Onbekend by Jean M. Auel

Onbekend by Jean M. Auel

Author:Jean M. Auel
Language: nld
Format: epub

Onbekend

Chapter Twenty One

The people of the Ninth Cave had been making preparations for their annual trek to the Summer Meeting of the Zelandonii since they returned from the last one, but as the time of their departure drew near, activities and anticipation became more intense. There were final decisions about what to take with them and what to leave behind, but it was the process of closing down their dwellings for the summer that always made them aware that they were leaving and would not be back until cold winds blew.

A few people would stay behind for one reason or another: temporary or more serious illness, to finish a project, to wait for someone. Others would return occasionally to their winter home, but most would be gone all summer. Some people would stay close to the place that had been chosen for the Summer Meeting, but many would travel to different places for diverse reasons throughout the warm season.

There would be hunting trips, harvesting treks, visits to relatives, sojourns to group meetings of other Zelandonii, and travels to neighboring peoples. Some young people would venture farther afield and go on Journeys. Jondalar’s return with new discoveries and inventions, a beautiful and exotic woman with rare talents, and exciting stories would encourage some of those who had been thinking about it to decide to go on a Journey of their own, and some mothers who knew that his brother had died far away would be unhappy that Jondalar had returned and caused such excitement.

The evening before they planned to leave, the entire Ninth Cave was eager and restless. When Ayla thought about the Summer Meeting, where she and Jondalar would be mated, she could hardly believe it was really true. Sometimes she would wake up and be almost afraid to open her eyes for fear that it might be just a wonderful dream and she would find herself back in the small cave in her lonely valley. She thought often of Iza, wishing that somehow the woman she regarded as her mother could know that she would soon have a mate, and that she had finally found her people, at least the ones she chose to be her people.

Ayla had long ago accepted the fact that she would never know the people to whom she was born, or even who they were, and realized that it didn’t matter. When she was living with the Clan, she had wanted to be one of them, a woman of the Clan, which clan was not important. But when she finally understood that she was not Clan, and never would be, then the only distinction that mattered was that she was one of the Others, in her mind kin to all of the Others. She had been happy to be Mamutoi, the people who had adopted her, and she would have been content to be Sharamudoi, the people who had asked Jondalar and her to stay and live with them. She wanted to be Zelandonii



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