Voices in the Garden

Floating midway down the pit cave, my feet dangled into the abyss. There was barely enough space for my sitting bones on the ledge before it broke away into nothingness. A familiar flush of fear crashed over me yet was instantaneously transmuted into the kind of thrill I get while looking over the edge of the great Cliff’s of Mohr, or the railing on the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

Scary and yet, so compelling. I really do understand how people can be overcome by sensation, to lose their minds enough to jump. There might be a lot of freedom in that feeling.

Excitement softened into pleasure as the tingling sensations moved upward under my skin through my body, into my heart, down my arms and eventually exiting, no pouring, out the palms of my hands.

I might have mistaken it for sweat.

All that curiosity and joy was pushed aside because I couldn’t stop my mind from telling it’s own story. Instead, I recoiled, pressing my back into the stone wall behind me, looking down my own nose into the void suspiciously.

I saw absolutely nothing in that midnight milieu, though a creepy feeling began to move like a dense coastal fog into my legs, from way down there. It was like the cold waking breath of a dragon streaming through my body. Each time he exhaled, I inhaled. And as I sucked his breath in, I turned to a resistant stone; on the exhale I lost my constitution, becoming completely drained of life force.

I allowed that dragon to breathe through me for some time. In between breaths I could hear the woman calling from below, “Micaela, Micaela,” she said it again and again.

——————————————————————

I’d been hearing her voice all day now; it was soft and coaxing, like a zephyr dancing along the beach. At the first sound, I ran through the gate past the great Oak tree into the garden, skipping, like a small girl.

Where I normally stop to wade in the stream of healing iron water from the Red Spring, today I ran past making a beeline to the Yew trees and sat on the bench waiting, for something.

When her voice whispered again, I looked into in the thicket between the trees. A dark oval opened and gently pulled me inward. Once inside, I stood at ground level looking down at the roots of one of the ancient Yews.

That’s when I heard the clarity in her voice, this time it was less wispy, much clearer. I walked down the root system following her call. So preoccupied with the tones, I walked and then fell into a void, landing on the stone precipice where I now sit, a ledge barely big enough to cradle my bottom.

My toes are numb, my heart races, I am cold to bone.

Suddenly there’s a tug on my right foot. Something is pulling me into the unknown and I am still strong enough, at least, to resist, once again. “Stop!” I cannot stand on the ledge, though my knees jerk toward my chest and I balance on my sitting bones, leaning back into that stone wall.

She calls again, this woman. Now I hear her sweetness, her softness, as she cries out from her heart, “Micaela, come in!”

No matter what I hear, I trust not because my mind is busy making more stories. Mostly it reminds me that I do not trust myself to take the right turn, here, and I go no further. In no time, the absence of will bounces me back to the surface where I lay, happily relieved, on the bench between the two Yew trees, safe once again.

As I reflected on my adventure, I realize what I’d just done. I actually had made a decision. I’d chosen safety and knowingness over awareness and expansion.

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