Time passes, the seasons change from Spring through Summer to Winter , and the Knight's story continues towards the end .............
The Knight's Journal Part 3
The time of 'Peace' flowed along with the seasons. Seasons, which gradually moved forward from the months of 'Hope and Planting', through the season of 'Warmth and Growth', to the season of 'Cold, Death and Re-birth' where the Knight now stood. The Knight still under the effects of the 'Spell of Lethargy' had during the changing seasons met 4 female companions all of whom in some way the Knight considered to be 'special' and who joined him for a short time on the 'River of Life' upon whose placid waters he travelled along.
The first, a woman from the 'Land of Cleve' to the north whose name was 'Flores', gave the Knight deep affection for a short period of time. His love for her was intense during their brief time together, and the Knight believed with all that was within him that she was the 'one'. He vowed never to leave her side, and plans were made by them for a 'tryst', a 'joining'.
Then one day 'Flores' was afflicted with a curse visited upon her by the ogre 'Doubt'. In confusion she fled from his side and alighted at the first port along the river. Blindly, and in panic, she sailed away along another route with another, leaving the Knight in the 'Bay of Sadness and Regret'. The Knight however 'Knew' they would meet again. "Perhaps we will love again in another life?" he thought with a smile on his lips.
The second, a woman who lived near the Knight in the 'Hamlet of Trees', and whose guise was that of 'Healer', joined the Knight momentarily, but decided to stay at a distance from the Knight and was only seen from time to time.
The third companion, a woman known as 'Maid' from the land near the the banks of the 'Rivers of Rother' to the south, was to become a trusted and loving friend for a period of time. She would visit the Knight many times, but in the end she too left his side to sail away to her destiny.
The fourth and final companion, an enigma named 'Bliss' who lived across the hills in the 'Land of Gatos', drew very close at one time causing the Knight to believe that perhaps she was to stay at his side, but in the end she too chose another direction to travel, and was not to be seen again.
Then as the days in the life of the Knight entered the season of 'Warmth and Growth', the 'Healer' re-entered the Knight's life in a way that only lovers can explain. Why she had earlier chosen to remain apart from him, the Knight at that time did not know, however he was soon to find out to his cost as time passed by and the current of the river began to move into the rapids and danger.
The Knight had discovered over the last three years that the 'Protectors' had given him a gift. A gift so precious that he had never to misuse it for fear of being damned by those who cared and protected him in the next realm. Besides the gift of great insight that had saved him many times, the Knight discovered that he had been bestowed with the gift called 'The Knowing'. He 'Knew' that if he met someone who he loved deeply, that he was capable of reaching within that person to seek her soul. He would be able to touch the soul of that person with his own and when that miraculous thing occurred, he 'Knew' that if the souls blended in love and harmony then the one who must be the 'Mate of his Soul' had finally entered his life. He 'Knew' also that God had left the women from the 'Special' tribe with pure souls. One of those souls he 'Knew' would one day blend with, and be a part of his own.
During the preceding years the Knight had used this gift only once, however he now believed that it was time to do so again.
One evening in the middle of the season of 'Warmth
and Growth' the Knight used his gift and reached within 'Healer' to touch
her soul with his own .The result stunned the Knight. He found not only what
he believed to be the caress of 'Love' and 'Harmony' in the blending, but
also something else that the Knight could not understand. It was an indescribable
feeling of 'belonging', something he had not felt for a long time.
Believing he had finally met the 'Special' woman that his soul had always sought, he gave her the gifts that 'Love' 'Hope' and 'Trust' had entrusted him with and which he kept hidden deep within him. To his utter joy he felt that not only were the gifts accepted happily and gladly by 'Healer', but that gifts of a similar nature were in return given by her to him. Those gifts appeared to be gifts from 'Love', 'Fidelity', and 'Compassion' but tragically for the Knight, all this was an only an illusion spun by the 'Spell' under which he still was entranced.
'Truth' once more was called upon to visit the Knight and just as the last 'Nail of Pain' was driven deep into his soul, all his dreams of happiness with 'Healer' crumbled into dust. He found to his eternal regret that once more he had to return to fight the sisters of the dragons 'Betrayal' 'Loss' and finally 'Sorrow'.
