PHOEBE HEARS ABOUT REVEREND TUCK’S DREAM
Dusk was turning into dark in Middletown by the time Phoebe left the toy store and walked to the churchyard. She saw Reverend Tuck’s pale face and white collar at a bench near the stained glass window.
“I know you have important questions,” said Tuck. “Start anywhere you want.”
“Jeremy and I went into the forest and met the old man. I told him I know I'm supposed to do something in life, but I can't find a way forward. He took me to a huge piece of dreamstone, and looking into it, I had a vision of an old woman coming up out the ground, and I was following Her. But I don't understand what it means, and the old man told me to speak to you."
“Maybe my story will help you,” answered Tuck. “You know, many years ago we learned that chemicals used by industry were opening huge holes in the upper atmosphere, allowing radiation to enter and damage human skin. At that time, I had a cancerous tumor removed from my face. It never came back, but for me, it was a crisis that never ended. I could see that since we can destroy nature, we must become the stewards of our world, responsible for it’s fate. Since then, climate change has grown into an emergency, and I realized that the earth is something we have to treasure and fight for. And during this time I joined your parents and others in the Protectors of the Wood, and learned the significance of dreamstone.”
“I need to know about that,” said Phoebe.
“I looked into dreamstone twice some years ago," answered Tuck, "and each time I saw disasters: landscapes turning to deserts, floods, things too terrible to describe. All hope left me. I felt sick all the time. And then I saw Her – not in a dreamstone vision, by the way, but I awoke one night with a dream in mind in every detail. It changed my life.” Tuck’s voice fell to a whisper. The wind rose and made a rushing noise in the leaves.
“Others had seen Her in the stone, but I had been denied that vision, and was desperate for an answer. In my dream, I was out walking in the forest, looking for Her. I saw a dark spot in a stone ridge, and going closer, I found the opening to a cave.”
Tuck turned and looked at Phoebe. “And then I heard a high, broken voice, and pictured an old woman.
‘There you are,’ she said. ‘What took you so long?’
“’I’m lost,’ I replied.
“’Listen,’ she said. ‘I have a message for you. Let the world know I am here not only for people, but for all life, for there can be no human beings without the teeming life around you and inside you. Nothing is too small, nothing is useless, nothing is dead. For heaven is here on earth, and the earth is a part of the city of God…’
“And there was more, much more,” Tuck declared.
“Go on,” begged Phoebe.
“She said, 'I am Nature’s champion, her guardian from of old, and her ally in her current sufferings. I am the one who has never ceased her work from the beginning of time. And now, in this crisis, I am asking for YOUR help! Join my labors! All of you who can hear me, the great and the small! Life on earth, your mother who encloses you in this world, needs your help!’
“And her voice rose as she said this!” Tuck said. “Her voice seemed to echo out on the mountainside and in the valley below! I have given her words a name: The Call of Sophia. SHE is calling. SHE is calling each and every one of us.”
There was silence in the churchyard as Tuck paused.