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(Written in conjunction with Camp NaNoWriMo. For an explanation of what this strange story is about, you can read Obsessed by a Journey.)

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The Seeker passed through the gates and over the water into a thick, green forest where she spent the night walking and pondering about who she might meet at the Court. Just as the new day dawned, she emerged from the chill of the green-black shade into a rolling valley that stretched far beyond the horizon.

She was surprised to see a Knight sauntering along toward her on his great black steed. He was dressed in full chain-mail and wore a scarlet red cape, symbolic of his passion and protective nature. In his arms he carried a golden disc meant to assure those whom he met along the way that he had come seeking harmony, not discord. She watched him for a few minutes as he rode slowly and deliberately across the field. Upon finally noticing her there at the edge of the woods he stopped and dismounted.

“Good day, Seeker! You’ve come at last! I had been sent ahead by the Mage to announce your arrival. There is much joy and celebrating among those at Court. Long it has been since a new Seeker has come. But you must be hungry having made the journey at night. Please join me and we’ll break our fast together.”

“Thank you, Sir Knight. In truth I am as hungry as a horse! I was too anxious last evening to eat with the Prayer Warriors before I left.”

The Knight let loose a hearty laugh and laid a hand on the Seeker’s shoulder. “A little unease is a good thing, Seeker. It is sure to make one attentive to life around them.”

And so the Seeker and the Knight sat in a copse of trees, the sun warming them as it speckled down between the leaves. She queried him about many things. Especially about the kind of people she would meet in the Wider Realm for she knew not all believed in the Creator as she did, and she felt lacking and ill prepared to talk to others about her faith.

The Knight shook his head in understanding and shared many of his own experiences with her. “The most important thing to remember,” he said, “is that all people, no matter their faith stories, are deserved of love and respect. Remember the Creator’s second greatest command from the Sacred Scrolls?”

“To love others as myself,” she said.

“Exactly right. The most important thing for you to do is take the time to get to know people you meet. Listen to them. Learn from them. Share your life with them. Good, strong relationships must be built on authentic caring and mutual trust.”

The sun was half way between the earth and its zenith when their conversation came to an end and the Seeker took her leave of the Knight who was to continue home across the shallow water. As he rode away into the forest she called to him one last time, “Wait! How do I know where the Court is, Sir Knight?”

“You are already there, young Seeker. It is HERE,” he said, pointing to his breast plate, “in your heart.” And with a wave of his hand he disappeared into the woods.

A moment later her attention was caught by a movement among the trees near the edge of the forest, and suddenly a beautiful blonde woman came laughing and dancing into the clearing. Her purple silk dress flowed gracefully around her as she gaily frolicked and twirled, arms stretched wide as if to embrace Creation itself. A calming energy emanated from wherever her feet touched and from her hands as they were flung about. To what music she danced the Seeker did not know, for she could hear nothing.

The woman saw her then and a twinkling laugh wafted into the air at the puzzled look on the Seeker’s face. “I am the World,” she explained, never pausing in her celebratory ritual. “I dance to the music of all Creation. You cannot hear it yet, Seeker, but you will if you learn to listen. It is everywhere!”

She waved her hand in a circle and before her flew a colorful bird, flapping and swerving between her swinging arms. A turtle moved out of the grass and made its way slowly around the ground at her feet. A bull with golden horns suddenly loped into the clearing, its massive body cavorting this way and that. And finally from the woods crept a lion, its roar sounding more like a voice raised in song than a warning.

“These animals represent music from the four elements of Creation. The bird brings the melodies of the air. The turtle the flowing hymns of the water. The bull sounds the drums of earth. While from the lion comes the powerful roar of fire giving voice to nature’s passion for life. When you have learned to love all of Creation, Seeker, you will not only hear, but SEE the beautiful union of its music. Close your eyes, young Seeker, and listen with your heart. What do you hear?”

The Seeker closed her eyes, breathed in and out a few times to calm herself, then, to her surprise she not only heard but felt what she could only describe as a lullaby. A lullaby of Peace. She opened her eyes and looked around her as if seeing the earth for the first time and realized that all living things dwelt in harmony. “I can hear it!” she said in awe. “It’s beautiful!”

The World smiled and nodded her head. “Your heart is already becoming one with Creation, Seeker. All is becoming sacred to you. Every day is sacred. Every small thing you do, be it for someone else or for yourself, you do with the rhythm of life and love in your heart. Never forget to listen to the music within you. For therein dwells the Creator.”

The Seeker could only stand speechless and watch as the whirlwind that was the World continued on her way spreading the harmonies of nature around her as she went.

“Well I’ll be!” she said aloud, trying as hard as she could to focus on the music. “The Creator’s World is certainly amazing!”

“Indeed it is, Seeker,” said a voice, warm and embracing.

The Seeker turned to find a beautiful winged woman clothed in luminous white standing beside her. In one hand she carried a golden horn. The other she held aloft gathering motes of sparkling lights to herself.

“I am an Angel of Mercy,” she explained. “My name is Judgment. I am she who calls with my horn of heaven to the souls who are returning to the source of Creation from whence they came. It is my task to lead them back to their home. I have been sent also, to bring you to the Empress, she who is Guardian of this amazing World.”

Judgment smiled, took hold of the Seeker’s hand, and without waiting for a response, the Angel blew gently into her horn. The Seeker felt herself rising up into the clouds and was carried along in her wake.

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© Cheryl D. Carter

Part 41 — Gateway
Part 43 — Strength and Mercy


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Picture Credit
— personal (see also www.aeclectic.net)

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