The All-Mother

The All-Mother takes many forms as she wanders the world she has made, and in each form she takes a lover. She cannot return to Heaven with the anchor of their lovemaking inside her, but she is in no hurry. She knows every corner of the golden realm; there are few surprises there.

All her daughters are heroes. What else could they be? If she is tied to earth, they are dragged toward heaven, and so are strange, and clever, and mighty. To look upon them in their glory is painful. They are not lucky in love, alas: like their mother, marriage is not made for them.

(The All-Mother has but one son, and he the least of all, the little-loved Paul-god.)

Favorite of all her children is the Bear-god, golden, laughing, and beautiful like her father. The All-Mother does not spend time, but for a while they travel together, and many stories are told of that time. How the Bear-god found the All-Mother caged in mortal flesh and tore her free with yellow teeth. How the All-Mother led her daughter into the waste places and taught her there fury and theory in equal measure. How they battled the 700 pound Great Salmon of the Southern River in a battle that lasted four weeks and five days, until the pounding of the Salish Falls stripped the fur from the Bear-god’s back.

(A mighty forest took root where each hair found purchase; you can see it to this day if you go far enough west, beyond the Great Salt Desert and the memory of cities.)