Here but now they're gone
Season's don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind and sun and the rain
We can be like they are
Don't Fear The Reaper..."*
'Illumination, it changes you,' I thought as I walked further into the forest. 'Everything changes you because everything is constantly changing. One thing comes, leaving the way for something to go. It's like cleaning house.'
I had not noticed that the woods had changed, and a clarity had replaced the mists. No sooner had I considered that, about some things heading out to pasture, when I came upon a fork in the road. In fact, my mind was so filled with the inner world of contemplation that I nearly walked right into... Looking up, I squinted at what I thought was possibly a dream or mirage. A figure stood, actually blocking my way. Dressed, head to toe, in a red hooded robe, even the face was hidden. In fact, there was a surreal sense that there was no face. Yet I knew this visage was looking at me. Eyes without a face? I flashed on a song from long ago, but just briefly. The drape of the robed arm was a cascade of flowing blood-red material. It? He? She? whatever, was pointing the way toward the left fork. As I stood uncomprehending, my eyes took in my surroundings. I was in a Birch forest, and the scent was earthy, but new. I could hear the sounds of a forest, all twitters, and buzzes, and ribbits and even the gurgling of a brook somewhere.
Though I could not see a hand, the other robed limb grasped what I thought might be a staff, until I saw it rising above this creature's left shoulder; a metalic and deep gray cloak marriage of pole and material. It was, in fact an immense flag, upon which sat a white rose, in full bloom, with green leaves peeking out from beneath the petals at odd angles.
A fluttering out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. A happily flitting butterfly danced just below the sleeve, heading in the same direction my 'Red Robin Hood' was recommending. Not that I had a specific destination, but I'd have just kept going straight. Still, I thought it wise to not test the waters of obstinacy and instead headed down the new trail.
Who was that red cloaked being?
I considered, that if the cloak had been black and the flag a sickle, I might have just had a close encounter with Death!
Song for Death: Don't Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult.
From the first steps of the journey, the transformation had begun. Each teacher brought me to a reflection, not so much of new information, but new perspectives on the knowledge kicking around inside my brain; different ways of viewing the world, myself, and ways in which I could manifest to a greater degree, the essential me.
Death is transformation, to the point where old layers begin to fall away, and a shining new outer being evolves from the ashes of the old, because the inner self is being nourished, attended and resides in the driver's seat of the vehicle.
My Earth Walk had become an intensive inner study, in ways I could never have imagined, though may possibly have glimpsed in those brief moments of ecstacy, in the give-away that the Sacred Dance of Life requires.