Following the battle, again the Knight found himself in the 'Dark Room Of Pain', wounded and suffering beyond belief. In that room with 'Despair' by his side he realised that 'Trust' and 'Hope' had been 'lost' in the battle, and tears once more bathed his aching heart.
But he was not defeated. The Knight did not know the meaning of the word surrender and would die before giving up.
'Death' however looked on in amusement, and patiently waited for 'Will' to leave the Knight.
After the battle the Knight weary and very confused,
lay down and in a moment of weakness and grief asked once more for an audience
with his maker.
He could not understand how or why he had made such a mistake with the last companion and why she had wished to visit the curses from 'Hurt' and it's companions upon him. He was utterly convinced. "No!" he shouted at the top of his voice to no one, he 'Knew' that she was 'special' but was she from the 'Special' tribe, he asked himself ?
'Confusion' visited him again and caused his mind to be in turmoil. For the first time ever he questioned not only his own judgement, but worse still, he questioned 'Them'.
What the Knight did not know at the time of his rejection by 'Healer', was that this women was once from the 'Special' tribe but had been seriously and almost mortally wounded during recent battles in her life, and the 'Witch of Treachery' had cloaked her heart in cold steel. Worse still, 'Pain' 'Deception' and 'Hatred' had become her regular companions and had bestowed upon her the power to grant their curse to others. She had received such injuries to her soul that she could no longer recognise when that which she believed she sought with every fibre of her body, drew close to her.
'Love', 'Fidelity', and 'Compassion' had also
withdrawn from her side taking their gifts from her. Although 'Healer' was
indeed once 'Special' she had suffered a complete metamorphosis and was now
unable to give the gifts of 'Wonder' as with others from her tribe. She now
only had a desire to exact a terrible revenge on those who 'Love' brought
near to her. It was the desire to inflict pain and to destroy those who offered
her the gifts that only 'Love', 'Hope', and 'Trust' could bestow, things that
she so desired herself, that caused 'Healer' to inflict a terrible hurt upon
Would 'Love', 'Fidelity', and 'Compassion' ever return their gifts to her? The Knight, once the knowledge of her affliction was known to him, could only hope so.
"If only" he wondered, as he cast his mind back over the preceding months. "If only" he mused with a feeling of sadness and regret deep within him. Oh yes he had tried to help her, but in the end he had realised that only a force greater than his will and courage, a force from above, was the only thing that could save her. All he now could do was pray for her soul.
The Knight now looks once more at the Journal in his mind and in misted eyes finds it impossible to read what is written there. He had forgotten in all his recent battles and grief to look to see what God had written to help him succeed and finally be happy in his troubled life. In horror he realised as the icy chill from the breath of 'Dread' touched his soul, that he was now blind to the word of God.
'Faith', unknown to the Knight in his blindness finally left his side, taking her brother 'Belief' with her. As 'Despair' once again stood at his side, and 'Acceptance' brushed her soft lips against his bowed head.
Just as tragically, and still under the influence of the 'Spell of Lethargy', the Knight had now become totally blind to all those things that could easily destroy him on his journey down the 'River of Life'. A river whose turbulent waters he now found himself travelling over and which now joined the 'River of No Return'
Meanwhile the 'Keepers' on the 'Island of the Lost' heard all that had transpired and began to make ready a place for a new inhabitant. A home was being prepared for the Knight.
The story now continues.......
As daylight came reluctantly through the window
of his empty room, the Knight knew that the end of the year was almost upon
The deeply wounded Knight could not understand why he felt the way that he did these days. A strange sensation had entered his body these last few weeks. He could not understand what was happening, all he knew was that something unknown was within him.
The Knight felt an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness. It was as if someone who had once been part of him had departed this life. His sense of grief had been so overwhelming recently, that the Knight found tears streaming down his face on many occasions. It was if a friend had left him never to return. The Knight also noticed that his vision seemed clouded in recent times. He could not see far down the river upon which he travelled, and it was as if someone had removed the sun that shone in the sky and which during these last few years had been the beacon that had shown the way forward. He began to realise that the sense of loss was because two old friends no longer called to see him anymore, and for that the Knight wondered "why?" and felt uneasy. The terrible dawning was taking place within the Knight's soul. 'Faith' and 'Belief' were beginning to be lost to the Knight.
