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Donna Flood
Warmth of Goddess Konohanasakuyachime

The flu and freezing outdoor temperature were making life miserable for Jenny. No amount of clothing, walking about the very large old ranch house, standing right next to the large heater or anything else could ease the suffering for her. To make the discomfort worse was the continual insulting howling of the ever blowing prairie wind. Once it would moan, again it would whistle, and another time it would swish as if it was being exhaled from the breath of some sleeping giant.

When evening arrived and her husband of only a couple of years broke through the front door it was with the wind slamming the door almost out of his hand.

"Sheesh!" "Can you believe the way it is carrying on out there?" He was apparently undisturbed with the boisterous entity.

When he covered the over large spaces of the house in a few strides, Jenny was relieved to have him there. "I think I'm running a fever," She told him as his leaned over to kiss her forehead.

"I'm chilled to the bone." "I can't remember when I've been so cold." " That howling wind is driving me crazy, too."

"Hey Girl!" "You are sick!" "You are getting in bed!"

"I've tried that!" "I just can't stand the sound of the wind, and it is as cold under the covers as it is in the room."

"Come on, I'll fix that!"

Jenny had no belief of anything different from what she had known all day, but she was too tired of the how she had been feeling to resist. As she snuggled under the quilts, he was pulling out of closets all over the house, she began to feel a little warmer. Finally, he was digging things from his old Marine duffle bag until he retrieved a large plastic looking poncho. He then took this and spread it over the quilts, and anchored it down with one more quilt. In just moments Jenny began to feel the warmth of her own body heat trapped under the pile of quilts. The wind she wasn't going to complain about although there seemed to be an extra large blast from their unwelcome guest. The well-built house would not move and this only seemed to anger the thing so that it complained even more loudly.

From the closet he was lifting his prized possession, that of a portable turn table. His collection of classical music was rare and fine and from that he was selecting Montovani's work. If the wind was ever to rave above the music Jenny never knew. Within minutes she slept. When the morning light streamed through the lovely tall windows of the bedroom in her youth, she was almost instantly well.

"I thought you didn't know anything about living in ranching country?" Jenny light heartedly chided her husband.

"You weren't in ranching country last night. You were wearing the cape of the Goddess Konohanasakuyachime."

"What?" Jenny was totally unaware of what he spoke. "Goddess Who?" She laughed.

"Konohanasakuyachime." "That poncho is one I used on the top of Mt. Fuji when the Marines were there on Bivouac." "Let me tell you it was cold." "We had to sleep on the bare ground." "I took a shovel and dug out a place for my hips and a place for my shoulders and this is where I slept." "With the poncho and my blankets, I was quite comfortable."

"Mt. Fuji is the sacred mountain of the Japanese where Goddess Konohanasakuyachime lives. Whether she was there or not, I'll never know unless it was her sleeping beside me, keeping me warm," He grinned with a mischievous look in his eye.

"Hm-m-m, the arrogance!" She quietly looked away and grinned too.

"Well, I'll never know if there were spirits there but I'm here to tell you it is a volcano, for sure." "There were places where one could see the bubbling gases." "The height is 12,388.45 feet, more than two miles high." "There were a couple of the older guys who had heart attacks going up."

"The air is thin."

"The best part of it was coming down. There are volcanic rock, and ash that slip, as you step on it. I slid down." "Some of the others thought I was crazy, because I was slipping and sliding down the side of the mountain." "It didn't bother me that they thought I was out of my mind." "I was standing at the bottom to greet them when they got down."

"Well, for what it is worth," I must give the Goddess Konohanasakuyachime a thank you, for her allowing me to use her cape last night." "I slept very well with no wicked torment from the wind either." "Surely, someone cared for me, although, I rather believe it was you." She smiled to her husband. In her heart she knew it was none other.

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