Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Healing

"Karrkk!" the raven called again from overhead in the dark recesses of the tree cover. She looked up but could not make out the shape of her black guardian angel, for gaurdian angel is what this bird had become. She somehow sensed which way it had flown and she followed. Every few yards the bird settled and waited for her. On she went guided by the the harsh yet friendly voice, "Karrkk - karrkk!" Come on, this way! it seemed to say. It wasn't absolutely pitch black. Some starlight filtered through the overhead canopy and the forest interior had a faint phosphorescent glow which gave a vision of sorts. But she still had to pick her way through undergrowth. Tangled bramble thorns are a bit less forgiving to bare feet than soft moss. But on she went in blind faith. "Karrkk - karrkk, KARRKK!!" her guide insisted. Weakened, beaten and bloodied she had nothing left to lose. Only death remained and right now that wasn't an unattractive option. She began to believe this was to be her fate. Being led by a raven, traditionally the harbinger of death itself but is also a guardian of the wildnerness. She could only go on, following the insisted call, "Karrkk - karrkk!"

Then she found herself at the avenue of trees, the far end of which could be seen the faint glow of the fire where January sat. The raven's call this time was answered by a low, "Mmrrowwwlll!" she look down. The wildcat she saw last time she passed this way. It backed into the undergrowth and let her pass. She walked, or rather, staggered, exhausted along the avenue. A grey light filtered through, the precursor of dawn. She could now see the raven flying ahead of her. Its very flapping of its wings seemed to beckon her forward. She emerged into the clearing as a bright copper dawn coloured the sky to her right.
She stumbled into the circle of sleeping forms and collapsed at January's feet and sobbed fitfully as she rested her head in his lap. There was little need for him to ask what had happened. Her blood-stained clothing said it all. She was frozen and near to death. Indeed he could sense she was on the verge of giving up.

"She must not die," he said aloud to himself. The raven flew off with a loud flapping of wings, "Karrkk!"
"Thank you", January faintly whispered but his voice sounded more like the echo of the raven. He stood up gathering the frozen bundle in his arms and laid her beside the fire. Then taking his staff poked a small hole in the ashes on the edge near the girl. At once a gentle heat radiated into her frozen form. The girl moved and curled up as if going to sleep. January stood over her, she needs help, he thought to himself then called across the fire to the crouched figure on the opposite side of the circle, "Sister June, I need your help."
June stirred herself and looked around a little bemused. Why had she been summoned? It is full winter. It is not yet her time. January would not have called if the need was not urgent. She rose and gathered her cloak tightly about her. She may be the queen of warm summer but now it was frosty winter. She walked round to where January stood. She saw the girl.
"She needs help," June agreed.
"Take the staff," January offered, "you know what to do."
Without a word, she took the staff and walked over to the edge of the clearing and there stroked the grass with the staff. She knelt down and breathed on the grass. Instantly the frost melted under her breath and a variety of herbs sprang up. She lowered her cowl and let her golden hair fall down her back as she gathered the herbs. Bright summer radiated from her very being. She returned to the sleeping girl.
The ground where the herbs had grown was once again frozen like a stone.
But now June knelt down and started to gently peel back the girls clothing. Her touch melted the snow and was thus was she able to bathe the girl's wounds and wash away the caked and dried blood. She applied the herbs as only the queen of summer knew. She could feel the girl relax into a gentle sleep. June's work was done. She handed the staff back to January and returned to her place, there to sleep out the rest of winter and spring.
January wept. His tears made the grip of winter relent a little and the snow gave way to a gentle rain. He held his cloak over the girl to protect her.

She slept and dreamt of warmer days to come.

to be continued....


Thumbelina said...

It's good she finds friends in her unforgiving world.
Love the pictures too. Of course, I always did like daddy's pictures of the forest. ;0)

Now, later on tonight, I will be sitting comfortably again...

Thumbelina said...

PS Have a good day, oh septugenarian you! ;0) xxx