Through misted eyes the Knight once more looked
to the calendar on the wall. "Oh my God!" he said out loud, "It's
almost three years since the nightmare started".
He looked across the room to a mirror and looking back at him was a stranger. Gone was the happy, smiling, and carefree face. Gone were the bright eyes filled with joy and hope. Gone were .. "Yes, they are gone too" he said in a whisper as his thoughts passed over to his children.
He cast his mind back to that fateful day three years earlier.
It had commenced with thoughts full of love, and how he intended to surprise and prove his love once more to her. It ended with his world, as he knew it, being destroyed.
Oh yes he knew that it had been the 'Protectors' who had taken him on that journey towards his destiny that day, they had to take him to that place where he found his bride with another. It just had to be. He could understand why they did what they did, but the pain that seared his soul that day until it became unbearable was but a mere prick from the thorn of the rose he had once given her with all his love, compared to what was to follow. That was now almost three years ago, and as the terrible anniversary drew closer, the Knight shuddered as a feeling of dread entered his body. It was as if the cold hand of 'Death' had just reached within him and laid a hand upon his soul. Of course it was not yet the time for 'Death' to enter the stage upon whose boards the Knight now acted out the drama called life, but for the moment 'Death' just waited patiently in the wings, watching the Knight closely with a look of expectation upon his face.
Another fateful time was also approaching, and the Knight felt 'Despair' join him as the thought of being alone at that time of year entered his mind. The Season of the Holly was also only weeks away and when the brave one thought of that time once more, a tear rolled down his face and bathed his badly wounded heart in it's warmth, just as the salt burned the bleeding tissue.
The 'Protectors' during this recent period had cared for and also protected the Knight, sometimes from himself, as he abandoned the confines of his solitary life, to start to live again. The Knight was grateful for this and also the life and soul they had rescued from damnation during the 'Dark Night Of The Soul'. He looked back in his mind to the night he had placed the point of his sword against his breast and started the long fall towards 'Home' and the key to the 'Door of Return'. He remembered how an unknown hand had prevented his fall that night, and the Knight knew from where it had come.
The brave one would humbly sit and talk to the 'Protectors' most days during his times of strife. He told them of his hopes, his joy, his sorrow, his fears, and his trials. He also spoke about the companions who had hurt him, but sadly he could not hear the response. Oh yes, he knew within him that he had received help from those in the other realm to overcome his pain. He also was surprised how 'Sadness' and the dragon whose name is 'Betrayal', were removed very quickly from his presence. However, very sadly he could not hear the response from the 'Protectors'. Knowing that it was difficult for the Knight to hear their words during this time of communication, the 'Protectors' placed a thought into the Knight's mind that brought upon him the desire to return once more to ' The Hall ', a holy place to the Knight.
The Knight had been in the 'holy place', whose real name was 'The Hall of the Communicant', many times before. He did not realise that the 'Protectors' as a way of healing and teaching him many new things, had arranged all his visits to that place. It was a place that he had to enter on many occasions to heal his Spirit and find peace.
During his last visit to the 'Hall', just before the season of hope and planting, the Knight had a dream. In the dream he met someone who he knew, and yet the person was a stranger to him, who asked the Knight to seek out a messenger from the 'Protectors'. A learned man named 'The Oracle'. The Knight had visited him in the 'Blue Room of Contemplation' and had asked for guidance. At that time the Knight believed he had entered a period of calm in his life, and wanted guidance from his loved ones in the next world. However, the 'Spell of Lethargy' that had been visited upon him caused the Knight to be blind to the dangers that lay ahead. Knowing what terrible pain and anguish the Knight was to face in the coming months. The 'Protectors' through the words of 'The Oracle' asked the Knight to suspend his membership with the 'Brotherhood of Love and Communication'. They bid him to rest until the end of the season of warmth and growth. They knew what battles awaited him, and they also knew that if the Knight had continued with his membership, that he may have placed his mind, and possibly his life, in grave danger.
Now as the season of 'Cold, Death, and Re-birth begins, the Knight once more finds himself in 'The Hall'.
