A Path Through The Clouds
Article ID: 14210
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,829
Times Read: 2,714
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Author: Lady Wolfwind
Posted: December 26th. 2010
Times Viewed: 2,714
It is so quiet here. Colder too. I stare up at the mountain and the stairs set in its side. Theyíre made of white stone, ancient. Wise ones for thousands of years have tread these steps seeking answers from what lies at the top. I reach down and touch their smooth surface. I sense the trail of the ones whoíve gone before me, people, from another time and space.
The day is gloomy and snow is beginning to fall from the morning sky. I look up toward my destination but midway it is hidden by clouds and adds an air of mystery to my path. Iíve come here seeking my own answers. Iíve been told that this is the way I must come. To continue any further on my path I must seek out the elders and learn what they have to teach me. Iím not sure what lies ahead and I am reluctant to take the first step. I have sought this place for so long. It was always beyond my reach, spoken of in whispers.
This is a sacred place. I look around at the land around me. Gentle rolling pastures, with mist swirling low to the land. I catch muted sounds from the town below. I shiver in my cloak and again gaze upward toward my destination, trying to catch a glimpse of what lies ahead. I retire myself to the fact that it was meant to be a mystery, as most things in my life have become since I began walking this path so many years ago. Iíve learned to be patient and the mysteries have always revealed themselves when I was most ready to understand them.
I also notice, perched on a branch, a great white owl. I feel a sense of awe that he has allowed me to see him. He is the color of the snow at my feet and his feathers look as if they are made from the wispiest of clouds that swirl around the top of this mountain. I long to reach out and touch him. I stand and look at him for some minutes, until he spreads his great wings and takes flight.
I am a terrible procrastinator and I scold myself as I take my first step. I need to start walking as the day will pass quickly and I plan to be at my destination before darkness falls. I climb the stairs for some time. I stop periodically and am amazed that this mist surrounds me. It is all I can see. There is no sound. It feels as if time has stopped. I continue my climb. I am no longer cold. I tread up the steps for most of the day, growing weary. My mind begins to wander and I am doubtful that what lies at the end will be worth all of this labor. I remind myself that I have never been sent where there was not magic to be seen.
At twilight I reach my destination, such a magical time of day. Itís not quite day any longer and itís not quite night yet. At once I am awestruck and feeling unworthy of this pilgrimage. One of the elders is standing at the top of the stairs to greet me. She embraces me in a strong hug and tells me that they have waited for me for a long time. I canít take my eyes off the gleaming white building that stands before me. It sits at the top of this mountain and there is no mistaking that this place is sacred. Large trees surround the courtyard and they seem to be whispering to me as I pass. The elder leads me to a large wooden door. Upon entering I am comforted by the heat and my weariness consumes me.
The elder shows me to my rooms in which I will live during my time here. Iím not sure what is expected of me here but I feel peacefulness from this building and gentleness from this woman. The rooms are enchanting. Earth colors fill my vision and the smell of flowers fill my nose. I am immediately home. The elder informs me that she will return later to show me to dinner and tomorrow she will explain why IĎve been summoned.
I undress and lay under the fluffy blankets, falling fast asleep for some time. I am awakened by a knock at the door. I am not sure how much time has passed. I look out the window to see that it is still dark outside and a large white moon is glowing brightly in the sky. I feel as though I have always lived here. I canít seem to remember where I am from or how I came to be here. I dress quickly and answer the door. An elder is waiting for me. I follow her down the steps and through the halls. She never utters a word. Words are not needed here.
I enter the dining room and seated around the table are six women. They smile warmly at me. They introduce themselves only as The Council. I sit at the end of the table and food is passed. To me, it seems to be the best food I have ever eaten. After the meal they question me about my life, what I have done with it and what I feel is important. They seem pleased with my answers. It seems as if I have known these people all my life. After some time, I am led back to my rooms They have explained that the sessions will begin in the morning when I awaken.
An elder leads me back to my rooms and I still gaze around in awe of all the beauty that surrounds me. I feel as if this is a dream although it seems too real. Upon entering my room, I realize that I hear water running. There are candles burning everywhere and the bubbles in the giant tub are inviting after my long climb up the steep stairs. I undress once again and soak in the hot water. I finish get out of the tub, dry myself off and crawl into the cozy bed where I sleep, dreamless, for hours.
I awaken early. The sun shining through the window is just rising above the mountains in the east. The view from my room is amazing. The day is clear and I can see for miles. I hear a knock at the door so I wrap my robe around me and open it. Outside, on a tray, is breakfast, just as opulent as dinner the previous night. I eat my breakfast and get ready to start my day. I am anxious about what their plans are for me.
I donít have to wait long. As I am enjoying my quiet time, once again a knock sounds at my door. I open it this time to see the six women in white robes standing before me. I gently close my door and join them. They lead me far from my rooms, in a different direction from the previous night. After some time we are outside and the air is crisp and cold. There is a thin layer of snow on the ground. We follow a path for a while until we come to a small building, this one older than the first. It is built under a cliff overhang and tree roots are entangled in the roof. It is obvious to me that this building is very old.
In the center of the room are a table and two chairs. On the table are quills and bottles of ink. There is also a pile of paper that appears to be parchment. What is it they expect me to write? I have no thoughts that I would need to put to paper. One of the elder women lights a fire in the hearth and the room begins to warm. I take a seat at the table and stare into the flames. The wise ones inform me that this is my study and I am to write whatever comes to my mind in the coming months. I donít question them. One of them throws something into the fire and it sends a sweet fragrance into the air. My head is swirling and I donít realize that they have left.
Everyday is the same. Sometimes the elders bring people to see me and to question me. They ask me for advice. There is something magical here and I have almost filled all the paper. The elders seem happy with me. I hope I have not disappointed them. They seem to hold me in the greatest respect. I feel as if they are waiting for me to say something monumental.
After a few months of being here, I am led from my rooms one last time. This time I am led back to the dining area where I eat my breakfast alone. I have been here many times for dinner but I have never taken the time to notice my surroundings. The floors and the walls are made of the finest wood that gleams in the firelight. The walls are lined with shelves and the shelves are filled with books. The hearth is enormous and it blazes on high to chase away the cold. The candles burning above my head and in the middle of the table give the room an atmosphere of warmth and coziness.
Not long after I finish breakfast, the six women enter and are seated. They are all smiling at me and I take this as a good sign. They inform me that I have done my job well and it is time for me to leave. They also tell me that when I am an elder I will return and take my seat at the table. They tell me that I will know when it is time that a messenger will be sent for me.
I return to my rooms and prepare to leave this mysterious place. I donít want to go and my thoughts are filled with what the future holds. I try to remember what I wrote on that stack of parchment paper, it was enough to fill a book. They tell me not to worry, that all will be revealed, as it should, in time. I sit on the edge of the bed and I look out the window. Perched on a branch is the great white owl, which I recognize now as my messenger. I send a silent message of my own to him, thanking him for his time and telling him that I look forward to seeing him again in the future. That I will be ready, for I have nothing to fear from this place.
An elder soon comes to take me back the way I came. I stand at the top of those beautiful, ancient stairs and say my farewell. I miss the world below, but I am not anxious to return. I wrap my cloak tightly around me to fight off the chill in the air and start to descend. I think back to the day I stood at the bottom and looked up. I remember wondering if what lay at the top would be worth this long climb. I can say now that I have learned that there is nothing to fear. I feel I am not alone and I glance over my shoulder. There is my messenger, barely distinguishable against the white snow. I know he has always been there and always will be.
Heíll be right there beside me when I am summoned to return to this path through the clouds.
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