The woman spoke not a word but turned and walked through the door that had appeared behind her, the wands following where she led. One she held in her hands as if to defend herself from some unseen assailant. The others flew past her to take up a protective position before a second door that the Seeker knew instinctively led outside.
The woman’s long red hair flowed from beneath her hood and fell as a veil around her face. At last she turned to the Seeker with a look of serious contemplation.
“I am the Gate Keeper.”
When the girl did not seem to grasp the significance of her explanation, she continued.
“Many Seekers try to force their way back into this sacred place for a chance to spin the Wheel of Time again thinking to alter their destiny. They do not realize that once they have begun to question there is no turning back. You are a Seeker. Your questioning began at an early age, and you have already begun to awaken. Yet you, too, may be tempted with the desire to return to the place where you began.”
“That makes no sense,” the Seeker said. “Having been unhappy there, why would I wish to return?”
“Because sometimes old ways of thinking feel safer and more comforting than being ensnared in a life of uncertainty, one foot grounded in a world of faith, the other poised to enter the realm of agnosticism, or worse, atheism.”
The Seeker had never once considered that she would ever return to the temple mount. Was it truly possible, she wondered, to become so weary of the quest for the Creator that she would turn back to the Realm of Redemption and make her home once again with the sisters there, pretending to believe all she had learned as a child yet forever doubting the existence of the Creator? The thought took her breath away. And yet had not the Sphinx said, “You may not find the answers you seek…”
“Indeed he did,” said the Keeper, reading her thoughts. “But recall he also said do not be discouraged for adversity is a part of life, and that on your quest you would find the purpose of your soul.”
“Yes, he did,” replied the Seeker, realizing she had not paid attention to the entirety of the prophesy so accustomed was she to reading only parts of the sacred scrolls that proved the point she wished to make in her classes. “There is much I still have to learn,” she admitted.
“It is as you say. And I am here to give you three warnings. First, always remember this journey is sacred and unique to you, child. No other Seeker’s journey will be like yours.
“Next, this is the time for you to take your stand. Decide who you are, what you want and what you need. This will be difficult for you, for although you are ready to embrace the wisdom of the Creator, there is a part of your heart that may always remain indecisive.
“Finally, there are others who are also seekers but have not the courage nor the conviction to follow their heart’s questionings. They will tell you your journey is foolish, that you are a heretic, and try to entice you to change your mind. To the best of your ability, do not be confrontive with them. Hold to your belief system and allow the Creator’s love to flow to them through you. By this they will know you are a true disciple of the Holy One.”
The Seeker’s confidence in her journey was shaken. She had not anticipated this quest would lead to such challenges and disagreements with others. Now here she stood on the threshold of her new life, wondering if in the end her search would be fruitless and she would wander forever with no place to call her home. But before she could speak further with the Keeper, the woman stepped aside from the doorway and the six wands parted leaving a path open to her destiny.
She walked between the wands out of the building and down the stairs, then turned to bid the Gate Keeper farewell. She was surprised to see the wands had placed themselves between them, and the Seeker knew there was now no going back.
© Cheryl D. Carter
Picture Credit — personal (see also www.aeclectic.net)