A parable of struggle, faith and healing
by Freja Shamanka
The sun is rising, gradually scorching the skin of the earth. Bone dry land cut with an infinite blue sky. A hazy horizon veils the sun as it creeps upward towards its zenith. Another day without. Another day of torture. Another day of desperate searching.
I pray for water, for a respite from my suffering. My keen eye is focused on the horizon, scanning for any sign of The Oasis. Nothing else matters. Every day is like the last; hours of effort spent chasing mirages and always with such promise. 'This time!' I chant to myself. This time it will be different.
From deep within my psyche I am able to tap into an endless reservoir of steely determination and heroic perseverance. I honestly couldn't tell you where this will comes from. To give up is completely out of the question for I always reason with myself, perhaps I just need to try a little harder.
At the end of each day I am exhausted and utterly devastated by one excruciating disappointment after another. As I lie down to rest my weary bones, I lament my misfortune and ponder on what I must have done to make God hate me so. Why have you forsaken me? What am I doing wrong? Tears of frustration and pain prick my eyes and break forth sliding down my parched cheeks.
A new day is born. I awaken but am motionless. The energy I once had has seeped away and crept back into the earth. Eventually I rise and find a smooth rock to sit on. I will not move right now. I will wait for a bit as I hope my fervor returns to drive me forward again. Today I have awoken a little earlier than usual and the sun is low in the sky. It is not really cold but there is still a slight chill in the air. I notice that the rock beneath me feels quite solid and surprisingly reassuring.
As I sit on this rock, out of nowhere I hear a voice as clear as day.
'How long have you been here?'
'What, here on this rock?'
'How long have you been in the desert?'
I consider this question for a moment. I must have been here for quite some time. Not weeks but months? No – it must have been years. As I stop to consider my predicament, I realise with great sadness that I have actually been here for many years indeed.
'Then why are you not dead?'
I hadn't spoken my answer but apparently the voice can also hear my thoughts. I am slightly perturbed by this but there is something curiously comforting about it.
'Now that's a tough one... Why am I not dead? Probably because I haven't given up yet. Heaven knows, it is not because I have found any water!'
The words echo around my head. It is true, I have managed to keep on going despite everything. But if I haven't found water in so many years, how on earth have I not died? This puzzling realisation nudges its way into my consciousness.
'So, why do you persist in chasing the mirage?'
'Because I need water of course! If I do not get some water soon then I will die. Each time I glimpse water shimmering on the horizon, I must at least try to get to it - even if it turns out to be another mirage. I really can't give up, I must keep going until I find The Oasis – I know it is out there somewhere.'
'If you need this water to survive, then why have you not died?'
'Maybe I am given the strength to keep going because I refuse to give up. Maybe if I stop searching, that's when the thirst will get a grip on me and I will shrivel up and die.'
'How can chasing mirages bring you what you truly desire?'
'It's not the mirage I want, its the real thing. Real water; The Oasis. You see, there is nothing else, I must get to The Oasis and if I have to chase a few mirages along the way to get to it, then so be it. Eventually God will reward me for all my effort and for my faith. And besides, if I don't try to get to it how will I ever know that it is a mirage? I am not going to be able to survive without water forever, so if I am not even going to try to find The Oasis, I may as well dig a hole and bury myself now!'
'I still do not understand how chasing mirages will bring you what you desire.'
'What's not to understand? It's perfectly simple. I hate chasing the mirages. I hate the enormous effort, the crushing disappointment and that awful soul destroying pain that follows behind me like a shadow. I have even started to distrust the excitement of the distant sparkle because I now expect to be disappointed. But my faith keeps me going, I simply will not allow this torture to get to me. I have to believe there is a way out of the desert. And besides, with each mirage, I must be getting closer to the real thing – you know with probability and all that.'
'That is an interesting theory, but you have missed one a crucial point.'
I feel have argued my case very convincingly, covering all angles and possibilities. Everything points to the same thing, every cell in my body screams that I MUST KEEP GOING. I do however feel curious that this voice seems to know something that I do not.
'What's that then Big Voice?'
'A mirage will always be a mirage.'
'Well, yes, of course it is! But surely finding a mirage is better than nothing? I can at least live in hope.'
'When you live in the world of mirages, there is no hope. A mirage can only ever be a mirage.'
'But don't you see, I must find The Oasis, I need water to survive!'
