I went out looking for a friend yesterday. I’ve mentioned the ancient Native American before, a hermit living in a sparsely appointed bunker just off the banks of the Platte River. We’ve met once before. I wasn’t expecting success, the utter devastation along Campanile Road making the quest seem a lark at best. Crestfallen as I found the unique cottonwood that marked his dugout abode. The giant tree still standing but the cave and man were no where to be seen. I wasn’t worried for him, certain that he if anyone, was in tune enough with the Good Mother and her River to survive.
As I made south along the river I heard a faint Ya-Ta-Hey from the western bank. After scrambling along a sand bank and traipsing through knee deep debris I found him. The old man was in newer if less rustic digs. His few belongings stacked along one wall, bedroll neatly folded and stowed. He said he had been expecting Running Feather.
He raised, pointed a single finger and we were off. Wiry and fit as the first time we’d met I followed him through the dense brush. Silent in our movements and speech. We proceeded until arriving at an exact moment that only he understood, precisely mid day. Stooping and pointing to a pristine fountain, bringing forth clear as light sustenance from the Ogallala aquifer some hundreds of feet below. He bade me sip which I did. He then pointed east, west, north, south, and towards the heavens, passed the pipe, and said we would meet again. His final words or maybe they were thoughts, bestowed my new name, Standing Water.