From Chapter Eleven
“Daddy said to pray for Lindsey to be safe and to ask Allah to bring her home quickly,” Leotie whispered with her eyes lowered.
Corinne blinked away tears and stroked Leotie’s hair.
“That is a very nice prayer,” Corinne replied and allowed Abbie to light her candle. “I’m going to pray that prayer too, if that’s ok.”
Leotie nodded and held onto Corinne’s raincoat. Once the small tea candles were lit, people began releasing them to float upon the surface of the pond. Corinne walked over to the pond’s edge and crouched down to release her candle to float across the pool’s dark surface. A full moon hung high. Partially obscured by streaks of gray clouds against the blue-black sky, and Corinne was reminded of the majesty of the Creator – the Great Spirit – Allah, as Leotie had referred to Him, and she offered the supplication that Leotie had shared with her.
The pond gradually filled with lit candles, illuminating the surrounding bushes and trees and creating an atmosphere of calm serenity. The essence of sincere prayers was almost palpable as Corinne sat down upon the pond’s bank and reflected on the fleeting nature of existence. Minute by minute, day by day, with each passing season and every passing year, she – everyone here – inched closer and closer to the end. Life was too short to take for granted. Leotie climbed into Corinne’s lap and laid her head back against Corinne’s shoulder as she gazed out at the brightly lit pond. They sat like that for several minutes, with everyone quietly watching the candles ripple over the surface of the water and Corinne was so absorbed by her thoughts that she didn’t hear Delsin’s approach. He stepped into view at the corner of her eye and crouched over the edge of the pond to release a candle before sitting beside Corinne and Leotie on the damp grass.
“Daddy,” Leotie murmured sleepily when she saw him and climbed over into her father’s lap.
She held onto him tightly, resting her head in the crook of his neck, and didn’t let go. He and Corinne exchanged a sad smile before he looked away to stare into the trees beyond the water.
Full Circle is the first installment of The Yellow Butterfly book series, a work of contemporary fiction written about three Native American sisters. Full Circle, Book One, centers around the youngest sister, Corinne Shelton, and the challenges she faces upon returning to the reservation in Havenwood, WA after being away for college and graduate school. Like many young women today, she has to learn how to navigate life after being sheltered by the world of academia, and its not as easy as she expected it to be.