I open my eyes and look around the cave. I am alone, and I do not sense the self-loather returning soon, so I stand and stretch. I feel very focused and centered. I am relatively comfortable in the cave, like one waking from a long sleep. Here, at home, I am sad.
It seems to me, through this process of helping Amber and now this self-loather, I am gradually exposing my true nature. I am a bit disappointed by it. I thought, deep inside, I was either filled with rage or peace. I expected this huge explosion of pent-up anger or even a prevailing sense of peace and harmony, but I am neither. I am sad. I am sad a lot. I am disappointed by the world in general and most of the people in it, including myself. And now, when I expected a more noble response, I find I am merely sad.
I do fear allowing this sadness so I can explore why I have avoided it. I am generally a funny person. Even if I am not happy, I am naturally funny. I grew up being the class clown. I realize this is why everyone in school knew me. There are so many people I don’t remember who recognize me. Of course, they would. I was always making jokes and keeping things interesting. I did this because I feared people would not want to be around me if I was sad. I know all people are unhappy sometimes, but I think I fear the dam breaking. If I allow myself to be sad, I’m afraid I will not be able to stop.
As I allow it, I like being sad a little. It’s a relief not having to keep everything up or keep everyone entertained. I’m so tired of talking and being the lead. I need a rest and this sadness is very relaxing, compared to the places I’ve been. Given the week I’ve had, I can’t imagine I should be anywhere else right now.
Back in the cave, I am powerful and sure, and I am in perfect harmony with my surroundings. I do not doubt my choices or any move I make. I am merely a vessel. I allow Spirit to move through me, and I am at peace.
I pause for a moment to verify my next move. I then open my sage circle, and I step out. I find my bag, and I pull from it a pipe. I pray to the Great Spirit and surrender myself to His will. I return the pipe to the bag and the bag to its hiding place. I now go to the water and sprinkle it throughout the cave. I am not entirely sure of the meaning behind my action. I think the healing aspects are apparent, but I know there is more to it, something beyond me. Still, I follow the guidance without complete understanding.
After placing water in all of the places I feel guided to bless, I move to his blanket and refill his water. He will need it. Just as I return to my circle, I hear noises immerging from the tunnel. Closing the circle, I return to my stoic posture mere seconds before they enter the cavern.
Upon entering the cave, the Wizard immediately speaks, “We will begin our travels in the morning, Linda. Be rested for the Journey. It will not be short. You,” he says, pointing to the man, “you’ll sleep on the blanket. Drink plenty of water. You are slow and will need more strength. Everyone will sleep tonight. No one will move from their beds. We will begin at first light. Sleep sound.”
Like a spell cast, we sleep immediately and without interruption. Tomorrow, a new Journey begins.