The View from Middle Spunk Creek

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH                                                                                   9th ed.

On the edge of the Arctic Circle, in the dry brutal climate of Siberia, live a tiny cluster of people whose lives regularly exceed one hundred years. This group has been the subject of several scientific studies aimed at ascertaining the reason for their longevity. No single study has come up with a conclusive answer, but one of the common threads through those studies is the inclusion of a particular plant in their diet: Rhodiola Rosea, sometimes called Ashawagandha Rosas.

It seemed, to this writer, that r. rosea which is what we shall call the rugged little ground-hugging plant, was the perfect ingredient to add to curare, the plant-based arrowhead poison of the Chilco tribe that plays a pivotal role in Cloud Warriors.

To understand this logic, you need to understand a little more about curare, and about the symbiosis between lives of the Chilco and their environment. As noted in last week’s blog, each tribe’s curare was unique. One of the things that made the Chilco’s curare different was that it was not only a poison, but also paid homage to the animals whose life it took. The Chilco included Maca (also known as Peruvian ginseng) to provide nourishment for the animals in the afterlife, and Woorari, the snake vine, so the beautiful blossoms of the vine would provide beauty in the afterlife.

So why not r. rosea so the animals would have a long afterlife?

Well, for one thing, r. rosea only grows in the frigid, far-northern climates of Asia and Europe. How do we transport it to the Andes Mountains of Peru in the 15th century?

Enter the Pectoral Sandpiper, a bird that annually migrates from Siberia, across the North Pole,

37807421-480px

to the Andes Mountains.  Carried in the sandpiper’s intestinal system, the r.rosea seeds were deposited in the usual fashion in the comparatively friendly climate of the Andes, nourished by the gentle hands of the Chilco.

Is it possible that a plant that grows in Siberia finds its way to South America in the gut of a migratory bird, is cultivated by a local tribe and ends up as an ingredient in their arrowhead poison? Odds are long, but “possible”?  I think so.

Is it probable? Well, that’s another question. Remember, Cloud Warriors is a work of fiction.

 ***

Cloud Warriors will be available to the public in both softcover and eBook on February 22, 2019. You can pre-order on Amazon or at John Hunt Publishing or through this website.

For a recent reviews click on the Cloud Warriors tab in the tool bar, scroll down and click on “read reviews”. If you’d like a pre-release copy for review purposes, please go to the CONTACT tab of this web site.

Check back weekly for Rob’s musings from Middle Spunk Creek.

Leave a Reply