Water of Life

Commentary: 

Water of Life, photo by Rabia O'Loren

Read an Excerpt: 

1863

Ela frowned as she looked at her husband’s still. Tucked down in a bramble of green, the copper pot gleamed in the early morning light. It was the source of their livelihood; this she knew.

Narboone, her husband, had brought his whisky making skills with him when he escaped from his war-torn homeland in Scotland and each batch he made had helped them survive the bad years, the years when rains never came or else they came with great swords that slashed through crops ready for harvest. Standing with her hands on her hips, Ela sighed and toed the soft soil through the thin soles of her ulasu’la, the short summer moccasins she had stitched. Among the few who escaped the round up and forced exodus of her people, she remained in her homeland, in what was now called North Carolina. White folks called her Cherokee, but in her language she was Ani-Yûñ’wiyă, one of the “real people.”

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