Friday, October 15, 2004


the child, four

She did not hit the floor. For the tall being Mathilda caught her - caught her so swiftly that the Child had not the time to realize she was falling before there were strong arms about her, bearing her up.

'You have much healing yet to be attained. Much strength yet to be regained. To walk is yet too much for you, little one.'

Tears sprang to the Child's eyes as it sank in on her: if she could not walk, she could not go outside. Why it was that this trip outside should be so immensely important to her, she was not sure. But to suddenly find that she was not going outside after all was overwhelming.

'Why do you cry?' asked Mathilda.

'Because now I won't be able to go outside,' the Child sniffled.

'Indeed? Who told you such a thing?'

"But I can't walk...'

'And so we shall bear you outside. The freshness of the air and the warmth of the sunshine shall do you much good. Come.' And the strong arms took up the Child as if she weighed nothing at all. And out they went.

The halls were a bewildering maze to the Child as she was borne along. And then came the door - and a dazzle of light nearly as great as the one that had emanated from Mathilda - and the spectacle of tall trees and bright flowers and soft green grass. And the Child was set down gently in the lush grass as the base of a sturdy tree, surrounded by fragrant flowers.

She sat, stunned, her soul within her swelling like a sponge as she soaked in all the beauty about her. She could all but feel the strength flowing into her weakened limbs, just as the sunlight soaked into her skin. Bliss...

And so it went for the next few days. Mathilda would bear the Child out into the sunshine, where the Child would sit and grow strong, fed by the beauty of the outdoors. Soon, she felt strong enough to attempt again to stand. Soon after that, she was standing, albeit swaying. And in the next few days, gradually, the Child ventured to walk, and then to run...

And then she thought to climb the Mountain of Spices.

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