Monday, September 8, 2014

Epic Story, The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby, Captures Early Life in America... Review of Book 1

It is hard to believe that The Legend of Tyoga Weatherby has taken an entire lifetime to write--but it's true. Well, not an entire lifetime, but I have spent a good portion of my nearly sixty years on earth as an observer, a quiet listener, a voracious learner, a student of early American history and a lover of the miracles of the natural world--those spectacularly displayed for all to observe and admire, and those as ethereal as the 'feel' of the deep woods at sunset.My cousin, Paul, and I grew up hiking the Appalachian Trail. Many of the scenes described in he book are places I have been, traveled through, and experienced first hand. We spent many nights camping under the stars, and several unforgettable evenings on the top of Old Mount Rag. The trail to the summit, and even the configuration of the rocks at the peak, described in the book are depicted exactly as they appear to this day.
The top of Old Mount Rag is unchanged from how it would have appeared to Tyoga in the 1700s. He would have undoubtedly taken a seat on the "top-rock" and gazed off into the horizon just as I have done. I am certain that his heart would have soared atg the majesty of the Appalachian Mountains, and that he would have wondered about the world beyond--just as I have done...


The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby
By  H. L. Grandin

Having lived in the same part of the country as does Grandin all our lives, I found much in his book that called to me, especially since I've moved to my 13-acre log cabin home where I'm surrounded by trees and hills where only nature in its glory is what I see from every window or door... I always read from the first page of a book, but it's not often that I use the preface as part of my review... But I must say that Grandin story begins right there with his own story. I can see why it took years to put his story on paper...he was too busy exploring, sensing the words of wisdom that he was to write about...

Tyoga inherited what is called the Awakening. There may be such a thing, but I feel confident in thinking that H. L. Grandin also awakened to the natural world around him so many years ago. This is why, I think, when you start reading, that his words seem to have almost a poetic flavor--a taste of the glory he, too, experienced while climbing over the rocks, looking up toward the hills and trees...or just listening to the stillness that is only broken by the chatter of a night animal or the howl of a lone wolf... Without the wolf beside him, there would not have been a legend that arose out of Tyoga's life... This is a mystical tale, a magical tale that only may come to those who become attuned to the natural world in all of its magnificence.  May this story allow you to capture that world...and as shown above, you, too, may decide to take that rough trail up to Mount Rag that, as the author says, is just like it was in the 1700s when the real story of this life began...

Riveted by the morning mist that cloaks the Appalachians in the mysteries of time, distance, and space, Tyoga Weathersby stood by his papa's side in the pre-dawn silence atop Carter's Rock. Even at six years of age, his love of all things wild and free drew him to the openness of the mountains, plains and valleys of the Blue Ridge with a siren's call that simply wouldn't be denied...

"Tyoga. When you open your eyes, it will be as if you are experiencing the world for the very first time. Don't be afraid. From this moment on, you'll be one with the trees and the air and the sun. The eagle will guide you. The raven will settle The whisper of the wind will prepare you. You will never know fear again...



The Weathersby family had been accepted by the nearby Native Americans, led by the great Chief of the Amonsoquath Tribe of the Cherokee. Tyoga became brother to Tes Qua Ta Wa. They went everywhere together and sometimes was joined by Sunlei, his sister. It was in the late 1600s and both boys were about 12 when it happened. Tyoga and Tes Qua were "seasoned mountain travelers" by then, out enjoying their favorite places to climb or fish. They had learned each other's language, just by trading off from one to the other routinely.  Tyoga had learned the dialect of the Amonsoquath just by being with them. Of course, he learned Tsalagi through imitation and mimicry...
Suddenly Tes Qua cried out; he had been caught in a bear trap; Tyoga had been ahead when he heard his screams. Not understanding what he was saying, Tyoga just turned to get back to him. Tyoga tried to open the trap to free him, but also realized that might not be a good idea. They decided that Tyoga should go get help... 