'That is an interesting statement from someone who has been chasing mirages, without respite, for so many years. Not once has a mirage turned out to be the 'real thing'. If you really do need The Oasis to survive then how is it that you are not dead?'
I am beginning to feel cornered and slightly nauseous as threatening cracks appear in my reasoning. What the voice says is true and it does raise a very good question. But I honestly do not know the answer and it is starting to perplex me. As my mind races to find some reasoning it can latch onto, Big Voice speaks;
'You have not died because you do not need to find The Oasis to survive.'
Well that does make sense - I have not found it and yet I am still alive. Perhaps I do not need The Oasis after all. But as I try on this possibility, something floating around in my mind still doesn't quite add up. Surely I must need water if I am stuck in the desert?
'When you sleep, what do you dream?'
I smile to myself as I recall the dream I had last night, it's a dream I have had many times before.
'I dream about wonderful things. A man and woman come to me with a white horse. The man carries a lantern and the woman has beautiful wings like a dove. The lantern emits a gentle golden light which dances in the shadows. They come and sit down beside and as I begin to sit up, she wraps her soft wings around me and holds me close. His lantern lights up her face which is peaceful and luminous. She always sheds a tear, just one, and it splashes onto my cracked lips, exploding into a million water droplets, from which I drink deeply. I look up into her warm dark eyes, and she looks right into my soul. I just lie with her like that for a while. Then the man asks me to get on the horse's back and come with them. At this point, the heat of the sun always wakes up.'
'Do you feel thirsty when you wake?'
I pause for a moment and remember my lips, my mouth, my throat. I swallow.
'No, I suppose I don't. But as soon as I am awake, I know I must start the search.'
'The search for what?'
'For water of course. The sun is rising, the heat is coming, The Oasis beckons me.'
'But you are not driven by thirst?'
'It is funny you should ask me that, because if I actually think about it, I do not feel thirsty. But I am sure I will be if I don't find water soon. It is the desert that makes me do it. It frightens me and makes me believe that I must search for water, after all, I know I am going to need it sooner or later.'
'So how is it that you are not dead?'
'I don't know!' I shout impatiently.
I stop for a moment, my angry words ringing around my head. Somehow I am now aware of the rock beneath me, so solid and calm. I look around and notice the sun is feeling hotter, it has reached a pleasant temperature, for now at least. In this moment I become aware of my body. It is strange that I am not thirsty. For the first time in years I feel my breath, the pervasive ache in my bones, a light, flickering heart beat. Somehow my body has become a complete stranger to me, silently following me around like a lost dog. As my chest rises and falls, my stomach expands and contracts with each faithful breath. I detect a feint but distinct smell, a crisp freshness floating past my nostrils. It fades and disappears only to return moments later, so sweet and moist.
'I am the man with the lantern.'
Oh. I look down at the floor. His voice is crystal clear, but when I look up, I can see no one.
'That is because I am not in physical form.'
'Then who are you?'
'That is another story for another time. I am here with you now, even if you can't see me, so shall we talk?'
'Well I suppose so, but you will have to be quick, the sun is getting hotter and you know, the glistening promise of water is bound to catch my eye sooner or later.'
I am already scanning the horizon to see what is out there. Maybe I missed something yesterday, I was so tired when I finally stopped to rest.
'I come to you with a message. You are not in need of The Oasis because you are not trapped in the desert, you can leave at any time. You have choice. You can continue with your futile struggle chasing mirages, putting all your faith in The Oasis, or you can come with us. You find it easier to believe in something you can see with your eyes, even though in your heart you know that what you see is an illusion. Your eyes deceive you over and over again yet this does not dissuade you from your quest.
What appears before you, glittering in the distance can never bring you happiness and no amount of your effort or faith can ever change What Is So. But after each futile chase, I will be here, waiting for you. I am more real than anything you will ever see with your eyes.'
'Well thanks for that Big Voice – I will bare that in mind! I have to be honest, I do love meeting you in my dreams. It is just a shame that you can't really be here, you know, in the flesh where I can touch you and see your face. After all it is this world that I have to contend with, and in the real world I need real water! But it's great having you around. Oh! Look! Over there, shimmering on the horizon... I ma really sorry, but I have got to go!'
And in an instant I forget my weariness. I forget my breath, the rock and Big Voice. My pace quickens. My focus and energy beams straight ahead, like a predator with its prey in sight. I march purposefully into the rising heat, my goal unchanged. I need water and The Oasis is where I will find it. This will be The One. This time my faith will win out and all my effort will be rewarded. This time God will give me a break and finally put an end to my suffering. This time I can make it happen.
