I could see the Universe way before I stood before it. Like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, it was bright. As I approached and knelt down, I greeted the Universe and asked how it was tonight.
“I am proud of you,” it said.
“Was that my life lesson?” I asked.
“Part of it.”
“Did I learn from it?”
“I don’t know, what do you think you learned?”
“I learned that sometimes people do things without reason and that it does not matter why they do it, they just do.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
“Was I supposed to reconcile with him?”
“You acted in a calm manner and with respect. That is why we are proud of you.”
“Was this his lesson?”
“Did he learn it?”
“No, but he will.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t do more.”
“You are still a child, you have much to learn.” Neon purples and dark neon blues are the colors of the Universe tonight.
“I suppose so.”
“Go. Your companions are waiting for you.”
The meadow is a reflection of the physical weather right now: the trees are bear, everything is set for winter to come, but it’s wet and chilly because of the rain.
I called out to Artemis and of course, she comes, saying, “I’m right here.” I cry as she embraces me, calming me down.
“I’m sorry,” I say.
“For what?” she asks. “You did well. We’re proud of you.” She ruffles my hair and kisses my head. “Your bestie is waiting for you.”
I take a couple of deep breaths before entering my meadow. I see Egret, more animated than he’s been this past year. I thank him and ask if this was what he was here to teach me.
“Most of it,” he says, extending his wings to stretch. He is also proud of what I’ve accomplished.
“Will you be leaving soon?” I ask.
“You’ll see me once more. I want to make sure you’re steady on your feet.”
I get up and do my traditional walk around, just to check that everything is alright. Kestrel is there, sitting on the other end of the log. He is smaller than both Egret and Hawk, but he is in the flesh now, fully here.
I kneel down. “Are my next guide?”
“Yes, I am,” he speaks. He has quick movements but seems… more lighthearted than Egret.
“I am delighted to do research on what you could help me with, Kestrel.”
He is pleased that I will do research and also pleased to be working with me.
I get up and call to Hawk. After a fast dive and a few circles he lands on my arm. I am overcome with joy and happiness to see him. He nuzzles me.
“I am so proud of you.” A familiar phrase by now.
“Why? The Universe, Artemis, and you are proud of me. Why?”
“Because you handled this situation very well and with dignity, respect, honor.” He gives me the feeling of ‘passing the test.’
“But I don’t feel proud or accomplished. I feel like I just lost a relationship, a connection.”
“Spiritually you did well, but you are sad because you’re physical link is gone. Do not be sad, for you did all you could to help him see. He will learn someday, this was his test, as well, and he did not open his eyes.” He gives the reassurance that all will be well with my family.
“Thank you, Hawk.”
He nuzzles me again and indicates that I should go. “Mourn, but know that you did all you could.” He follows me out the meadow, where he leaves my arm and sits on a branch. Artemis takes my hand and gives me another kiss on the head.
“Go home,” she says. And I find myself at the beginning, where I walk out the door and wake up.
It is with sadness that I loose what little contact I had with my dad tonight. I tried to be civil and respectful, but he only responded with anger and accusations. Hawk, Artemis, and the Universe all say that they are proud of me, but I don’t feel it. Maybe one day I’ll understand.