They came to dance with the stones. Drums found the unheard rhythm of the mother beat, opening the sacred veins. Above, ravens circled the moon, full behind a mist that would soon part. Even the children were unafraid. Perhaps even more so than their elders, for they were closer to the thinning veil. The air, stirring the tide into spring, was cool, but the fires burned with heat.
They arranged themselves by order of birth. Those closest to the womb found the center and those nearest death, the edges, but the dance wove them together. Feet weaving the grid of the hidden lines, as the energy rose into the opening. And with it rose their song and the mist, which parted upon the sigh of the wind. One last breath and all was silent as night unveiled the path to the stars.
Time collapsed into dimension and space revealed no separation as one tiny hand reached through the veil to welcome them all home.
Her spirit lingered above the water to watch it carry the remains of her body back to the Great Mother. Along the banks her people drummed to the rhythm of Earth and she could feel their love soar into the currents of the wind. She waited with them, in silent reverence to feel the pulse of the flow one more time between the lands of the living and the lands of the dead.
High above, nine ravens circled her beloved stones. She felt their presence and a pull of longing to sit once again in the place of the Seer. One by one they had left their gifts in the small hollow of her stone. Three black feathers and a turquoise stone. Now they soared in watch. Sealing the magic she had left behind. Below, a ring of white flowers lay like stars upon the trodden ground.
She had known death would bring peace, but she could not know how much she would long to return. Her body, already breaking apart to the elements as the water carried it home, was no longer hers. Yet she knew the stones held her secrets for those who would travel to them through the pull of the heart. Here they would sit, as she had done so many times, leaning against the stone to feel the circle. Some would close their eyes to see. Their bodies finding the pulse inside the rock would hear her voice. And, when they left, she would go with them through her beloved land.
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.