A single tear of sadness drops from above, kissing her cheek and pulling her from a lite and troubled sleep. She rises up and casts off her garments of longing and despair, then, warmed by duty and devotion to the path of truth ~ a mantle older than what is or will ever be again ~ she wraps herself in a gown of simple cloth, a stark contrast to the unearthly beauty of the emerald trees and turf surrounding her and listens to the fretful murmurs of Mystic Infants, as they abate their course through the bewildering night.
Called by an unrelenting purpose, and the deep anguish within her heart, she steps onto the trail of Mist leading to the top of her phantom island, this paradise of promise, putting aside her dream quest, even as she must put aside her desire ~ for Ever.
She steps across grains of sand brilliantly lit by an assemblage of Galaxies from beyond the darkness like layered diamonds, the stalled Spheres in the sky ~ the Moon and the Sun ~ detached, distant cousins in the Universe. They draw back, confused by the mournful lament and watch as the stars gather above to ease the pain of this Mighty Warrior.
But she must not linger. The echo of need calls, urging her to the top ~ high into the open temple when the unbodied keepers of knowledge and wisdom call out and wait. Step after step she moves on, accompanied by shame and regret, for she knows why the rhythm of Order seeks chaos over harmony.
And she alone is to blame ~ responsible for the confused seas, the wandering tides, the crowded skies that were never meant to share the Eve and the Morn at the same time.
From the beginning, the followers had looked to her for the fulfillment of the Purpose, the glory of the Promise. And she failed them; the weak, the elderly, but most of all, the lost children, thinking only of her own desires, selfishly putting aside her duty as she waits ~ for Ever.
The shadows of knowledge and truth draw her to them with a silent offer of understanding and acceptance for they know she has been wisely chosen for her task. They look into her heart and see her soul. And this is good.
No words of condemnation are needed for like the giant trees in the forest who stand firm and give shelter from the wind and rain to the weary traveler, she too will bend, not break, under this burden passed to her.
Life redefined, desire stored away, an oath is given. Never again will she fail to hear the terror of a lost child crying out in the night so afraid of a world void of love ~ the fear of being alone and forgotten. She will address the ails of the elders and strive to right their wrongs ~ the evil and madness ~ paving the way, riding with the van in preparation of the Voyage of Justice.
The keepers of all Truth and Light gaze toward the heavens and unshackle time. The Moon and the Sun embrace, then ease back, each claiming an opposite piece of the sky. The Galaxies beyond our Order move on, seeking their own far-off Kingdom, just as the tides sweep forth to caress the glittering shores once again.
And as the stars dance joyfully in the sky, the River of Hope flows into the Warrior and she is born again, renewed by love and trust. To all the Immortal souls, the yet unborn ~ to man who would love a woman ~ she offers her silent promise.
To the long-loved boundaries of this place, this isle of Peace, alone by the woods and the streams, she will keep her promised, even as she waits . . .. Always . . .for Ever.