Quietly, like a maiden sneaking through the woods to meet her lover, I lifted my skirts to tip toe over twigs and stones following an unmarked path. I gingerly jumped over brooks and streams to stay mostly dry. Coming to the edge of my forest again, I was suddenly disoriented and high above my usual perch, looking out over the familiar pool of crystal clear turquoise water.
“How did I get up here?” I wondered, looking down a bit nervously as somewhere inside me I knew I’d come here to dive and this height was way beyond my comfort zone. Then his voice sliced easily through my memory, its tone and the words he spoke, seeping into my head. “No thinking; no projecting.”
“Okay.” I said, “okay, I hear you.”
In no time at all, I glided out to a place where I tilted my wings and rolled my body slightly left. Naturally, automatically, my feathers folded and lay along side this body; the velocity increased, parting the surface waters with every nearing inch. I spiraled head first into the pool, and once under the protection of the water and cradled in its warmth, I was a dolphin undulating and weaving between the rays of sunshine that penetrated its depths.
Upward again to the surface, nose first, standing on my tail, I launched into the air. I wanted to flip, yet my fins became arms as I reached for the sky and I floated untethered for a while.
Still no time passed as I hung in the ethers, my fingertips feeling for raindrops inside the clouds. The white gown I wore fluttered in the wind like a sail in mid tack. I was light and full simultaneously, consumed by amazement and joy. My eyes had softened and relaxed, deepening back into my brain. I floated there, just trusting, looking at the edges of the rocky beach surrounding the turquoise pool. There were hundreds of people there circling the rim, applauding my dance!
In a breath, I was walking down a tree-lined path with my Indian friend. He held my elbow as though I needed a crutch and I kept looking over my shoulder to see where I’d come from.
“Was it real? Did I really dance in the water, fly through the air? Was I there, or not; and was I truly so free?” I wondered this all to myself, though my Indian friend answered.
“You’ve been a Queen,” he said, “yet here, you feel the energetic weight and the awkward, crumbling bones of a crone. Never forget though, you can soar inside your soul anytime you like, becoming the maiden once more, or forever, if that’s what you desire.”
“How trite,” I thought, feeling really gypped. “He’s mumbling inanities.” Unable to contain my sudden frustration, the truth of my disappointment leaked out and I shriveled down, ever more helplessly overwhelmed by the sudden onset of old age. I felt like a china doll crashing to the floor, dropped by a careless child.
So caught up in the shock of it all, I barely noticed when he lifted this old bag of bones up to his heart. I felt like a babe when he kissed my forehead and threw me out as though returning a bird of prey to the airwaves, freeing my mind yet again. I flapped once and then flew. Wind washed my face and the sun’s warmth penetrated the spaces between the bones of my feathers.
Quickly passing familiar landmarks, staring down at the crystal clear turquoise pool, I noticed how tiny even my dream world seemed from here. Ranging higher and further, rising fast on an endless thermal, the Earth’s whole blue-green body came into view and then faded away. It was a black dot, then a pinpoint, soon disappearing completely as I caught my next ride on the pulsing currents of the galactic waves.