Night draws in and once again I am disappointed and completely exhausted. Why? Why won't God give me a break? Why won't God give me the water I need? Don't I deserve it? Aren't I trying hard enough? Am I not patient or persistent enough? It is the one thing that I want, the single most important thing in the world to me, so why won't God just give me what I want? Others seem to get to live by rivers or lakes, so why can't I? Why do I have to keep struggling in this desert - haven't I suffered enough?!
I slump down in utter despair. This quest is driving me mad but I really can't see any way around it. Whatever Big Voice said, I am in this desert and I do need water. Once I have found The Oasis I could finally relax and be happy. I know that they have all turned out to be mirages but really – how could I possibly know that will always be the case? If I did give up, I don't see how I could ever really know that if I hadn't tried a bit harder or walked a bit faster that I wouldn't have found out The Oasis was there after all. I am absolutely convinced that I can't be trying hard enough. Maybe God senses my lack of faith or impatience and he is punishing me for it. If I give up now, after all these years – what could I possibly gain?
I begin to fall asleep. It is a deep but troubled sleep, as questions still twist and knot up my mind. I am restless in the knowledge that God has let me down – again. Then they come, just a silhouette at first. The lantern's yellow glow bouncing off rock and bush, growing larger than life then slipping quietly into the enveloping darkness. I feel quite awake as they approach. I can hear the horse breathe deeply, hooves click clacking on stones. I notice that the horse is not being led, it walks freely by the man and woman. Their step is deliberate and purposeful.
The horse waits nearby while the woman and man come right to my side. I look up at the woman, she really is quite stunning. Her long dark hair is straight and gleaming in the flickering light. Her wings are long and pure white with gold tips. She wraps me in them and at once I feel relief. All my troubles melt away and I realise I can breath deeply again. She sheds a tear and I am replenished with that single drop. As I look deep into her eyes I know that I am loved. As her gaze holds mine, I feel the eternal expansion of my heart. Slowly, the gentle pink petals of my heart unfurl and unfold revealing an exquisite ruby centre. In that moment I am transported beyond time and space and I feel complete.
As she gently releases me, I sit up. The man with the lantern comes forward and breaks the silence between us.
'Your horse awaits you, will you come with us?'
I take a deep shaky breath.
'I want to come with you, really, I do. But this is just a dream in my head and I don't believe that you can really help me. I have faith in The Oasis, I truly believe that one day I will find it and this is what I really want. I love this dream, but I need real water and the Oasis is the only place I will be able to find that. I cannot survive on a dream when I am living in a desert. Perhaps you are another illusion, a temptation that is keeping me from finding The Oasis.'
'If we are an illusion how then how is it you not dead?'
'I don't know! You make me feel better, and I am truly grateful for that, but really – I need something in the real world. The desert may be full of mirages but at least I can see them and I can keep trying to find The Oasis. I have faith that God will give me a break one of these days. If I give up now and go off with dream figures, what hope have I possibly got?'
'What has kept you going all these years in the desert? Who has sustained you while you have been chasing mirages?'
'Okay, you have – I accept that and if I think about it I really don't know what I would have done without you visiting my dreams. Perhaps I would have died. I really appreciate all that you and this beautiful woman have done for me. Will you stay with me? Will you help me? I need you to be there while I continue my search for The Oasis, I really don't think I could go on without you. You have made me see that I probably don't need it to survive, but this desert is driving me mad and if I give up the search, I don't think I will be able to go on living. Once I have found The Oasis, perhaps then I could go with you on the horse?'
'We will always be here for you no matter what you choose.'
I wake up quite suddenly. Again the rising heat. Again scouring the horizon for the promise of hope. I lick my lips and they are still moist and taste of pink. As I lick them I find a droplet which bursts open again so that I can drink. I have never tasted the tears when I have been awake before. As I wipe my mouth, I smell rose perfume on my hand. First the dreams, then the voice. Now the juice and the smells – has the desert finally got its claws into my psyche and sent me over the edge? The mirages are bad enough, but this? Surely I have gone quite mad.
