Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
by Cheryl Pennington
copyright all content
The morning has dawned, the blood moon will rise again, and the call from Jinetes has gone up, drifting over the forest and into the village of Espera, where its eager inhabitants are making preparations for the ceremony, the celebration-The Joining…..
The Mother’s Wisdom
Ella’s feet flew over the dusty path to La Palabra’s dwelling, her heart drumming in her ears after the exciting thing which had just occurred and for that which was still to come. She cleared the few steps leading to Palabra’s door in one leap, stopping just short of slamming herself against it, full force. Ella felt a wild urge to giggle, but slapped a sweaty hand over her own mouth and took a few deep breaths as she tried to slow her pulse. Forcing calm into her body, she raised her curled fist to the dark wood to knock but her Mother’s voice from within beckoned her calmly, “Do come in Ella.”
Ella timidly pushed the door inward, only momentarily registering that it seemed to move without the usual effort. She tiptoed across the wood, stepping between the golden slats of light painted by the sun that smiled through the window behind La Palabra. Without a sound, Ella slipped to the floor near the wise woman’s feet, sat cross-legged, and squinted up at the female silhouetted against the morning light. This was always where La Palabra could be found of a morning, deep in meditation, her medicine stick in hand as sage glowed in the dark stone bowl beside her. The glowing herb sent fragrant curls of smoke to rise above their heads and hang like clouds briefly before they seeped through the cracks and permeate the village. It was a ritual so familiar, a comforting scent they had all come to love. Radiance emanated from her body in every color imaginable, and Ella’s heart was warmed by the familiarity of it.
From the moment of her creation, the Huntress could “see” the essence of living things. She hadn’t told anyone about this ability, except for Palabra. Instead of understanding that she was gifted, Ella instead felt conspicuous, odd and strange; for no other in the village had ever spoken of seeing such things. She harbored a fear of being outcast by her peers, or even worse, singled out and revered. Above all else she desired the companionship of her friends, even though she treasured the gifts of the unknown. It was often that she observed the others while in the heat of an argument to see the tumultuous energy swirling around their forms-energy filled with fire and shadow. It was at those times, La Palabra advised, that she must go within and connect with the Spirit of Eternity to gather her own loving energy and project it to those in distress. It had been easy enough to do when the conflict was not her own; but if she were in the middle of the fray, it was not so easy to step back and focus on the beauty of Eternal Light when her own torch was in danger of being snuffed. Still, she did as Palabra instructed in the hope that eventually she would be as illumined as her beautiful Mother.
These thoughts calmed her beating heart as she sat in the dusty light of morning; but La Palabra’s voice eventually broke the spell of introspection that held Ella transfixed. “Daughter, I trust that all has been made ready for the Ceremony of Union.” It was not so much a question as a statement, and La Palabra’s eyes remained closed in meditation when she spoke. Ella found this unreasonably annoying although she admired Palabra’s constant dedication to Spirit.
When Ella answered her voice sounded hollow and breathless, like that of someone much smaller and meeker than she ever was. “Yes, Mother, we are finishing with the tables now. Sister Servia worked perfection with the flower choices and placement. She is so gifted…” her voice trailed.
“And the herbs?” Palabra questioned. Ella’s heart sank as she remembered her near disaster with the herb jars but quickly pushed the thought from her mind. “Yes, the herbs, the flowers, the food-all ready, Mother.” She smiled at the female who still sat with eyes closed and added, “Just now, when we were preparing the tables, we all lifted our voices in song and it was returned by shouts from our companions in Jinetes.” There was no way to cloak the excitement in her voice. “Oh, Mother, surely this is a sign of the blessing to come, is it not!?”
