I go to the Wellspring. She sits golden and serene, the water of light flowing up through her and out the top of her head, falling back into itself, an endless return. She is in me, the Wellspring is, everything that flows through her, flows through me. She is showing me this. It is something I know, but don’t always remember. It is good to be reminded. She is always with me.
I lean in through the fall of water to kiss her. She hands me the golden bowl. I haven’t received the bowl from her in such a long time. I cradle it in my hands and gaze down into the brimming light. The bowl is primary. The bowl and the Wellspring both. They are the two elements that began this whole dream sequence. The bowl and the Wellspring and a small white butterfly. I think perhaps it is the bowl that is dreaming me. I lift and drink. The water of light suffuses me, shining out all over.
My little frog heart is sunning on the stone edge of the fountain. He looks up and jumps into the water. I think there is no happier sound than the plop of a frog into water.
Urs is sitting nearby in reverent contemplation, his face lifted to the Wellspring. I rest my hand on his shoulder. “Do you want to come with me?” I’m not sure where I’m going, but somewhere, somewhere. I want to be out in the woods.
“You go on without me,” he grins. Meditating by the Wellspring is recharging him. I will need him when I leave here, but for this foray, I do not.
NH is standing a little ways off. I go to him laughing. Seeing NH fuels me. Touching the deep expansive darkness of him brightens me. I let myself lean into him. “I want to give you something.” I open my hand around a small clear smooth crystal, full of light. I press it to his chest. It’s a connection between us, a direct connection, a port. No matter the distance between us, we will be able to contact each other through this little bit of brilliance. He smiles his pain-melting smile at me.
“I am beloved,” I say, remembering.
“You are beloved.”
“And you are beloved.”
He steps closer, breathes into my ear. “There are tiny bells in your hair. When you move you make music. The music feeds the flowers. Wherever you go things flourish.”
These are the words he sends me off with. This is the blessing that launches me into the woods.
I climb the steep western slope of the mountain. The trees are thick and close here, the grass sweet and long. I find the Mountain Man in a crouch, gazing into the woods. Before I can call out to him, he lifts his hand to signal quiet, stillness. I stop. I stand still watching him watch a place where a small path passes between two bushes. I do not know what he is watching for or what he hopes to learn. I watch with him to find out.
I stand so still watching that I turn into a tree. I am an aspen among aspen. My roots twine in the thin dirt, skimming and skirting rock, weaving me together with my sister trees. My trunk is tall and gleaming. My leaves love the sunlight, and flirt with the wind. And still I am watching this small patch of green in the green. The Mountain Man holds so still he turns into a rock resting in the dappled light under the trees.
When I have become tree and he has become rock and nothing but the breeze has moved in the grass for some time, a small mouse steps out from under a bush and into the path. The mouse’s cheeks are fat with the seed she carries. She stops in the path and turns her black eyes in our direction. We watch each other. And then she is gone back under the cover of the other bush and out of sight. Somewhere in the grass a snake unfurls, sensed but not seen. Again nothing moves but the wind.
And then, something big is approaching. I do not hear it, or see it. I feel it. I know it is coming. And then, there he is, a stag with a full celebration of antlers. He stops and regards us. “You’re not fooling anyone, you know,” he says.
“The intention is not to fool,” the Mountain Man replies, “but to show respect.”
We three breathe together a long moment before the stag responds, “Respect accepted.” turns and is gone.
The spell is broken then. I am no longer tree and he is no longer rock. I sit beside him in the grass. “I wanted to ask you about enthusiasm,” I say.
“Hm,” he says.
“I’ve been tasked with raising enthusiasm, you know. And only just the other day I realized that I can’t sustain enthusiasm. It wears me out. And then I have to get quiet and rest and build my strength back. So I don’t really know how to approach this task. I thought you might have some guidance for me.”
“This is enthusiasm,” he says. “This quiet focused attention. It doesn’t have to be loud. It can fuel you.”
“Being a tree counts as enthusiasm?”
“Being a tree counts.”
“This is very good news. Thank you.”
“Glad to help.”
I leave the Mountain Man contemplating the green and head back to the Wellspring to say my goodbyes. NH sings me over, “There is starlight in your hair, it rings like tiny bells. The music feeds the flowers. Wherever you go, life flourishes.”
Not a bad way to start the day.