meet the Spear Maiden in the woods. It's a sunny day, but she stands in shadow.
We walk in companionable silence, enjoying nature and the calls of the birds, til we come to the edge of the wood. She leans her spear against a tree and places her hawk on a perch, and hoods him. "Otherwise, he may follow you. His place is here with me," she says. "This is the broad gate--the whole realm lies open before you. You must continue on alone for a time, free to make your own decisions and choices. We may meet again, or perhaps you will meet others of my family along the way. 'The Lord watch between me and thee, while we are absent, one from another.'"
I thank her and set off down the path of Spear Two. The valley ahead is a patchwork of fields, but there is no farmhouse in sight. As I descend the hill, I am reminded of my first days in Switzerland, and my walks through the woods above Boniswil, and through the fields of Leutwil and Dürrenasch. I enjoy a wonderful and uneventful walk through the valley, with only birds, butterflies and occasionally a mouse, for company.
eaching the other side of the valley, I enter into a park. From a distance, I thought it was more woods. But here the trees are more sparse, and the path is well-tended and carpeted with mulch. It's really lovely here, and I can imagine that nearby there must be a village, whose residents maintain and use this park for gatherings, or perhaps just a Sunday stroll. A very 'at ease' vibe here.
A man and woman emerge from behind the trees. At first, I feared I might be interrupting a romantic tryst, but they resemble each other and might be related. They are dressed neither fancily nor poorly, rather practically, and each holds a spear. I realize that they must have been observing my approach, and preparing to meet this stranger. They seem cautious. "Halt, who goes there?" the man challenges me, as they stand in the pathway.
I laugh. "Isn't that a bit cliché?" I
ask. "I'm Moonchild. Is this your private property?"
"There is no private property in this realm," the woman replies. "We live in unity here and each does what their capabilities suit them to do. We are guarding our sacred park from despoilers," she continues. "What are your intentions here?"
"My intention is to travel the width, length and height of this land; to know it and its people; to carry the knowledge in my heart in order to improve my own life and the lives of others, and to heal the earth. But, for today, I just want to enjoy the numinosity of this beautiful park."
"You choose your words well," the man says. "We will not hinder you, for we see you are a Seeker. Here is some water and a loaf of bread to sustain you. We will go for more provisions, and leave you alone to experience our outdoor cathedral."
"Take this blanket and cloak," says the woman. "It can get quite cool here under the trees. We will return in the morning. We will leave you in solitude, that perhaps the gods will speak to you in this holy place. 'Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and ye shall find.'"
They turn to leave. "Wait!" I call out. "Thank you very much for all you've done for me, and we still strangers. I'm Moonchild. What are your names?"
"I'm Peter, and this is my sister Petra."
"Pleased to meet you."
"And you also. May the gods bless your sojourn in this sacred space."
I sit in the soft grass under the trees. As I take a drink from the water bag, I realize how thirsty I am! I drink and drink and put the bag down on the grass--but look! it's still full. I eat some of the fresh-tasting bread, and put the rest down by the water--and look! it's whole again.
As I sit, I think about how nice the people I've met have been, and how much they've helped me. And I wonder how they all come to be quoting Scripture, yet still refer to 'gods,' and why it doesn't seem out of place to me. Sitting in this park, I feel the presence of God and gods, and, rather than divisiveness, I feel only blessed Unity of all things.