I stand up, stretch and a few old bones click. I am beginning to feel deeply concerned. All I want is an end to my suffering, to find The Oasis, that's all. Is it really too much to ask? I want real water, real refuge. Somehow the mirages always seem so full of promise, so real as they shimmer in the distance. When it all turns out to be just another trick, it makes me doubt myself – should I run faster, try harder, be more focused or patient? I can never be sure that it is not my lack of faith that is letting me down. Surely if I really believed in The Oasis, one of the mirages would miraculously reveal itself to be what I have always wanted and I would finally get my happy ending.
'Please explain to me why believing in The Oasis is so important to you.'
I have only just woken up but I am already sick of going around in these circles in my mind. A conversation with Big Voice is a welcome break.
'I believe The Oasis is a refuge from this harsh desert, a wonderful place of retreat. I want to get to the end of this search, I can't tell you how weary and lost I feel. I want to arrive. I want my life to start, to feel at home and nourished. I want to feel safe in the knowledge that God really does love me. This relentless desert feels like an eternal punishment and it makes me feel that somehow I am not deserving or that I am not trying hard enough. The Oasis is important to me because when God finally decides to reveal it to me, then I will know I have passed the test of faith and all my efforts will finally be rewarded. I did used to believe that I needed it in order to survive but you have changed that. Now I can see that it is just something I want so I can end my struggle. And if God doesn't notice how hard I am trying...'
'Then I can't be trying hard enough.'
'Ah, I see.'
'I think that I must be getting close or at least be doing something right because you have been helping me as I journey to find The Oasis. I have been keeping a record so I can try and avoid going back over the same ground, I am not completely aimless in my search. I really believe I must be about to find it soon, after all it has been many, many years! The thought of having to go on for much longer fills me with dread. Each mirage makes me feel paradoxically more hopeful that I am getting closer and more doubtful that I am getting it right. But, whichever it is, the solution must be to try harder. I don't want to give up now after all I have been through, and what if it is just around the next corner? Hang on. What's that over there? Excuse me please, I will speak to you later!'
And off I go. I carefully scan the horizon and this time I am sure I can see trees as well. That's got to be a good sign! My heart begins to race with eager anticipation. I begin a steady jog towards the edge of the world, as far as the eye can see. This has really got to be it! Suddenly I am stung by a sharp pain in my right ankle. I stumble and fall. My God - a snake! I have been bitten - two clear vampire holes in my flesh. The snake recoils and disappears behind some rocks. I panic. My leg is already swelling, turning red and throbbing. I can hardly breathe I feel so afraid. I pass out.
I am dreaming again. This time I am not asleep in my dream. I am sat, in the dark, besides a fire. There is a strong scent coming from the wood smoke. The fire is surrounded by a circle of small rocks. I sense that I am not alone, that there is a presence in the shadows. At first I wonder if it is the woman and the man with the lantern, but it is not. While focusing on the shadows trying to figure out who is there, I am also aware that I am surrounded by trees. Not sand and rocks but trees. This can not be! Trees, really? Before I get too excited, I remind myself that this is only a dream. But the musty damp woody smell with fresh sweet overtones is almost overwhelming. It is almost unbearable as I am drenched in such a festival of scents; absolutely divine.
I am aware that my ankle is wounded, but it does not hurt. Despite the lack of pain, I know I have been bitten, that liquid poison is spreading through my body and that I need to get help before it is too late. I am both ecstatic and in a state of intense panic. I have no idea what to do. I sit in front of the fire, mesmerised as it crackles and spits in its own sparky little dance.
'Turn to your left.'
I look over my shoulder, twisting my body around as I try to focus on the shadows. As my eyes get accustomed, an animal figure moves quietly towards me. It is a stag. It stops where I can see it and turns to face back into the wood, as if asking me to follow it. I stand up and find that I am able to walk, so I follow this stag into the night. It begins a gentle trot down a windy path which is barely visible under the moon light. I can sense the poison is creeping silently up my leg.
'We must reach the house before the poison reaches your heart. Jump on my back.'
Without hesitation, I jump on. The strong bony back moves fluidly as the stag gains speed to a canter. Soon the canter is a flowing sure footed gallop. We are going up hill and the trees are becoming more sparse. Finally I see light up ahead and we come to a little stone house set into the side of quite a steep hill. The stag gently slows to a halt outside the front door and I jump off, a little stiff from the ride. I barely have time to thank the stag and it has gone, silently slipping back into the woods.
I stand in front of the door and see that it is slightly ajar, as if expecting someone. A warm fire light streams through the gap and there is a strong inviting smell of cooking food drifting out of the door and into the night.
