I was there, and you were with me.
We dwelt together in the depths of forever, yet there was no time.
Never too much.
Never too little.
Never, even, enough.
Only the peace of the garden without. The silent stillness of being, within.
If our human hearts could touch the love we shared, they would surely burst.
Yet we awoke
With an emptiness unknown before.
We had always loved her, the Great Tree of Life
But we awoke to know she was different from us.
She could change.
She blossomed with flower, unfolded with leaf. She bore fruit.
Her flowers would wither, her leaves dry up and fall away. Her fruit may rot.
And yet through her seasons, one thing always changed.
And you and I, together under her boughs, found that we did not grow.
We wanted growing, like nothing else.
And we awoke within ourselves, the Serpent.
And she sighed and heaved, for her decision was heavy, and her branches drooped with the weight of it.
Yet we endured her scrutiny, and her apples fell freely into our open hands.
And thus, we came ourselves,
Naked and hand in hand
To our own Initiation.
She clad us in old gray leaves
And circled us around a great dancing bonfire
Fueled by her own blood of broken branches.
We sat together, trembling, touching.
The masters came, cloaked in the deepest black among the shadows.
Great masters, those we had once known, yet somehow had left this place, and we had forgotten them.
They now returned, like the shadows of ghosts.
So many rising up, returning.
And her soft voice echoed among her branches.
The desire for growth, for knowledge has awoken within you.
I grant it to you, yet it comes at a heavy price.
None may receive such power if ill prepared to wield it.
It would fill you, derange you and utterly destroy you, for you are babes, innocent and fragile.
Thus the journey begins.
This place will be nothing but a whimsy of the imagination,
A faded fragment of a dream,
A whisper buried beneath a thousand roaring voices.
You will be naked
And shameful of it
Because you will have forgotten.
This is the burden you must bear.
Yet we do not leave you helpless.
Go with the Trinity, the gifts of the Divine.
The Apple gives the gift of the Mind, the gateway to knowledge. It will bring you contemplation and endless vexing chatter.
The Masters give the gift of the Heart. They shall be with you always, disguised as the sleepers, the hopeless sinners, so that you may be tested and learn compassion and solitude. The Heart will bring you hope and despair.
And I, the Tree of Life, give you Will, a fire of my blood, flaming deep in your bellies. It will bring you strength and clarity. Let it be your beacon, for it is the only way Home.
A hunger raged in our bellies,
And we ate of the sweet apples resting in our hands.
And its magic began pulsing through us.
Then the animals came.
Horses and wolves and ravens and eagles and bears and owls and steeds and all manner of creatures
Snatched us from our bodies and bore us down, down, denser, deeper, thicker
There is great trial and tribulation here.
Forty days and forty nights and more.
Sometimes we sink.
Sometimes we drown.
But we are strong swimmers now, and I will not let you go.
And you will not let me go.
Somewhere our bodies still sit together, warm and bright.
Trembling and touching.
I see your face now.
I know that face.
Yes, yes! I know those eyes.
For even on Earth, we may find our homecoming.
How I love you.