I close my eyes and travel into the Journey, seeking the place of my past lives. I send my intention out: show my the life I lived previously to this one.
I notice the snow on the ground, snow all around me. I am walking on thick banks of it, high along the cliff of a mountain, aiming for the summit. IT is bitterly cold, and I hug myself further into my almost-black robes. My horse is walking beside me, its warm breath making great plumes in the air. It is a tall beast, black and sturdy, my bags and other things strapped behind my saddle.
Ahead of my are a line of people walking beside their horses too, and as I glance behind me, the line continues there also.
I am a man, tall and lanky, dark hair upon my head. I have a memory of a monkish tonsure shaved into the top of my head, but I know it my hair has long since grown out. I am suddenly climbing into the saddle, some excitement urging me forward, faster than this line can go. My horse canters as well as it an in the snow as we move ahead of the line. I feel there is a building ahead – my home – and I am eager to get there.
Then a dark grey-stoned castle, blanketed in snow, rises before me, and I am so relieved to be here, knowing that I can rest and be warm.
The horses hooves start to sound on stone, as I pass into the castle, through the great stone entryway opening into a rectangular courtyard. There are a few people about, moving about their duties. A young, thin boy runs out to me as I climb of my horse. I start to pull my bags off the horse as he takes the reins of the horse. Already my mind is finished with the ride, the horse the courtyard, as I strike out across the courtyard towards a stairwell.
I am taking the stones two at a time, my bags thrown over my shoulder. On the second level, I seek out another staircase, going up to the battlements (?) of the castle, looking out at the snowy valley below. I feel a deep bleakness within my heart about all this snow. Many, many months it will be like this, and each winter I question whether my heart will last through another one.
Now I am heading back down the stairs, and onto that first-level landing. The landing/hallway goes all the way around the square courtyard, and I can see other doorways across the way. But I am heading forward only a few steps, and I am at my door, pushing it open and moving inside.
It is a large enough room – there is my bed and furs against the large glass window, with chairs near an unlit fireplace. There is a large desk with bookshelves nearby, and immediately I go here. Maps are strewn on the surface, a particularly large one on top. My heart quickens at the sight of it – ah, my passion for maps! IT is the curiosity of other lands, other places that can be so easily drawn, and intellectually known and names, yet not visited.
Another man, younger than I, is entering the room and closing the door behind him. I feel I am in my mid-30’s, and he would be in his early 20s. He sits down beside me at the desk and we look at the map together, him asking me questions about my journey. Then my hand reaching out to his hand, my fingers weaving through his fingers. I feel a tension fall away from me as I touch his like this. And I am looking at our intertwines fingers, too enraptured and maybe a little afraid to look at his face.
Then the scene is changing, and I am striding back down the landing. At the end I enter a large room – my father is here. He is older though still strong, with a proud, rotund chest. He would easily stand over 6 feet, and is a strong warrior. His hair has become pale in recent years, and in its coarseness it has also thinned, so it like a runaway halo about his head, nearing his shoulders. Though he has never said it to me, and would never do so for his love for me, I am not the son he hoped for. I am scholar, and though I am a match for his wits, I never wanted to match his strength of arms. But this is ok – there is a cousin who takes care of the martial needs of our family. In his old age, my father is learning contentment for what is.
He is sitting beside a huge, almost floor-to-ceiling window. This room is at the back of the castle, and offers a majestic view of the snowy valley. A fireplace is burning somewhere in the room, and it creates warmth and comfort. I sit down in a chair near my father, and together, we take in the view of winter in our homeland.
A male servant is then coming into the room with a tray of food, and as he sets it upon a round table in the centre of the room, my father and I move over to it as he begins to ask me about my journey. Before I begin to eat, I bow my head reverently and gently make the sign of the cross over my body, my eyes closed and head bowed. Then I am reaching out to serve the food as our conversation continues.
The scene changes again, and it is now night. I am in my bed, conscious of the moon rising in the sky, so bright through my large window. The young man from earlier is beside me, and my arm is under him while his dark, curly hair lies against my shoulder. There is such stillness in me now. A recognition of who and what I am and can be, that has come with age. The disappointment of a father in his only son has long since faded into the past, and as I lay with this young man in my arms, I feel content. Though my father does not approve, he loves me too much to make an issue of my choices, and it simply becomes something we do not speak about. We have both, my father and I, found softening in our hearts for the other, understandings that can only come through age and the weariness of conflict.