The weather outside is beautiful, and the sun is warm, where it permeates the trees. I miss the sun, so before I go about my business, I find a break in the trees, and I stand with my eyes closed, face turned up to it to absorb the light. The sun shines hot, heating my entire being. I stay this way for several minutes, letting the sun feed my heart until it’s full.
When I open my eyes, I see the stag standing where he stood on the night I arrived. I realize this is no coincidence. The stag has come to guide me to IEO. He will also guide me to food while the eagle protects the cave and Amber within it.
IEO is as warm and comforting to me as the cave is to Amber. I spend several minutes in his embrace before he continues with my instructions. “Amber will have things to do while you are with me today to keep her occupied. She will find flowers and natural items to place throughout the cave. All of these items will be made available to her without ever leaving her sanctuary. While finding the ‘gifts,’ she will not wonder how they arrived. It will seem like unpacking boxes she expected to be there. She will not question their arrival because she will find joy working with them. She will not want to challenge them because she feels safe here, and she understands what can happen when the boat is rocked. For now, we will feed the trivial tasks she craves. She will spend her day like a Saturday morning in springtime when everything seems possible while you prepare to face her darkest enemy.”
I nod, feeling a dark cloud gathering above my head. Her curse is now my curse.
IEO disregards my fear. I can feel his faith in me as he continues, “Today is not the only day she will remain in the cave. She will not go beyond the falls for the rest of our Journey. Stepping outside of the cave would be like stepping back into her old life. Confusion will crash down upon her. I have food for you to take.”
We don’t need food here the way we do “on Earth.” It is another way to feed her healing medicines and bring her familiar comforts.
“Everything we do is about creating a safe space for her, a place to provide healing. Small things make huge differences. She must think of this place as her new home, her new life. It must offer enough distraction to release her energy from the life she left behind, or she will not want to continue the journey. This new life will distract her from what she thought was her place in protecting the family.
“Through the tasks, we are helping her forget for a while, so she can let go. We must not forget, this is not the ‘True Amber.’ This expression of her will not know her family again, in her new life. It is an alter-ego created by Amber when she needed strength to achieve a task she believed she must complete. It is for you to heal this alter-ego and then returned it to the ‘True Amber’ so she can be integrated. For now, this alter-ego must forget she has a family or any responsibilities, so she can heal herself and develop a desire to be whole again.”
I nod. I understand what it means to build more faith in our future than in our history. It requires our full attention. The familiar patterns of who we were are strong. Amber must release her identity as savior and believe her family will be safe without her. It’s a big ask, but if we focus on the endpoint and not the process we will take to get there, it is doable.
“As you return, you will be the new distraction. Tomorrow, you must transfer her focus from the cave to you. Saving you will help her to save herself.”
I think maybe the reverse is true as well, “How do we begin.”
Smiling at my confidence, IEO moves further down the path, “Come. We have much to do before the light leaves the sky.”