La Palabra opened her eyes slowly and gazed down at the beaming face of her Ella. A grin tickled the corners of her mouth as she spoke. “Surely it is. But did you doubt the truth of the blessing without the presence of a sign?” Ella felt instantly afraid that she had fallen short of her Mother’s vision of her; but Palabra’s words ended such foolish thoughts. “Of course it is a sign, my innocent child. And signs are miraculous indeed. They help to nurture the growth of Spirit. And they can be quite beautiful, as I am sure you will agree. Yet it is the presence of faith in Eternal Love without such signs that is the mark of true awareness of its power. Do you not feel this while in meditation?”
Ella answered without another moment’s thought, “Oh yes, of course I do. When I connect with Spirit, there is no greater sense of peace or joy. It is just that the light of the everyday world fades its brilliance so… It does not compare with the light of Eternal Love; and it is difficult in my daily walk to remain connected to this Light. There is so much noise, so much...life that demands my attention. I know Spirit is with me, but it feels the chord which connects me to it often disappears and I don’t even know when or how it happens.”
Palabra’s ample chest heaved and she let go a deep sigh; for her desire was to help her daughters remain ever close to the Spirit of the eternal. It was, after all, her devotion and task while in the dream. As always she found the right words. “Such is the way with the physical world, dear child. There are many mysteries of which I know only a small part; but I know that there is no special magic to keep Spirit alive within your soul. And there is no way to change what was set in motion with the gift of Creation. The transformation of Spirit to the physical has begun its journey with many unanswered questions. I tell you, my daughter, that to keep the fires of Eternal Light alive within your soul requires a simple act of faith. Because you are now in a physical body, the part that is your mind is the strongest member of your self, and all of your life’s direction originates from this place. Your Essence knows all that is true and speaks to you when you quiet that tormentor, the mind. So..you must introduce Spirit to Mind so that they may work together for the good of your Soul. If you walk through your days telling yourself that you are not alone, that you are perfect in the eyes of your Creator, and that all else is perfection, this is what your Mind will come to accept. Then, once on common ground, it will be much easier for your Spirit to present itself to you with the Mind as an ally and not an enemy. It must be lived as a walking meditation and can seem tedious in the light of much activity and human emotion; but how much more tedious is allowing yourself to feel unworthy? How much more draining to look at a sister or companion to find the cracks in their perfection, then seeing them as widening chasms, rather than allowing them to fade in the Light of real Love.”
Ella knew Palabra was right. How well she knew this. How many times had she felt herself bristle at the ugliness that sometimes was displayed among the sisterhood that was her village? Did her Mother’s words mean that she was to ignore all that happened around her? Should she become as solid as a rock, never moving, only meditating in order to maintain a sense of perfect balance?
“Of course not!,” her Mother’s voice broke into her desperate thoughts. This was not the first time Palabra had known the workings of her daughters’ mind. “It would not be humanly possible to ignore all that goes on around you and still enjoy the life that has been given so lovingly by the Creator. You must know that the Light and Dark exist within each of us; but with our free will we can choose which of these voices becomes the master of our souls. You must understand that each and every living thing in existence shares this struggle. The trials you face here in this perfect place are merely shadows of what will come as we are blessed with more Creation, more humans trying to exist and journey through the dream. What I speak of now will perhaps not seem so important to you in this moment; but in the cycles that lie ahead will come greater challenges and heavier the hand of darkness that will reach to scratch out the eyes of Light so that it might gain greater influence over the Living Essence.”
Ella was growing frightened, her heart beating more rapidly. She opened her mouth to speak but Palabra held up a hand and continued, “I cannot tell you more, for these are merely visions of possibility. It will be up to humans to decide their fate. To remain in the Light of Eternity will require much more strength than to succumb to the desires of the Darkness that has an endless hunger. Its cup is never full because it will not accept one drop of Eternal Love for its own. Do not be afraid, my child. Fear is the succor of Darkness. It’s Creator can smell it, will come for it and will let you drown in it while its Master feels entertained. You must be stronger than this. There is no fear in Perfect Love, and in Perfect Love were we all created. Even that Darkness which seeks to destroy that perfection.”
“Well, perhaps not all were created in such perfection,” whispered Mac.
to be continued……
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