There was once a charming little village. Its people were quaint and quiet, full of peace and goodwill. They had remained undisturbed for centuries, carrying out their lives within the traditions of their ancestors. Their horizon was of rich fields of grain and lush plains of flowers, of forests welcoming and safe pixeled by wild berries and soft mushrooms, and of river valleys leading to great mountains shrouded in thick mist.
Occasionally, some of the people would wander off: young lovers in search of an adventure would take a walk through the plains and grasses, village herbalists looking to replenish their stock would take a stroll through the forest, and old men seeking the peace of a hermit’s life would go out to meditate in the mountains. Even so, none of them ever stayed for long, and all of them always found the eerie village a worthy home to return to.
Always, until now. Something unexpected happened, an occurrence curious and elusive, an anomaly that drew the people’s attention. The faint of heart it frightened, spurring them to spurn and spread myths. The dull of mind it left unimpressed, going still and solemn about their trades’ routines. Only the bold and brave, the courageous few, dared venture towards the source, to seek it out in person, to see it up-close, and understand it by their own experience.
Indeed, a worthy object of curiosity it was: a great pillar of light, stretching from the foot of the earth to the cap of the skies, that shone a brilliant honey-golden radiance, far in the distance, embracing the horizon like a sainted aura, and flowing down the plains, engulfing the forests and the mountains, like a misty rain of hallowed sun-rays. It inspired the artisans to make sculptures of it, the painters to draw pictures of it, the poets to write rhymes of it, the bards to tell tales of it, and the musicians to compose songs of it. Everywhere, it became part of the village culture, and many people wondered of its secrets.
And so they went, one by one – solitary backpack travelers, or well-equipped expedition groups –, the few of interest. The first few days, the people were curious and enthused, expectant to hear the revelations this mystery held. Yet as the days turned into weeks, they started doubting whether the pillar was a herald of blessings, or an omen of curses. And as the weeks turned into months, their fear banished their curiosity, and their sorrow deadened their enthusiasm. Within a year, no one in the village dared to even mention the pillar anymore, and everybody tried to pretend it wasn’t even there; depicting it in any way became forbidden, and anyone who dared even mention it was shunned by the whole village.
And so, no one wondered about the great pillar of light, and no one sought to know its message anymore. No one painted it, or pointed it out. Nobody, but one: a kind young woman with an artist’s eye. She could not help but be intrigued, fascinated, and awed by the light. She felt its tremor, its mystery, its magic within herself. She could not contain her desire to answer it, her longing to approach it, her hope to know it. Her paintings felt incomplete without it, and in each stroke of her brush she caught glimpses of it. Many times she attempted to capture it, yet she realized she could not do so unless she let herself be captured by it first. Braving the warnings of the village, she left behind the comfort of her home, and went forth in search of her heart’s calling.
On her journey towards the light, she noticed the rich variety of plants, of shapes, textures, scents and colors innumerate. With her heart joyous, her senses were heightened, and the fields unraveled their richness of flavors and hues she had never before noticed. Their shapes were varied beyond any of her memories, except those of the herb-infused stories told by the village shaman. Their scents took on a space-like depth, and she could see and locate them by their fragrance alone. Their colors lit up into otherworldly nuances, filling her artist heart and brush with joy.
She sung merrily, with sweetness in her voice as in her heart, and stopped only to commemorate a particularly enchanting moment with a sketch in her drawing-book. She smiled with unparalleled delight as the sunflowers were blooming in unmatched light, like honeycomb-beacons in the honey-golden day.
After reached the forest, as she gorged on fresh fruit of the bushes, she was awe-struck witnessing the creatures of the forest play with each other. The wolves had befriended the deer and the fox the rabbit, all playing tag with each other gently, then embracing each other fondly. With a loving gaze they welcomed her, and with a serene gesture of their eyes invited her to follow them to their home. In their nests, where wise birds and cute squirrels talked to each other in a common song, she found some of the lost villagers, who had made the forest their home, and the creatures their friends. In small, hand-built large bird-nests, or in caves or hollowed tree-trunks cleaned and lined with soft grass they now dwelt, choosing the bask in the peace of the forest, and accept and return the kindness of its creatures, rather than return to their busy, abrasive fellow villagers.
She was delightful to learn that her fellow villagers were not only safe and sound, but joyous and at peace as well. She thought of going back to the village, to let her relatives know of their loved ones fate, yet she decided to wait until she had more news to tell, and could find all of the villagers believed lost. She thought of staying in the forest, making a life for herself among true friends, forever in truth and love, yet she wanted to see more, she wanted to be able to tell more, she wanted to draw closer to the source of this miracle. Manned by her curiosity, she thanked the creatures, the villagers and the trees for their hospitality, and bid them farewell.
Threading onward, she immersed herself in the areas thicker with the light’s ethereal touch. There she witnessed oases of waters that took the shape of whatever touched them, moving stalagmites of earth that darted out towards the skies, patches of forest tall as mountains, with old trees that seemed to sing ever so slowly, flowers of radiant magnificence glowing brilliantly, like the founts of rainbows that stretched across the tree-peaks, birds surrounded by a a warm, loving, golden-silver aureole, whose passage quickened time and the growth of plants below them, creatures blending shapes, scents and sounds of different animals and plants together, like the legends of old spoke of chimeras, yet as in a harmonious, beautiful melody, one wondrous to behold, spheres of liquid light that changed their inner shape, like skies made of billions of stars ever merging and shifting color, giving birth to dreamlike celestial landscapes within them, carrying strings of memories, their time-frames fusing together in a swirling whirlwind of pure thought.
Rarely now, she saw a villager who chose to take this slice of heaven as his home, staring into the spheres, taking flight with the birds, listening to the music of the trees, and playing with his constructs on the water. As pulling as it was, of a joy and beauty almost irresistible, her curiosity drove her even farther, and as she went for the very center of the light, she no longer noticed any villager that had gone farther than that enchanted grove.
As soon as she stepped beyond it, into the mists of thick, pure light that surrounded the great pillar, she felt something she thought surely no other human heart could have ever felt. The light seemed connected to her heart, to every heart within its domain. Here, every feeling, every motion, every sensation of the heart of every creature, was reflected and refracted within the heart of every other. Sight was emotion, scent was emotion, touch was emotion, all was emotion, and all emotion was hers. Each step she made sent waves throughout the light, and the light sent waves back onto her heart. Things unrelated before became related, scents distant were now mixed together, the carvings of winds were the chorus of one life, and she breathed with them all one breath, all shaped as one reflexion of the great light.
As she walked, slowly, into the pillar itself, the light fused into her, and she fused into the light, her heart felt the heart of life itself, beating to the tune of a love that is more than love, and she had now fulfilled her search: she was now everything, and everywhere, feeling everything, loving everything, giving birth to everything; she was now a creator: a Goddess of love.