By Helen Hill
Once upon a time there was a spirit guide and a sojourner. The sojourner tried to find her way for many years. She was lost deep in the forest of darkness. The spirit guide’s purpose was to help sojourners understand and navigate their forests until they could find their own path out into the meadowlands.
The sojourner had struggled with the forest to no avail. But one day, the sojourner happened upon an idea, an idea born from desperation and fear – to find a spirit guide who might be willing to help. She had heard of such things, but had never seen such a creation. The sojourner looked around the forest and saw nothing. Finally, the sojourner looked up into the canopy of the forest. What seemed like good fortune to her in spotting a spirit guide was the result of her willingness to open her heart and look up for perspective rather than down at the trodden and muddled paths she had circled time and time again.
The spirit guide and sojourner travelled many long miles together through the forest. It was not an easy alliance. Deeper and deeper into the forest they went. At times the sojourner would try to flee, but she would inevitably be drawn back to the spirit guide who stood waiting on the path for her. The darkness seemed insurmountable. Yet the spirit guide and the sojourner persevered, knowing that there was no other way to escape the forest except by discovering the forest.
Many days and years passed. There were times for laughter and tears, rants and raves, hugs and love, fear and disaster. The sojourner could not comprehend how difficult and long was the journey. Never had she imagined such an arduous trek.
At times the sojourner would share her fantasies with the spirit guide, as she grew to love her spirit guide and wished her spirit guide to be with her forever. The sweetest victories came in the face of what seemed insurmountable disasters. The cliffs and chasms had their truths and charm, as well as their very real life-threatening dangers.
As the spirit guide walked with the sojourner, they both made it to the heart of the dark forest.
A strange thing happened as they entered the heart of the forest; the sojourner did not die as she had feared, in that darkest of dark places. The spirit guide held her hand tightly as she experienced the onslaught of howling winds, swirling darkness, and cries of inconsolable anguish and pain.
The sojourner curled up into a little ball and cried and cried and cried as she was pelted with dust, stones, and dead branches. With each passing tear that dropped from her eye onto the path of what could never be, the storm lessened, the howling ceased, and the swirling darkness gave way to fingers of sunlight piercing through the canopy. The spirit guide watched, perhaps surprised herself, and at what had just transpired. Though the spirit guide had seen such happen before, it was a rare occurrence and one of the most sacred moments in life.
The spirit guide helped the sojourner to her feet. The heart of the forest had changed. It had given way to a beautiful meadow where once stood the dark center of the forest. The meadow rose from the ashes of that most dark place. The spirit guide and sojourner stood together, at the edge of the forest, in wonderment at the meadow taking shape.
The sojourner entered the meadow – full of gentle breezes, sunny skies, gorgeous flowers, and life of all shapes and sizes and varieties. She motioned for her spirit guide to come. Alas, the spirit guide could not leave the forest. This meadow was meant only for the sojourner.
The spirit guide motioned back toward the forest. It was her place as a spirit guide to help other sojourners find their way. That is her life and her joy. It was enough for her to help other sojourners find their meadows; meadows that are only found at the heart of each sojourner’s dark forest.
My spirit guide smiled as she looked at back at me. I was in the meadow of what can be, rather than in the dark forest of what could never be. I survived and thrived because my spirit guide held my hand as we traversed the dark forest which held the greatest secret of all: the meadow of my heart.
As the years have passed, as I have enjoyed being in my meadow, this sojourner has learned more and more to understand and appreciate the forest. She has become aware that the forest no longer holds terror in her thoughts. Indeed, the meadow would not exist if not for the forest. It is a balance of nature. One exists because of the other. Neither could exist on their own.
I venture into forests more often now. I’ve even become something of a spirit guide myself. There is really no map in or out of the forests. In fact, there are many different forests out there of all shapes and sizes. Each forest is unique for each sojourner. It is a wondrous, spiritual, and cathartic experience for both the sojourner and the spirit guide.
There is no one method to get to the meadow. The surest way to get there is to be open to what is in your heart, and to be willing to have a spirit guide as you travel together through the forest when you cannot see your own path along the journey.
Love and honor to spirit guides everywhere and those sojourners who take them on their journeys.