 
















But then 
Tyoga heard one wolf, two and more...he knew he had to get back to his friend, else he would not make it. Tyoga had heard the change before... once the pack was formed, they would turn into killing machines... and they were there, surrounding Tes Qua... He had attempted to keep his fire burning but there were only embers now. Tyoga forgot everything else, he leaped from the surrounding bushes to stand between the wolves and Tes Qua. 

He knew immediately which was the Commander. His jump had unsettled them but they were still ready to move toward the kill...

It had started there and was finished there... You must read of this event yourself; otherwise, you will not believe..
Tyoga continued staring into the wolf' eyes, and watched as his own reflection silently dissolved away. With a curious sigh, and a blink of his eyes, the wolf released the young man from the embrace of their stare.
It was done.
Tyoga rose to his feet and backed away from the beast. The wolf lifted his head from the ground.
He heard Tes Qua screaming, "What's the matter with you, ty. Kill him. Ki8ll him or he's gonna kill us both."
"No, Tex 'A. It's over."
He looked down at the wolf lying at his feet.
"He could have called for help. He could have ordered us killed at any moment. But he didn't. And now the choice is mine." Bowing his head to approve the words, he added, "I choose mercy. Life is my gift."
Stopping his retreat, he said. "Ta oh hey, Wahaya." (Rest, Wolf.) 
"Ta oh hey peaose," (Rest in peace.)
~~~

And thus the legend was born. But that was only the beginning of the adventures in which Tyoga was thrown. And, somehow, Tyoga was always able to find his way out... Until...

With 400 pages, readers will move from adventure to adventure, one of which included Tyoga and Tes Qua being attacked by another tribe. During that fight and another, there were six braves killed. Finally, the Chief was called for an accounting, for repayment of the loss of that many braves, even though they had been killed by wolves... But it was a setup clear and unbreakable. The demand to repay the braves was for another brave to be given Sunlei so that she would bear children and replace the lost ones...

It appeared to me that Tyoga had not yet formally spoken for Sunlei because of the religious differences. He was embarrassed that he'd already had sex with her, as was common in the tribe. But for the white parents, it would have been sinful since they were not married. Now, it was too late. In order to ensure that there was not a war, Sunlei would have to become a bride to a cruel, evil man that wanted nothing more than to beat Tyoga one way or the other...

But there were too many making plans to free Sunlei, one of which was to kill the man she would marry... Finally, they did get her away, with the plan to send her to a relatives location. Tyoga even sent Wahaya with her which surprised everybody!

The three friends who had been together for most of their lives were now torn apart...Tes Qua was able to stay with his family, but Tyoga had vowed to leave on the same day that Sunlei was forced to go...

But the Legend of Tyoga had gone everywhere and even when he found himself starving, near death, he was found and nursed back to health and began one of the most fortunate parts of his life...

"Was it you that I saw standing in the woods watching me?" he asked.
"Yes. I watched you cross the Mattaponi and walk up to the tree. I could tell that you were hurt, and tired, and hungry; I was afraid to approach you because..." She stopped speaking and looked down at the group.
Tyoga finished her sentence, "Because I was running around naked and talking to myself."
"Yes," They both laughed out loud.

Trinity Jane and Tyoga worked together to build a home and later a town, which grew to be a major center in the area. Tyoga was many times called upon to help mediate and negotiate and became prosperous, although he and Trinity never married...


Virginia's First People were of the Mattaponi tribe


For me, this story responded to many things I love--the treasure of natural beauty, the concern for ensuring peace, without fighting or wars, the taming of the wild by showing concern and love... and that spiritual connection... I loved it for so many reasons, including being able to choose Grizzly Adams to fill in for Tyoga! Remember his program?! Loved it too! That, too, was a legend to be retold over and over..

When Tyoga once again meets Wahaya and Tes Qua, it is to find Sunlei... Second Book coming next...



GABixlerReviews


Spirit Cat
HL Grandin grew up in the shadow of history near Mt. Vernon, Virginia. As a boy he spent many hours exploring the hills, valleys and waterways throughout Virginia, which nurtured a deep appreciation for nature and its forces. Those adventures became the inspiration for The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby. For the past twenty-five years, HL has lived on a small farm in western Maryland where he and his wife raised three daughters and a passel of critters...