I go to the Wellspring as a softness in the air, the blurred edge between leaf green and sky gray. She receives me with a smile. I see suddenly that she is my buddha nature. There she sits, so serene. The water of life flows through her. The wall of the fountain I have built to catch and hold the flow is not something she needs. It is for my benefit, giving me a place to submerge myself when I need to, and I often need to. I am grateful to her and to this place she provides me, this place to go.
I want to gift her to demonstrate my gratitude. I hang small clear drops from her arms and fingers, like raindrops, catching light. They hang on her like celebration.
“I’ve come to meet August,” I say.
“Make yourself ready.”
It is difficult to move quickly. Every surface I touch absorbs me a little. I sink in. It seems to be the nature of this day, all the edges blurred. I am not depleted by the merging, far from it. I am energized by the humming force in the ground. Feels like being plugged in, like being recharged.
I draw water from the fountain to wash my face. I comb my hair. My hair is full of sand and the tinkling rattle of shells and the soft bodies of small sea creatures. I dip my head into the fountain to release everything that is caught in my hair. While it is still wet, I braid it in two long braids with thin red ribbons woven in. I am ready.
I kneel and rest my forehead to the ground. I call the spirit of August to me.
August is big. Giant. Impossible to see all at once. He rests his hand on the ground before me and I climb into his palm. His hand is like a boat. I settle into the cup of it. The pace of his movement as he lifts me is unfathomable. “This isn’t going to work. The difference in scale is too huge.” I close my eyes.
August laughs, an easy sound. I’m on the ground and he’s squatting before me. He’s man-sized. A shaggy man, wearing loose clothing that flaps when he moves. “Hello, you,” he says.
“Want to see a secret?”
Of course I do. “I have been collecting secrets to string into a necklace. See?” I show him the pouch at my waist where I have been collecting the small shiny things.
“Come on then,” he says and leads me onto a narrow path through the green.
The path is narrow but well-worn. I wonder how such a well-used way could lead to something secret. What it leads to is a road. I stand in the middle of the open road, drenched in disappointment. What could possibly be secret about a road?
I hear August laughing again. He is not in the road with me, but back a few feet in the green. I return to him. “Look,” he whispers.
Through the screen of leaves I see something coming down the road. It is a bird the size of a small house. He lifts his feet and sets them down in regal nonchalance. Deep blue and green feathers cascade back from the crown of his head. His beak is curved, thick and cream colored. He is walking down the middle of the road. He is magnificent. Other birds follow, though none as large, every one is shimmering. A small tiger weaves in and out of the bird legs. It’s a parade.
I stand up to get a better look, but when I do, all I see is car traffic. When I kneel beside August I see the parade of magical beasts. “Wow.”
“I know, right?”
“It’s all different.”
“Exactly.” He beams as if I’d just won a prize.
Everything changes. Nothing is stuck fast. All you have to do to see something completely else is shift your point of view. This is what August is showing me.
“How’m I going to tell this? None of it sticks together.”
August falls down laughing at that because of course that’s the whole point. Everything shifts and changes. Always. It’s a beautiful thing.