I am just about to knock on the door when quiet but strong woman's voice calls for me to come in. I push the door open slowly but surely and take the shallow step inside. I close the door behind me. When I turn, the room is quite small with a low ceiling and a large fire with a cooking pot. The walls are a deep red orange and there is a large oak table in the centre of the room. The woman is over by the fire cooking a sumptuous broth.
'Sit down.' she says gently but in a way one could hardly refuse.
I pull up a big solid oak chair and sit down at the table. She comes over and places a bowl of the hot stew and home made bread in front of me. She hands me a spoon and knife and indicates that there is a pot of butter on the table. Aromatic rosemary steam floats up from the broth tantalising my taste buds. I suddenly realise that I am desperately hungry as my mouth starts watering and my stomach rumbles rather loudly. I tuck in, satiating my hunger in grateful mouthfuls.
'You have a wounded ankle and poison inside you which is inching its way up towards your heart. You have reached an important cross roads – I can heal your wound and rid you of the poison. Is this what you want?'
'Yes, oh yes please! I can't feel the pain but I don't want the poison to get to my heart. Can you really help?'
'Well, that is a very good question, and it depends. Do you want this more than anything else in the world?'
I stop eating and close my eyes for a moment. Now she's asking! I know that I am wounded, but I can't feel the pain at the moment and I am not convinced that this will kill me. Would I be telling the truth if I said that I wanted it more than anything else in the world? I mean, what about the The Oasis? I don't want to lie to this woman, I don't think I could get away with it even if I tried. I am sure she would spot a lie a mile away.
'If you want to heal, I can help you. But you have to want it more than anything else in the world. You cannot feel the poison spreading through your body, but you know that you have been bitten by a snake. The choice is yours, you can put your faith in The Oasis, or in me. I cannot say what will happen if you choose to ignore the snake bite and continue your search for The Oasis.'
'If I am in danger, then why can't I feel the pain?'
'You are numb. You are numb to your body and to your feelings. Your quest for The Oasis takes you into your head and into a pursuit which numbs out everything else. Your focus is always away from that which is wounded. You must choose. Do you want to continue to run in pursuit of The Oasis or do you want to surrender and hand your healing over to me? If you do not let go of The Oasis completely, I will not be able to heal you. It is that simple. You cannot pretend because the healing just won't work even if we tried. It is not a rational decision that you can make with your mind – the healing will just happen if and when you allow it.'
I take another spoonful of the delicious broth while I mull things over. The Oasis is driving me quite mad. Perhaps I could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, letting go of the search for The Oasis and getting this poison out of me.
'Once you have completely let go of The Oasis, when you look to the horizon and see a mirage, you will not start hoping and praying that it is The Oasis. The desire will be gone.'
I play with this idea for a moment. No more searching! I try to imagine what that would actually feel like. I am extremely excited by this prospect. Then I remember the desert and I am hit by a terrible sinking feeling in my stomach. Without hope of finding The Oasis, how am I ever going to survive the desert? I will have absolutely nothing to live for. All I will have is day after day of empty scorching heat and devastating loneliness. My heart aches at the thought of it. As I realise what a horrible prospect this would be I am suddenly very aware of why I chase the mirages, why I have put my faith in The Oasis - it distracts me from the dreadful sense of desolation and alleviates the constant fear that follows me around, the fear that there really is nothing out there, that I am completely alone. The desperate search for The Oasis enables me to hide from the futile nature of my existence, it gives me hope so I can keep going. Perhaps it even keeps me sane; surely disappointment must be better than absolute nothingness?
First I believed that I searched for The Oasis because I needed it to survive. When I realised that I didn't actually need it to live, I reasoned that it would be just reward for my efforts and my faith that I would one day be saved, if I could just keep on going, keep believing. But now, I can see he truth as clear as a cold shiny sword poised to strike my heart. The truth is, my life in the desert would be utterly unbearable without it. If God has given me this awful desert to live in, then I may as well keep the believing in The Oasis. It keeps me occupied at the very least.
'Old woman, I want to let go of The Oasis, really I do. And I want you to heal me. But with nothing to replace it except a poison free body and a healed ankle, there would be nothing to live for. You see, I need my faith in The Oasis, not to survive but to make my life bearable. Without the hope of one day finding that wonderful magical place, well to be frank, I may as well curl up in the futile sand and die. If I have to give up that hope in order to be healed, then I would rather allow the poison to get to my heart. At least this way, I would be free.'
