Spiral Staircase to the Song
Dancing Culture- By Gumbootspearlz
For more of this adventure head to Unity’s Cabin
My hair and clothes had been smoked, smoked by the lady with the smoking leaves. She called on her Elders in the story place to the listening time in the story circle under the trees. Under the trees was the moonlight. In that moonlight were the guardians, the guardians of the stories of the messengers, of the stories of the breakers of the new dawn.
Guardians of different forms of knowledge gathered in the story circle. They were summoned by the smoke which wove itself into intricate circles and spirals in the air. The Spirals formed into the shape of shells, and the shells sang memories and prophecies. The lady with the smoking leaves had long white hair and wore a finely carved bone necklace. The necklace was so intricate and showed the craft of her son who had made it for her. Her son was a master carver of some repute. His story was already well known to the guardians. He was destined to be one of the heroes, a hero who would die by the sword of the ancients. I knew this because I had met one of the ancients as a small child as she bathed by a river pool on my island. She had summoned me from sleep to the river pool with a song of the shell. She had said “Look for the Spiral staircase, dream of the spiral stair case and when it’s time it will appear.” But here I was with the lady with the smoking leaves, wondering how she had made her way into the abbey.
She came from the place of the first stories, the place of the first moonlight, and she was far more ancient than all the women I had met at that first meeting. We were all to meet with her – not just me. We were all to be smoked, to find our own inner flame and wisdom. As she smoked me the spiral staircase appeared and she said in an ancient tongue “shival”… climb. So I climbed not knowing to where I climbed.
As I left the story circle I wondered if I would reach the moon- and fearing heights I looked down to see the bottom of the stair case had disappeared. I was somewhere between earth and heaven, somewhere between smoke and pool of water. I called out “where is there to climb to… I can’t see the end…” “Shival, shival” I heard coming from somewhere above.
A large dragon flew by and on it was Angel of Water, “Here jump on” she called… “But I am supposed to climb,” I replied. “Yes, that’s true but wouldn’t it be easier to fly,” “No I must climb, I must,” “Wise Girl we are a temptation, so goodbye,” and that which I thought was Angel of Water turned into a monster and vanished.
So I climbed even though I could not see steps and I felt fine threads under my feet and in my fingers. This stair case was an invisible one. “shival, shival…” It was almost too much to step on such light steps that might shatter into thin air.
Then I saw white elephant he was so enormous. I was sure it was an auspicious sign. I wondered if I should leap from the ladder and go off on that elephant, surely that would be an adventure. But no I had to continue with my mountaineering into the sky. The elephant turned into the Buddhist Nun, she bowed and she too vanished. “Well done child, keep climbing, sorry to test you.” I kept climbing not worrying about what was behind me instead moving ever closer towards the beckoning moon. She seemed to have a face, a lady in the moon, that would be sight-a lady dancing on the moon, an ancient figure with a barking owl for a friend. I was becoming light headed the further and further I climbed into the sky – and then I saw a book, perched in the sky, being brought to me in the beak of the barking owl. It dropped the book into me so suddenly I thought I would fall from the staircase- and then as I touched the book the staircase became solid again. This was such a relief, I sighed.
My sighs turned into ruby red dragon flies. A swarm of them settled around the book and grasped the book. I heard little voices, “It’s the Hidden Words come down from heaven…” I wanted to open the book but I was so frightened I would fall. “Please help me dragon flies.” I whispered in a tiny voice. The dragon flies replied, “Of course child- we will take it to the abbey for you, but you must climb a little farther on the stairs. So I climbed, I was so tired, it felt truly like days I had been climbing into thin air, through mists, up to the moon.
And now the mist cleared, and in front of me was the tree, the tree from Owl Island, but no it was not, it was actually his brother. He had dark eyes deep in his trunk. He had a nightingale perched on his branches. “Here child, you can fly back to the abbey on the song of this nightingale, this is true not false, do you trust.” I was not sure whether to trust having seen a monster disguise itself as the Angel of Water. Could I trust?
The Dragonflies might have taken the book and given it to some wizard for all I knew. Yet, as the nightingale sang I knew to trust. It’s melody was just so sweet and the high pitched tones wove around me like a guardian of my soul, like a song both ancient and modern. I knew I could trust, and as if bursting asunder from some prison I soared and soared, until I was back in the circle, covered in the smoke of the lady with the leaves, her eyes bright and her song woven with the spirit of the nightingale. She sang..”arata, arata” motioning with her hands – dig dig…
© June Perkins all rights reserved
For more of this adventure head to Unity’s Cabin