Chapter 11 – A Time for Rest
I thought the darkness and emptiness of my own heart would consume the whole of my being. But they, all of them, showed me I was not alone. How had I been so blind? I couldn’t say for certain that I would never have doubts in the future, but now I knew I could entrust my feelings to them. I was not alone.
My comfort did not end there. I now had a name. All the lizards knew me by name. Every time their chests shimmered with that light blue, I knew I was one of them. I then did something I hadn’t done for a long while. To the one who gave me my name, I called the Namebearer. He was a very diligent Defender, a loving father, and an adoring mate. If I had a father, I could only hope mine was as caring as him.
How strange. I used to be filled with such anxiety when I thought of my unknown past, clinging to bits and pieces of it as if it were my last lifeline. I was now freed of that chain that bound me to my past. I still desired to know where I had come from and how I got here, but I knew who I was now, even if that was different from whatever me existed in the past. I was the Overseer to these lizards, my lizards. It was not just my role, it was my entire being. And to these little creatures that had saved me from myself, I would give them everything of me.
In the dark rift, I thought massive amounts of time would pass like the other times I’d been separated from my lizards, but surprisingly, it lasted only an instant. Not even just the same generation of lizards, it was still the same day; the sun still climbing into the sky, not yet at its zenith.
For the rest of this generation of lizards, I merely watched them. I did not push them forward nor steer them in any direction. I simply wanted to watch them live. The Namebearer didn’t have many children with only a single female in his family unit, but he had many grandchildren, and he lived a very long time compared to the average lizard. He was never content to live with the rest of the old and frail, and patrolled and protected his colony until he could move no longer.
Their lives were getting longer. They ate well, protected their colonies from predators, and their living conditions were ideal. Their breeding seasons were also spread farther apart as the colonies become inundated with many surviving young.
During the Namebearer’s lifetime, a far away forest colony had a small group break off to start a new colony, and they finally reached the other side of the massive forest that lined the rocky shores. The previous forest colony had been situated on an incline, and the new group finally broke past the dense forest to a more sparsely decorated mountain. This far from the shore, the rock was not porous and full of holes, but glossy black and solid. The new branch colony stuck to the sparse trees in the area. In addition to the trees being less dense, the trees at this higher elevation were thinner. I would likely need to help them adapt to the mountain side in due time, but at the moment I enjoyed their struggles, banding together to overcome them, and figuring out how to make their new home work.
As the new colony was finally getting fully settled into their new mountain trees, the Namebearer neared the end of his life. He had a hard time waking up in the mornings, his mates no longer there to rub affectionately against his sides. But this morning, I could see him brace himself as though they were there by his side. No, they were there by his side, through me that lived in his family heart.
It was finally time for him to go. It had been a good, long life. I welcomed him into the arms of my memories, next to his family who had left before him. Having received him, I voiced my thoughts to his memory, You’ve done well, now you can rest.