'But child, you do have something to replace that hope, that belief in The Oasis.'
I stare blankly at the wall. This really is the bottom line.
'What? What could possibly replace The Oasis except desolation and pain?'
'Remember the winged woman and the man with the lantern? You wouldn't go with them because of your overwhelming desire for The Oasis. Perhaps you could find the faith to put your life in their hands and follow them instead of chasing mirages or giving up on life altogether. After all, the mirages haven't paid off yet and you are even willing to die for the cause – so what have you really got to lose?'
I become very quiet. The old woman's words resonate in my mind and reverberate through my soul; the sword of truth pierces my empty heart. Slowly my ankle beings to throb. The pain gathers momentum increasing in intensity until it is a sharp stabbing pain and I am acutely aware of the poison seeping just inches away from my heart.
'ENOUGH!' I scream, 'Get out of me!! You have no place inside me poison – I don't want you here GET OUT!'
The white rage takes me by surprise but immediately the poison begins its sticky retreat, oozing out of my leg; out of the vampire holes which have enlarged and are now red raw and gaping. The burning poison slowly and painfully trickles out of me and onto the floor, seeping between the floorboards and down into the earth. When the very last drop has gone, the bite bleeds a little fresh blood and scabs up ready to heal, right before my eyes. I am in shock. Where did all that rage come from?
'My child, it was your surrender – your soul's decision to let go of The Oasis and embrace faith in something Higher. You have begun a deep healing; you have been replenished and the poison has all gone. All you have to do now is follow your heart.'
Suddenly I am wide awake. I sit bolt upright and look around me. The sun is going down and I sit frozen to the spot. I check my leg, it looks quite healthy with two small scabs where snake fangs had broken my skin. I am feeling OK, if a little shaken up. Was that a dream? Am I about to die?
I realise that I feel strangely alive and in touch with my senses. I decide to believe it was real – I have nothing to lose and if I am about to die, well, there is clearly nothing I can do about it now. Normally I go to sleep as soon as the sun goes down out of sheer exhaustion but right now I feel wide awake and my body is buzzing with an unfamiliar energy. My mind is calm and clear, not manic or searching, just awake. I get up cautiously, not sure if my leg will hurt when I stand. Gingerly,I put my weight on both feet attempting to connect with the solid ground beneath me. Like a new born, I feel a little unsteady on my feet, but mostly I am excited by the new possibility that unfolds before me.
I feel this incredible sense of peace and the darkness brings a welcome solace. I decide to walk into the sunset. As I take gentle steps into the diminishing sunlight, I feel my muscles begin to relax. My mind is free. I beckon the voice, the dream people; 'I want to come with you'.
'We are always here, all you have to do is ask. You can come any time.'
'I want to be with you, to commit to walking along side you. I want to follow your guidance. I want your lantern to light my way, your wisdom to guide me. I want to leave this desert, to walk away from the mirages.'
'We are so glad you have decided to join us, we will not let you down. Soon you will come to a place of rest but this place is not the goal – it is simply the result of your faith. The goal is inner peace and with your commitment, you will leave the desert with no effort. It will happen naturally. Keep your faith. Keep your contact with us and you will be guided each step of the way. And if you forget, we will still be waiting for you once you remember.'
'I feel quite sad that I have been unable to listen to you before. I feel sad that you have been here all this time and I have turned my back on you. I never realised how much I struggled until I stopped and let it all go.'
'Do not underestimate how far you have come or how much you have accomplished by finally letting go. The mirage is a powerful magnet for one who believes they are in the desert. You have now chosen to take the path out of the desert, the path of true faith, and we will not let you down. We are always here – all you have to do is ask and open your heart to receive. The rest will take care of itself.'
'Thank you, thank you so much for being there.'
* * *
I walk on into the night. I notice my feet compressing the sand, leaving my footprints along the way. I can feel my heart beating and my lungs filling with the cool night air. I begin to hear the feint sound of drums, nothing dramatic, just gentle, rhythmic and constant. I walk toward this sound that beckons me; the heart beat of the night. I can detect the flicker of orange light and the feint scent of cedar smoke. As I walk closer, the fire is getting bigger and creates a flamenco dance in the shadows. I experience an incredible excitement while simultaneously feeling a deep pervasive calm. I walk forward with purpose because I know I am free.
Freja ♥ ©2000