There I was, minding my own business, when all of a sudden a horse with wings came along. Now these were not just ordinary wings of feathers, but beautiful, glowing, iridescent wings of the finest, most sheer gossamer. Well anyway, this horse, she never did mention her name, started to speak but then stopped, as if confused. I could very well understand her feeling that way, as I was pretty much confused at the time myself. I mean, winged-horses almost never wander this far south and west, being as they are, creatures of the northern latitudes. Anyway, after a moment or two while she gathered her thoughts; at least I suppose that’s what she was doing, so little research has been done in the area of silent pauses by winged horses; she spoke. And this is what she had to say to me. “Life can be a very effectual barrier to learning, or it can be a gateway to unimagined experiences. It can be a meager existence, or can be a beautiful, exciting journey of unlimited pleasures.” Having told me this, she stepped closer and nuzzled my hand, my right hand, with her nose. It was warm and soft, and being rather partial to things both warm, and soft; especially when possessing wings of gossamer; I gently rubbed her nose, scratched her chin, and stroked the side of her neck while I pondered her words to me. A second or two later, I didn’t actually keep count, as we passed through the violet of a rainbow on our way to someplace else, I realized that too many ponder too long about too much and that my friend, for she was, had offered me a chance to feel. A chance not to be taken lightly, and especially not to be pondered. Which I guess is why I’m nestled on the back of a gossamer-winged horse; enjoying the sensation of being alive, and the capacity to feel.
My thoughts are of solitude; so all encompassing that it turns upon itself and becomes my companion. A gentle breeze stirs the hair framing my face, and sets the leaves to conversing among themselves in a language not comprehended by men, but nevertheless soothing their weary, longing souls. The wind carries with it the faint scent of spruce, mixed with the damp odor of decaying plant life which carpets the ground at my feet. Such a contrast, one bright and pungent; the other, deep and musty. About me, a grove of birch; above me, a deep blue sky with billowy clouds of the purest white; to my left, a small brook, playing its sweet melody among the rocks; to my right, and slightly behind, a beautiful, gossamer-winged horse, grazing upon the tender grasses growing among the birch.
We, she and I, have just arrived, say two days ago, at this quiet glade from a whirlwind journey through colors and sensations unimaginable. I being told this was to completely overwhelm my senses, leaving them clear, and uncluttered, to enjoy what new things we find. The horse; I need to pause momentarily to explain something of names. One’s name, not that by which we openly call ourselves, but rather one’s true name, is a very private thing. It contains a very special magic, one’s personal magic. According to many ancient legends, of varying source, if a being possesses your name they hold a certain power over you, and can wield it against you, or, at the very least, your power is useless against them. So…you can se that to give up one’s name is not a light undertaking. Through our so far brief, but intimate friendship, my winged companion and I have developed a strong trust in each other, and one morning, as we reveled in the rising of the sun, she honored me with the gift of her name. Knowing that this gift could only be truly appreciated by a like gesture, and secure in our friendship, I presented her with my own. I have her name, but the purposes of this journal, as a name should never be used for such as this, and should only be revealed by its owner, I will call her Beauty. The name brings to mind fairy tales and other remembrances of a more innocent time of life, and while doing her no great justice, does her no injustice. Also, she expressed a liking for it. Who be I to go against the wishes of a gossamer-winged horse. To continue; Beauty brought me to this place to meet another friend, someone whom could accompany us and provide insight on the experiences we meet. When I asked whom, she replied that she wasn’t sure, but that in our meeting we would know. So here we have been for a week now, I believe; enjoying our time among the trees. Basking in the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of this place. I have been many times in similar glades, but have been a very long time away from being able to enjoy one like I am now. The lessons, being explained by my companion; ones I used to know quite well, used to live by daily, but over time, and through responsibility to other, more mundane purposes, have faded; allow me to feel once again the many presences that exist in a magical place like a birch woods. I wait, with no sense of waiting, for the arrival of our new friend; turn and stroke the side of my winged Beauty, feeling her warmth; lean back against a tree and spend the next few hours watching a hawk soar about the sky, until, with the brook singing me a lullaby, and a gentle breeze to blanket me, I sleep upon the grass, content.
The Wolf slipped silently through the trees, his every movement calculated and precise. His keen senses giving him total awareness of his surroundings as he stealthily advanced towards the small opening in the grove. A moment more and his prey will be in sight. Three moments more until razor-sharp fangs close upon my pants leg, and I am forcefully shaken awake. My involuntary alarm instantly turning to joy as I look deep into the yellow eyes of the wolf and see upon his face a grin as huge as is wolfly possible. Just my luck, a smart aleck wolf for a friend. How did I know this was a friend? Ahh, Beauty said that in our meeting we would know. I looked upon this fellow; huge, covered with a heavy coat of long, dark fur, capable of killing me, or anything else it might desire, in a blink of the eye, and saw – no, understood is a better word, an incredible zest for life. This wolf lives to live. Life is an adventure. An incredible journey. Somehow this sounds familiar. My lessons embodied in the persona of… a wolf. Why doesn’t this surprise me?
The noise is incessant; the view ever changing… The melodies and harmonies of this place take me to a place I’ve never been before. Somewhere in the back of my mind, somewhere deep inside of me, I hope that I’ll again know the feeling this place has given me; understanding that I’ll occasionally misplace it; worried that I may lose it entirely. So many obstacles stand in the way; so much of life turns us away from the path we know is ours to walk. Sometimes it is such a struggle to even remember that such paths exist. They become faded memories, fragments of dreams that sometimes force their way into our waking hours, hopefully reminding us, if only for that brief moment, that we do have options, that there exists a truth that only needs us to search in order to find it. Searching for such a thing is what led us here, Beauty and I. The cascade before me springs forth from the top of the ledge above and crashes its way down to the stream flowing at my feet. I feel the spray on my face; it refreshes me on a level I can’t describe, nor want to. The noise, as I mentioned, is incessant, never ending, monotonous in its variety. It drowns out all other sound, replacing it with a thundering roar, so loud, so powerful, that I feel it in the ground upon which I stand. I feel the sound even more than I hear it. It is such an awe-inspiring sensation! I watch the water make its way down the side of the mountain, and realize that there is not the one waterfall before me, but hundreds of waterfalls, each finding its own way along the ledges and crevices it confronts; small leaps adding to the larger. At first I saw only the whole; and it alone would be enough to satisfy the soul. But as I looked closer, I noticed the myriad of cascades that make up the main. I see more and more the longer I search. I’m sure that if I were to stand in this same spot for a week, I would still not see all there is here. It is enough, however, just knowing that a place like this exists. That sometimes we find somewhere to go when we need a certain quietness, that only somewhere such as this place, with its overwhelming noise, can provide. Why a place such as this allows me such a feeling of peace, a sense of tranquility, and belonging remains a mystery to me. I believe it must be one of those secret languages the earth has, a language we can only hear subconsciously, a language that speaks to a certain need we all have within us. A need to feel, to discover, to belong to something as lasting as this waterfall before me. A shaft of sunlight makes its way through the trees, illuminating a section of the stream, creating a rainbow in the mist that envelops us. My heart is full, my soul tranquil for the first time in days, and my need is now only to remain here as long as I can, taking in all this place has to offer. Beauty nuzzles my shoulder; her way of letting me know the feeling is real, a truth to hold onto. A truth to keep always within, even during those times when it seems to be just fragments of a dream. I wrap my arms around her neck, and together we stand here, learning, feeling, dreaming, absorbing as much of this wondrous place as we can. I feel so alive…
To be continued…