Out of the blue ashes emerged a bird; but, this was no ordinary bird. It was a phoenix. It spread its wings and flapped loudly. Looking at me, directly, it gestured to approach with an expression bordering on defiance. I hesitated, holding my breath. I was gripped with fear; and yet, I was strangely curious. Then, without forewarning, it started to approach, its webbed feet splayed on the crisp, dry earth. “What to do now?” I wondered, almost panic-stricken.
Our eyes locked. I swallowed hard, knowing that the fear of coming face to face with this creature was like none I’d ever experienced. Staring into his eyes, suddenly I was struck by the intensity of strength and inner poise that were evident there. I was captivated. His glance drew me in; and rather like Alice, I found myself disappearing down a black hole – a vortex to only God knows where. All sound was suspended. All was motionless; apart from my body, as I descended deeper and deeper into his gaze.
As I continued the free-fall into nothingness, I gradually began to experience the feeling of zero-gravity. The cool air that had previously brushed my cheeks gave way to a caressing, warm breeze, coaxing and innocent in its playfulness. I closed my eyes. I let go. I allowed myself to live the moment.
Then, all of a sudden there was ground. My feet hollowed a print in the fresh, warm grass. The sound of insects and birds enveloped me. I moved forward, with purpose now, as I followed a trail to the water’s edge.
It was clear and impassive – an expanse of mirror. I leaned over to touch, and in doing so, caught a glimpse of my own reflection. What met me there was not what I’d expected: “Who was this I saw?” From within came a small voice that whispered to me: “Come, greet your soul!”