. The Lord and Lady want me to do this for you. You will let me do this won't you?" He implored looking searchingly at Tobal.
Tobal was a bit uncomfortable talking about things he didn't understand. "I need to think about it ok? What else did the Lord and Lady have to say?"
Crow was very excited, "They told me to tell you they are still alive! They are very weak and not in good health but they are alive. They are trapped somewhere and can't free themselves. They use the energy generated by the circle to communicate with us. Not many can see or hear them though. Usually it is only the High Priest and High Priestess that can see them or hear them.
"I have never heard them or felt them so strongly", he told Tobal with tears in his eyes. "We do not have circle like this at our village. Our circle is different and they don't come to us as strongly. They showed me my parents, Tobal. They let me speak with my parents."
"But I thought your parents were dead?", Tobal asked slowly.
"They are in the summerland", Crow replied. It is where the spirit goes after the physical body dies. My parents are happy there but they miss me and my sister. They told me there is danger for all of us coming soon and we must be prepared. The Lord and the Lady will help us if they can but we must learn how to talk to them and listen to what they have to say. I need to teach you and your friends the ways of the shaman so you are ready when the time comes."
Tobal didn't know what to say. The thought that his parents might still be alive stunned him as did the thought that Crow was able to carry on conversations not only with the Lord and Lady but with Crow's own dead parents as well.