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The Wilderness Years

We want to speak, to honour what should never be forgotten, and yet these words catch as the shame sweeps over us. When we think of those years it is shame and grief that flare in our minds. It is the time when we brought dishonour on ourselves by denouncing our world and its culture. It is a time when we almost lost forever all we are.

It is said when the Gateway opened a wave washed over the land, like the blast of a nuclear weapon sending its radiation out from ground zero. Many believe the Gateway was never meant to be open, and thus it brought destruction into our land. But for most this wave of was a foreboding of what was to come. Whatever the reason this initial wave shook us, knocking us off our stride. We were so unprepared for what was going to happen.

There are many reasons for what happened in the Wilderness Years. Most have to do with the life we now faced in the Earthen World. We found our way into a family that craved violence and degradation. Our first contact with the ways of the Earthen World was to experience the rape of the body we walked into. These experiences had no correlation in Idian life, they were outside all our understandings and knowledge. Living with that abuse brought with it a new fear that no one had faced before. And with this horror came another, a rule against speaking, against truth. People would look at us with contempt and fear. Donít say such things, was the mainstay of our early Earthen life. Donít speak those words no one can understand, to speak of places that arenít real. Punishments would come and so for safety we learnt to keep them secret, to denounce our existence as the games of a child, of fantasies that held no value. This was meant to be a lie, a way to keep ourselves safe, they would think we believed it all to be false whilst we were holding it true. But that did not happen, we were not equipped for Earthen existence, and the more we had to say, no it isnít true, no it doesnít exist, the more we learnt to be ashamed of our reality, and with shame came destruction of who we were.

The shame that we were required to feel stole so much from us. Our language, ancient and beautiful was taken by force. Years of speech therapy to teach us to speak properly, to say only the acceptable words destroyed our own, and created a fear of language. Only the right words, only speak the words they wish to hear. We abandoned our faith, celebrating only the Earthen Holidays. We turned our back on the culture of Idia so we could survive in the Earthen World. That in itself is hard to accept, but yet there is worse, there is what became of us in Idia, what we became and how we acted after these changes. It is our shame about our behaviour during those years that brings us much grief.

As our culture and pride in Idia fell away so did we as people. We became savages, we turned our back on the ways of Idia and brought hatred and distrust into our land. For generations, from the appearance of the tribes on the land we have lived in harmony. It was unheard of for tribal conflicts, or segregation, and although there were always personal conflicts they were handled swiftly with justice from the whole. But with the coming of the Wilderness Years, the tribes scattered, and even within them fractions formed. Others were seen as dangerous, as hated, differences and diversity, once celebrated was now despised. There were attacks on other tribes, raiding their supplies, or just to hurt others. People started taking pride in the damage they could do to others, and the weaker members instead of being honoured as was the way in the past were now hated for their gentleness and common targets by the raiders. So quickly we became violent to each other, so quickly we gave up the honouring of diversity, so quickly we became like the Earthen People we knew. That brings us fear, and shame. We learnt their ways, and abandoned our own. Many still wear the scars of those attacks.

Idia has a rich and varied culture and heritage. We are generally a peaceful people, we are poets, artisans and thinkers. We are a deeply spiritual people, sacred grounds and small shrines dotting the landscape. We deeply respected the land we shared, and the practises and rituals passed through the generation. But the violence that came with the opening of the Gateway to the Earthen World was also directed at these things. The land was torn open, shrines demolished and destroyed. The old ways, the ways of Idia abandoned as we tried to become Earthen, as we tried to fit into this new world. To denounce and be ashamed of oneís culture is an awful thing, but to then turn on it with violence and disgrace is a shameful thing.

We ended up losing so much, a lot of our culture has been lost, our language almost forgotten, and we learnt to forget, to abandon all we were. The damage from those years is still there, we are now working to heal the wounds, the wounds we carry, the wounds in the land. By the gateway is a StonePile, and memorial, and warning to those that travel through the gateway. The stones collected from the ruined temples and shrines sit there to remind all of what happened when the Earthen World touched Idia, and to give us the strength of the memory to face the Earthen World with honour of Idia in mind.

There will forever be sadness and shame over those years and our behaviour during them. We will never forget what we became capable of, what we lost and the damage done. Those years have passed, now we stand with strength to rebuild what we once thought was lost.