Thursday, July 21, 2005

Stalactites and Stalagmites

Although Heather said we waited for those who were late, after I described my door and stood before it, it seemed only seconds until it opened into the ancient Cave. A swirl of excited energy surrounded me, colorful auras, bold and bright, and I recognized them as my good friends whom I knew from other Soul Food journeys. More lights flickered on and off in muted colors, shy or uncertain about this commitment they had made. For a brief moment I was filled with compassion for the newcomers
and wanted to welcome them and calm their fears, but that, I knew was the task of l'Enchanteur.

How can I describe what I saw? I have the words, but not the breath to speak them. A huge circular cavern spread out around us, so bright it made me blink.

"This isn't at all like the Alluvial Mine!" I thought in astonishment and the aura closest to me broke into a shimmer of laughter at my foolishness.

"Pleasure Dome of Kublai Khan and Xanadu should have given you a hint, Slow Poke!"

Under different circumstances I would have enjoyed observing the auras, clustered together as tightly as preschoolers on a field trip, but my gaze was drawn from them and my joyful companion to the stone walls. Snowy white alabaster, curved like the petals of a rose, they ebbed and flowed around the cavern and contained countless examples of exquisite sculpture and cut work resembling lace. Stalactites twisted down from the domed ceiling, thick and sturdy as columns and delicate as the
tendrils of a woman's hair. The air was sweet and fresh as a meadow. Small fountains carved into the walls flowed with sparkling water. A stone table set on a stalagmite pedestal offered a mouth watering display of fruits and berries, but I soon noticed there were no chairs anywhere in the room.

Our group still clung closely together, their auras radiating distinct hues and patterns but here and there I began to discern the faint outlines of form, the curved line from shoulder to hip, a slender hand held up in awe. I wondered if this meant the grotto was accepting us or we were accepting the grotto. As I pondered this strange idea a shape approached and handed me a woven basket made of willow. I say shape because under a silken white cloth, which could hardly be called a robe,
there were no tell tale signs of a body, either male or female and although it glided easily across the floor, I could see no feet.

Baskets were approaching my companions, as well. Clearly we'd each been given a guide, and I wondered if they could see theirs any better than I could see mine. I joined everyone at the table and filled my basket with strawberries, peaches, slices of pineapple, and mangoes then followed my guide out of the entrance hall and through winding corridors to my living quarters. I cannot even tell about this now--it is too fresh in my mind and I have been too overwhelmed today to take any more in or give any
more out. Perhaps I'll write about it tomorrow as I nibble the chocolate Heather has provided.

One thing, though, I need to add. I asked to know who my guide was and the answer I received perplexed me.

"I am who you wish me to be. When you know, you will see me quite clearly."


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