The following is a story from Brum.
One early sun, when the Birds had just started singing, Brum got out of his tent to go exploring. This was in the beginning of the Family Yearlong, before the circle had started with meetings around sunrise, so Brum thought he would have some time. Later in the sun the women were going to have a women’s circle, so he wanted to be back for that, so that Kerstin, the mother of his daughter, would be able to join on her own.
There was a light rain this early sun and no notable wind. If Brum had paid more attention he would have noticed that the compact cloud blanket was moving slowly towards the Northeast. He heard some thunder far away in the southwest. Brum wanted to go exploring out east, in an area he did not know almost at all. He walked through Maple forest, Balsam Fir forest, and ended up in beautiful Hemlock groves. Beyond that was a fairly big bog. Brum had thought he walked east more or less, at the same time as he was following the contours of the landscape and the boundary zones of different forest types. The rain kept drizzling down and Brum started thinking about what kind of a shelter he could build in case it started to rain more.
He had a bit of an inner conflict as a part of him wanted to keep exploring and another part wanted to be back for the women’s circle. He decided that the need for him to be with his daughter was more important, so he headed in the direction he thought was to camp. He went by feeling as the Maple forest looked the same to him all around, and he hoped that his feel was correct and that he would come to a place he recognized soon.
After a while of walking around and only seeing forest that he couldn’t recognize, he started to feel some stress around making it back in time.
Right then a fairly big Bird flew over his head from behind and landed in a tree in front of him. It was an owl. Brum did not know which kind, but she looked similar to the one on the Teaching Drum logo.
The Owl was looking at Brum going “hoo-hoo” and leaning her head towards the tree she sat in. “She is trying to tell me something” was the first thought and intuitive feeling that came to Brum. The Owl flew to another tree a bit away and Brum followed her there. The Owl once again went “hoo-hoo” and leaned her head towards the tree she sat in. While Brum was standing there trying to see something that made sense to him, the Owl flew to a third tree. Then Brum realized something–all the trees the Owl had sat on were Pine trees. And then something clicked in him: the Pine trees normally lean towards the northeast due to the prevailing southwesterly winds in this area!
Brum looked at the three Pines that the Owl had sat in and saw that the tops of them were all leaning in the same direction. As the likelihood of them leaning towards the northeast seemed very high, Brum decided to head straight in the direction that should be west, based on the Pines, where he knew camp was.
He spotted three trees standing in a row towards what should be west and followed that direction by keeping an eye on the three trees along that direction. After a short walk he hit a Deer trail he had been walking on earlier that sun and knew where he was again!
He felt very grateful for the help of the Owl and grateful that he had listened to his intuition that Owl was trying to tell him something. He returned to camp and his clan just in time for breakfast, and could be of support during the women’s circle.