by Galitta Tassa

School of Stones a tiny story magic, lose, faith and stones When Hanna was a little girl she believed her grandfather could fly. She believed he had magical powers because he told her so and furthermore that she had them too. The magic powers were in her blood.

Together they created fun things in their garden, built clever mechanical instruments and even left food for nature’s little angels in special places.

Hanna’s grandfather had learned many of the secrets of the land from his own grandparents, but that was a long time ago before new people came to the land and planted it with much harder and less magical ideas and laws.

When Hanna was eight years old, two important things happened that changed everything.

First, there was the dream she had. She dreamed that all of the stones on the land came to life and were dancing in the air and arranging themselves in different and stunning formations. Big stones and small stones were changing colors and resting in new and exciting forms in the air, on water and on land, and Hannah saw herself playing and working together with them until they formed a remarkable house. “This was a visitation”, said her grandfather whispering. “A special visitation from our ancestors”, he said with a childlike excitement.   He had to whisper because his wife and his daughter didn’t want him to “fill Hannah’s head with silly ideas”.
“What is a visitation?” Asked Hanna excitedly, sitting under the big tree.
“It is a message for you, from the other side, from our people” answered the grandfather.
“From our Ancestors?” She asked slowly and with respect.
“Yes, a stones dream is very important. Next time you must ask the stones a question.”
“Next time?” Asked Hanna with eyes wide open.
“Yes, next time they visit.”
“That is why they call it visitation?”
“You are a clever girl”, said grandfather with pride.

The next time the stone dream came back, Hanna was waiting to ask the stones what she needed to do.
“Collect the stones,” was the answer, “collect the stones for the generations to come.” Many questions ran through Hanna’s head. Where would I find the stones? What are they? Will I know how to do it? Who are the generations to come? Why me?

In the months after the stone dreams, Hanna and her Grandfather met many times under the big tree.
“The stones represent the old knowledge and memories of our people, the earth people.” That was when Hannah knew her work was to collect the stones and build a school where wisdom, people, and magical knowledge could gather.

These were the most fun months of Hanna’s life. She and her grandfather were working on a magnificent undercover mission.  Under the nose of her family, she learned secret information and how to work with the cycles of nature’s powers and elements. Her vision for the school became alive and vivid, and she was even happy doing the mundane work like sewing and helping with the farm.
The second big thing that happened was when Hanna was eight; it was so big and so awful that it changed everything.

It was a Monday morning and many people from the village were walking to the town to look for work. Hanna’s grandfather also walked the dusty road to town, seeking to find work to earn enough to buy good seeds for corn. Suddenly a shiny automobile with a driver still drunk from the night before came speeding from nowhere and brushed against the walking men, who were quick enough to jump out of the way. Hanna’s beloved grandfather was not so fortunate and he died instantly.

For Hanna’s village and family, the loss was devastating, especially since nobody was held accountable for the hit and run, and little effort was made by the authorities to bring the culprit to justice. For Hanna, the loss was even bigger. She ceased to believe in magic and a hurtful voice kept saying: he didn’t have any magical powers after all.

Hanna abandoned the undercover mission that they had created together and forgot about the School of Stones. She concentrated on studying at school, where she had a rare opportunity to be educated,  and now hoped to become a teacher herself.

Years later, Hanna married and had her own children. The night before she celebrated her 44th birthday she had a dream: a dream of dancing stones, which now traveled distances over a fertile land. Her grandfather, looking young, fit and radiating energy, was standing on a big blue stone and surfing with great balance and joy.
“What are you doing?” She asked.
“I am bringing you the first stone for your School of Stones”, he said cheerfully.
With that, Hanna woke up astonished with the words “your School of Stones” still echoing in her head. However, she dismissed the dream and thought to herself, the past is gone, and brushed the dream away.

The weeks that followed brought up many memories. She also found old letters, and then received a heart-shaped stone as a gift from her daughter. Then her son asked about the history of their tribe, and Hanna knew that she was being reminded of the old vision by her ancestors. She knew these were signs.
She walked slowly across the fields to visit the big tree which had been her grandfather’s favorite place. She stood under it and breathed deeply.

It is time to forgive.
It is time to remember.
It is time to honor the past.
It is time to honor the future.
Time to be inspired by the future.
Time to revive the old vision.
Time to enjoy a new vision.

Time to allow visions and visitation to inspire us, to guide us, and to nurture us.
Time to envision a new, fresh future for our children.
Time to envision new possibilities for our people.
Time to be inspired by the unknown.
Time to love again.
Time to love what is.
Time to start building a new vision, together.

She leaned on the strong old tree, looked up, breathed in deeply the fresh air and said out loud: “Yes, I will. Thank you.”

The School of Stones started with teaching children the ways of her people but slowly grew to be a landmark of learning, a community that integrated the old and new ways of working with nature, and a beautiful museum. The village of Hanna became united and proud of its traditions and educated the new generation in creating new systems of living that benefited all.

To this day, there hangs in the entrance hall a portrait of a smiling old man, with sparkling eyes.