Most saw it as a the remains of a tree covered in moss and simply passed it by without a second thought or glance. Others saw it as something more, and those were the ones it watched. Two faces, one above and one below, with a breadth of life in between. Those that linger the longest hold the most memories, and the Way-stone had been there for centuries, cataloging each movement of the grass and the many feet that had pressed down the green to feel the touch of Earth’s body. The Way-stone had seen trees come and go; an entire forest felled for man before roots pushed their way to light once again, as all life will do. Those men had seen the stone and thought it curious. There was one, though, who stopped each day and lingered with his axe in hand, waiting for the others to pass by unaware.
The Way-stone watched him. Noticing his pause of understanding. The way his eyes saw through the green to the life it hid, and how his heart fluttered through memories of a forgotten time. Each day the two faces in the stone watched and wondered if the man would pause just long enough in his daily routine of felling the trees around him. If he would sit, perhaps, or stand near enough to be beckoned.
There are two directions one can go, and an infinity of possibilities in between. So it’s written on the Way-stone’s visage. The man with the axe sometimes looked to the sky and saw the blue expanse and wondered what was above the reach of his eyes. More often, though, he looked below. He seemed to see those penetrating eyes that watched him and studied each action and reaction. He seemed to know he was a guardian to the path held deep inside where most dare not venture, thinking the surface was all there was or could possibly be.
Then, one day, the man with the axe stopped. The others had gone home and the blue above had deepened to indigo. The first stars had broken the veil of darkness and the man with the axe, who had no one to wait for him, drew close to the tree-like stone covered in moss. He laid the axe nearby and sat upon the cool ground. His back was turned toward the well-traveled path into town, his eyes level with the the green eyes before him.
“Show me the way,” he whispered as he reached his left hand to gently touch its soft side where it broke through the ground below.
Waves of heat pulsed through his skin and the lids lowered upon his eyes. The man felt a drawing inward, experiencing a complete absence of light before the entire universe held inside opened before him and he surrendered into its embrace.
My contribution to Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt Way-Stone.