Last week, when we left Jonah, he’d just faced a memory that both frightened and horrified him – his first kill. We left him exhausted on the sand and Tidus had dropped a leather pouch at his feet and ran after Jonah yelled at him. Let’s check back in and see what’s inside the pouch
He pulled the strip of leather that held the pouch closed and peered inside. A lump filled his throat.
Wasting no time, he grabbed his clothes, shoved his legs into his pants and ran after Tidus. “Hey, Tidus. Come back. I’m sorry, kid. I didn’t mean to yell at you.”
He caught up to the boy when Tidus stopped and turned around. Tears streaked down Tidus’ face. “I’m sorry, Jonah. I only wanted to help.”
“I know. And you don’t have anything to apologize for. It’s me that’s being an ass. I just have so much going on in my head, and I all I want to do is go home. It’s obvious that ain’t gonna happen, but this?” Jonah dumped the contents of the pouch into his palm. “What am I supposed to do with these?”
Tidus shrugged and swiped his nose. “Plant ‘em.”
Jonah gestured at the tangled twisted landscape. “Where? Look at this.”
“We can clear a spot. It just takes a little work.”
“What are they?”
“And this?” Jonah held up a triangular piece of black onyx outlined in bright red.
“It keeps away bad thoughts.”
“Hmm,” Jonah studied the shiny black triangle. “Guess I could sure use that.” He clapped Tidus on the shoulder. “Come back to camp with me and help me figure out a place to plant these seeds.” He funneled them back into the pouch and pulled the string.
Tidus grinned and fell into step beside Jonah. “Okay. I have lots of them growing on my side of the island. I wish I could take you there.”
“Me too, kid. Me too.”
His mind raced. Was this all part of his lesson? Instead of fighting the place he’d landed, maybe he needed to help turn it into something more pleasant. Would the simple act of planting Sunflowers help?
He glanced at Tidus. This kid was a mystery. As soon as he thought he had him figured out, he presented something new. What he wouldn’t give to see the other side of the island. Tidus made it sound like the Land of Milk and Honey.
Once they reached the clearing where Jonah’s hut sat, he stopped and scanned the area. “What about over there, Tidus?” He pointed to his right. “Would that be a good place to plant?”
Tidus studied the spot. “Too many rocks.” He turned in a semi-circle. “Maybe up there.” He indicated an area up a hill behind the hut.
“Whatever you say, kid. Do you have any tools we can use?”
“Yes. I can go get them and come back.” He hesitated. “That is, if they let me.”
Jonah ran his fingers through tangled hair. “I wish we knew who “they” were. I’d sure like to talk to them.”
Tidus shook his head. “That isn’t possible, Jonah. They are everywhere.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. Are you telling me “they” aren’t human?”
“Well, sort of. It’s hard to explain.” Tidus turned. “I’m going to get tools and I’ll be back.”
“Okay, kid. I’ll be here.”
As soon as Tidus left, Jonah ducked inside the hut. His gaze landed on the open book and journal. Maybe he’d skip the exercises for now and just read the book. He flipped it shut and stacked the journal on top of it.
He stretched out and stared up at the grass roof. The memory that had sent him plunging into the water lingered. He reached into the pouch and pulled out the cool black stone. He noticed something about it he’d missed at first glance. A tiny hole at the top of the triangle streamed sunshine. He looked closer at the leather string holding the pouch closed. After he unthreaded it, he was not surprised to find that it fit perfectly around his neck.
He slid the black onyx onto the leather strip and tied it. Now, that ought to keep bad thoughts away. Could it be as simple as that?
The books he’d been reading talked about shifting old habits and perspectives, clearing out negative thinking to make room for positive. The next time he’d give it a try. Cancel, clear, delete, echoed in his head.