The Knight sighs as he withdraws from the memories
of the past, leaves his room, and within moments finds himself in the gardens.
The sky has a strange caste of grey and the air is so very quiet that it causes
the Knight to feel uneasy in it's tranquillity, a sensation he was unaccustomed
to experience. "How lovely it still all is", he thinks as he wonders
at the beauty of the place. How calm it always made him feel as each morning
and early evening he would walk across the lush grass of the lawns and send
his thoughts and thanks to God. As he walked he would thank God for all the
wonderful things that had entered his life. He would thank Him for his children,
his life, even for the companions who had drawn close to him and who had once
given him love. Even if that love was withdrawn later, he knew he still had
it from them even if but for the briefest of moments. All this he would thank
his Maker for.
As the Knight walked that day he became aware of another figure who was ahead of him. The figure was bent over and appeared to be digging near to the base of a redwood tree.
As the Knight approaches, the stranger, an old man, turns and greets the Knight with a "Good day sir", to which the Knight responds.
"Good day Gardener. You certainly start
your work early sir. It is barely moments after dawn". The old man just
smiles, turns, and lends his attention once more to the job at hand. The Knight
pauses and stands watching the old man continue with his task.
As the Knight watches, the old man bends over what appears to be a group of withering flowers and starts to carefully dig around the base of them. The Knight notices that the old man is struggling using his wooden tool and offers his sword. The old man smiles and declines the offer. "No thank you sir" smiles the old man "I must use great care when removing these plants, if I do not they will perish through mishandling them". The Knight sheathes his sword and continues to watch the man's labours. When the flowers have been loosened from their barren home, the old man lifts them from the ground. He carefully removes the dead parts, and then carries them over to a nearby area and begins to re-plant them. Perplexed, the Knight asks "Good sir, why do you remove the flowers from one part of the garden, just to re-plant them nearby?". The old man looks up with a knowing smile on his face. At that moment a strange feeling of recognition passes through the Knight's mind, but he knows that this old man did not work at the 'Hall' when he last visited, so he dismisses it and the thought passes. "Oh Sir Knight" replies the old man. "The flowers I have removed were in the shadow of the tree and were withering away through lack of sunlight". "They were overshadowed by the tree and could not receive nourishment from the rain due to the overhanging branches. If I had not removed them and re-planted them in soil where the rain could nourish them, and the sun help them to bloom and grow, they would have died". The Knight thanks the old man for the explanation and continues on his way, with the words from the old man still in his mind.
Moments pass, and as the Knight makes his way along the path, a thought of recognition once again enters his mind. "Why did the old man look so familiar?" he asks himself. The Knight stops walking and deciding to return and ask the old man where they may have met before, turns and looks in the direction from where he had just departed. He suddenly stops. Just moments ago he had left the old man tending the flowers and now there was no one in sight. "Strange" he thinks. The Knight immediately returns to the area from where he had just left the old man and looks in all directions. "It can't be", he thinks. "He could not have walked away without still being in sight". Thinking that the old man must have wandered off into the shrubbery nearby, the Knight with a shrug of his shoulders carries on with his walk returning to the 'Hall' a few minutes later.
He approaches the main door to the 'Hall', reaches out to the turn the handle shaped as a face to open the door, and suddenly as if a bolt of thunder from the sky had hit him, a dawning came upon him.
He knew why the old man was so familiar, he was the one who had come to him in 'that dream'. He also knew why the old man had done and said the things he had. The Knight realised that God had just spoken to him through the old man. God had reminded him, that like the flowers, when the Knight was in the shadows and was at the end of that phase on his life, it was God who gently took him out of the dark place and put him once more into the light. It was God who had removed the bad memories and hurt, as if they were the dead parts of a plant that would stunt it's growth. It was God's tears that had nourished the Knight as the rain does the flower, and it was God's light that like the sun had caused the Knight to grow and move on with his life. "Yes" thought the Knight, "I do remember now. Thank you Father, thank you". Suddenly the Knight sees that the sun had begun to shine again and that strangely his vision now seemed clearer than it had done for so very long. The Knight smiles to himself, knowing what had just happened to him, and steps forward to enter the 'Hall'.
To be concluded very soon
(c) Keith Wilkinson --- 21st.December 2002