I am walking down a dry, gray dusty path, hands in pockets, kicking a vagrant stone. I am at a lost. To have Knowing, but no knowledge in how to use it. Nor any knowledge in how to set myself in the midst of such Knowing, so as to incorporate it in the here, now, in this life, in this place, with these People. Should I just wait for opportunities to bloom before me, and then pick the fresh fruit of its tree? Should I wait, patiently, never knowing what for? Should I be satisfied with the Knowing of Knowing -- what is that??
There is a Gate before me... a white picket fence gate... a little worn, the hinges a little rusty. I open it and it leads to an orchard - late fall, I suspect. It is an apple orchard, I think, or pear. The trees are gnarly grayish-white. No. There. I see the fruit - they are pears. And I realize I am back in the pear orchard from whence I picked a pear for my Wizardry class. The sun is peeking through the clouds, again, and bringing a golden glow to the fruit yet to be harvested... almost investing the whole orchard with that golden aura of warm energy. It seems to be late afternoon. I walk quietly, although the leaves crackle at my feet, crisp with the chill autumn air. The sun is warm on my back. The gentlest of breezes brushes past my ear, whispering of coming Change. Soon I spy a cottage at the far end of the orchard. It is small, with a thatched roof, wooden door, two small windows, and a chimney funneling light wisps of smoke.
As I prepare to knock, a voice calls through the window, "Just come in, lad."
I look at myself and realize that, indeed, I am that. I am a bit unsettled, but push the door open and walk in.
"A bit astonished, are we?"
I turn and look in the direction of the voice. It belongs to an older woman, somewhat plump, carrying a tea pot.
"Come on. Come on. Sit down. Tea is hot, you know?"
I sit, while she pours tea.
"Now, then, what's all the fuss?"
"And don't 'ma'am' me, either. Yes, fuss. Here you are all full of yourself, all shamanizing and journeying every which way, and still lost. And then frustrated by all accounts."
"Well, yeah, I...."
"Drink your tea. Sip, boy, sip."
"Well, it just seems I got all the Knowing and go all these places and it don't seem like as to be making any difference, see?"
"You ain't changed none?"
"Well, yeah, but so?"
"You just wait, lad. Times a-coming that it'll all come in handy."
"Well, beggin' your pardon, ma'am, but it doesn't be happening where I am."
She smacked my hand.
"No 'ma'am's, remember?"
"Yes'm; I mean, 'Yes, my Lady'".
"Oooh, now, that does fetch my ear. You do have a way with words."
I took another sip of tea, hoping she would say more.
"You enjoying your experiences?"
"You learning from them?"
"Meeting people of the kind you never thought to?"
"Well, yes and no. I mean, it seems to me that I'm ready to have like conscious awareness of such physical encounters and stuff."
"Oh, do you...?"
She raised her white bushy eyebrows at my last comment. And the cottage became very quiet. I sipped my tea. It was still hot, strangely, and the milk and sugar in it were beginning to cause me to get drowsy. Then, of course, panicked thoughts raced through my head of being poisoned by some storytale witch, but I got a hold of myself. I did tend to be a bit nihilistic when all was said and done. I just never paid my thoughts no mind, and kept going until I was proved wrong.
"You are a strange one, for sure," she whispered.
"Oh, you know you are. Spirit must have its own reasons for walking with you. Nevertheless, that's the Truth of it. Not mine for asking. Anyway. So, you think you're ready for conscious awareness of these things and experiences in your Knowing?"
"Yes", I replied, tenuously and yet determined to move up and onward, wherever that my lead, whatever that may mean. Got to keep going.
"Then, so it shall be. Now, go put your cup in the sink. Rinse it out. That's a good lad. Oh, and thank you for refilling mine. Go out the back door, though. Yes, that's it. Nice to have met you."
I opened the back door and stepped out. Before me lay a grand vista of forested hills, and a small trail leading through them. As I began walking, I realized that I had a rucksack filled with bread, cheeses, and pears... and a leather skin full of water. It was mid-morning and mid-summer by the feel. The sky was clear, and I was heading west. How strange was that!
I turned around, and saw only forested hills behind me. No cottage. "Okay," I said to myself. "Let's see where this goes." And off I went - not a lad any longer, but back to myself, as I know me.