Mapping the Stars (Earthbound #5)

(To read the story from the beginning, visit Earthbound’s index page here, or click here for part 1, I Dream of Things Far Away…)

I was not given long to ponder the merit of changes one could only feel and sense rather than know and understand, or to question the stillness that had come in the night.

Dawn broke with a ferocity I had never before experienced, and the forest came to life with alarming speed.  The world was waking, and yet I felt like I was dreaming, lost in between worlds.  All around me was brought into sharp focus but at the same time my perception was muted.  Acceptance of what was offered no insight into what was unfolding.

As I looked up into, through and beyond the tree canopy above, the strange pattern of brightness that filtered through leaf and branch reminded me of the night sky…may be it was the combination of the dark and light together, which called to mind the endless blackness and the tiny beacons of starlight.

It was the perfect balance between earth and sky, an harmonious joining that set my mind to contemplation, for what I saw was more than an expression of the earth’s fecundity and the strength of the sun.  It was a map.  A star map, made of sunlight and green foliage.

Already exhausted and overwhelmed by all that was and yet wasn’t, I struggled to grasp this latest revelation: there were clues in the earth that would show me the way to the stars.

Invisible Changes (Earthbound #4)

To visit the Earthbound index page and learn more about this story, please click here.

I waited all night but to no avail. As the sun came up, lightening the sky and chasing away the night I knew something had changed though I couldn’t tell what.

It was a feeling, deep within me but also so far beyond me that it would be impossible to gage the distance in time and space. For whatever it was, was both before and after, both new and old. Like a friend I never had but had always known. A lesson just learned but knowledge I had always possessed.

The very notion was baffling.  How could it be?  And more importantly, how did I know that it was true?

I sighed as I came to the conclusion that I would never find the answers I sought.  As each step I took, another set of questions manifested whilst revealing nothing.

My chest tightened.  A lone tear ran down my cheek.  Was this to be my fate, then?  Was life supposed to go on, much as it always had?  Voices in the darkness?  Shadows in the night?  Riddles from the moon and stars?

After all, there was no friend here to guide me, to hold my hand and tell me everything would be all right.  I was alone.  And no knowledge that I possessed could possibly make sense of what was going on, in and around me.

Where was the wisdom in invisible changes?  And why had the incessant whispering that had plagued my dreams suddenly stopped?

Darkness and Light (Earthbound #3)

To visit the Earthbound index page and learn more about this story, please click here.

As I waited, I felt like I was standing on the edge of a precipice, on the cusp between knowing and not knowing. What if they answered? What if they didn’t?

Time moved on.  Nothing interrupted the peace of the clearing.  Eventually I lay down on the damp grass and stared up at the night sky, gazing longingly at the silver moon and studying the stars…all the time wondering how they had captured my imagination, my conscious and subconscious self, pondering the enchantment I had fallen under.

It was the stars that drew my attention.  I tried to see beyond them, into the darkness. Somewhere out there were the answers I sought, wrapped in a white bright light waiting for me to find. But they were beyond my reach, beyond my grasp and beyond my understanding.

Silently I pleaded with the tiny twinkling beacons that filled the firmament. Just tell me something, just one little thing that will help me to make sense of the world, of the universe. Of myself…

But things are never as they seem, and questions once asked cannot be unasked, even if you no longer desire the answer. They have been released into ether, given over to a higher power and so are beyond the control of the one asking them.

Sometimes it is better to let confusion reign, for the price of clarity can seem absurd. And knowing can be just as difficult to live with as forever remaining in the dark.