“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Dark times are upon us. We are in a perpetual night, led ever deeper into an enchanted forest that has been sickened by evil forces. I know there is a way out of the woods, but the path is overgrown with thorny branches and ghastly shadows that shift and swell like ghosts, disorienting me. My eyes are starving for the light. I dream of better times. I imagine a golden ray of sunshine forcing its way down through the oppressive cobwebs tangled in crooked black tree limbs like the legs of an enormous wolf spider. I pray to God, but it has been too long since we last spoke, I’ve forgotten how to reach him.
There is no fantasy that will help me escape this nightmare, and I know that no one is coming to save me. I have never felt so hopeless. What is to become of me? What is to become of this world? Will we ever recover? It feels as if evil has already won. The sickness has infected so many, even the creatures of the forest have gone mad. I fear there is no turning back. I crumple upon a muddy tree stump and succumb to the sorrow in my heart. My eyes fill with tears and the forest becomes a blur.
The quiet is deafening, the darkness blinding. I am overcome with grief. There is only silence and darkness. Silence and darkness. I am so consumed by the silence and darkness that my very essence seems to dissolve into the silence and darkness. My body, my name, my past, and my future dissipate and I no longer exist.
I am the darkness. I am the silence. I am the stillness, and the stillness becomes emptiness, and the emptiness becomes a pure vessel of moonlight and starlight. Time has stood still and I am standing within it. All of my senses are heightened, and I am suddenly aware of the vibrational energy of everything around me and within me. I have become the night itself, and I have never felt so alive.
The forest is singing and pulsing with life. I can hear an owl hooting and tiny branches crunching under delicate critter feet. I take a deep breath and can taste the sweet musk of moss and soil as cool damp air fills my lungs with oxygen gifted by ancient trees. I can see even the smallest of forest dwellers, shimmering in the moonlight as they go about their evening business. A fiery red fox sneaks behind a bush and nestled in the crevice of a fallen tree lies a family of slumbering white rabbits. A stag with the most impressive antlers stops to acknowledge me before gracefully disappearing into the mist.
What once was black is awash with rich hues of dew-covered grass, burgundy and golden leaves, ridged dark chocolate tree bark, and crystalline moonlit pathways. My eyes follow the length of the towering redwood tree tops reaching so high they could kiss the moon. The sky is flush with sparkling diamond freckles. God was here this whole time, within me and all around me in the trees, the stars, and the dark night’s wind rustling through leaves like a lullaby.
I notice the most perfect fallen branch, long and twisted, and use it to climb upon a large tree stump. I stand tall like a giant. The fog in my mind has cleared, and the heaviness in my heart has lifted. I commune with the moon and offer her my gratitude for she has been keeping watch over my dreams, holding my desire like a secret until I was ready to listen. She whispers it to me now. I am finally lucid and ready to receive her message.
She illuminates a path that guides me to a glistening silver pond like a mirror. I lean in to see my reflection but I am looking at a woman whom I’ve never seen before. She is regal, ethereal, and divine. She is wearing purple robes and a headpiece of golden branches adorned with rich purple amethyst on top of a crown of silken silvery hair like threads of moonlight. A diamond pendant rests on her chest, a multifaceted reflector of light, unbreakable and brilliant. In her hand, the wooden walking stick becomes a magical staff infused with pure energy that flows into a glowing emerald point at the tip.
She is the Queen of The Night, and I am this woman. There is magic in my veins and there is divinity in my heart. I am emboldened by the power brewing within me. I know now what I must do, and there is no time to waste! I have seen the flame of hope in the darkest of nights, and I need to share this light with other souls who have lost their way. The answer is hiding in their hearts like a wick waiting to be lit.