DREAM OF THE ASHWALKER
In a blue-green oasis,
on a world made by a river
that never quite reaches the sea…
The man steps into the warm afternoon waters. The dry ash that adorns his body begins to melt from his skin. The man steps deeper and looks at his ashy reflection, cast upon the lacquer of the river, a moment of vertigo ~ as his dry self ~ meets the smile of his wet ghost self.
Naked of his ashy flesh, the man stretches long like a newborn out into the abyss, reaching for the next handful of river, swimming with long, rhythmic strides.
In a thicket of reeds, near a bloom of tall papyrus, where the beginning of the water lilies lay heavy upon the river’s edge, a great Hippo emerges and snorts a heavy breath; as her calm eternal eyes reveal a knowing look…
To the man, the Hippo is a good omen.
A little mother of the world and sacred guardian of the waters of life. The man is blessed to have the divine creature meet him so calm, for he knows, her kind are more dangerous than lions.
The man swims on through the waters, to a secluded area that legends tell ~ is the birthplace of the moon. Here amidst the darting of dragonflies, the man finds a wet field of sacred medicine flowers.
By day their blooms look like beautiful white lotuses, but at night rather than folding up as many lotuses do; these awesome flowers will stay in bloom ~ and under the light of a full moon ~ glow just as bright!
Of all the sacred flowers, there is only one flower that invites the man’s touch. Reverently, he reaches to take hold of the inviting blossom, and then snaps the long crisp neck ~ releasing the flower from its’ eternal stand.
Then, pressing his lips upon the severed lotus’s supple stem; the man begins his languid swim back the way he came…
Swimming once more near the thicket of reeds, where the papyrus grows tall, and the water lilies lay heavy upon the water’s edge; but the great Hippo has disappeared. The man has no doubt, with the setting of the sun, the great Hippo has the dead of the river to tend to, and so the man makes his way alone.
With the lotus still held by the press of his lips across the severed stem; the man makes his way to shore ~ then kneeling down upon the pebbly sands, the man digs with his naked hands a small hole. Next, cupping handfuls of the river, he then fills the hole; and bending his face down to the held waters ~ at last, he releases the lotus to float for the night.
Though the night will be warm, it is the man’s ritual to make a fire. He gathers the bones of dried wood, and with knowing ways, he kindles the fire and watches the sun set.
To be continued…