I placed my sundry belongings in the saddlebags and was about to mount Freedom, when I stopped dead in my tracks. How could I possibly have forgotten that I needed to leave my doll with the Guildmistress and to bid her farewell. I took a deep breath and assured Freedom that I would soon return. I quickly ran back towards my room to seek the Guildmistress and to retrieve my doll--when lo and behold, I ran into the Guildmistress rounding the corridor turn. "It's all right", I heard a voice speak, recognizing it as belonging to her. "I am aware of all comings and goings in the castle. You moved a little too fast for me to intercept your leaving, and I am happy to see you have returned. I am also aware of your allegiance to the Great Spirit and Council. I understand that obedience and loyalty are honorable traits; however, you must know how to use your own judgement, follow your own instincts, and use your own power." As she spoke, I could see that she was holding something in her hands. It was my doll. "I found your doll in your room, lying on your bed. Surely you must have been extremely preoccupied not to have taken her with you." I looked at my doll, and I felt sad. "No matter, all is well," she said. "Let this be a lesson for you. Using your critical thinking skills and placing allegiance to yourself is first and foremost, regardless of any authority. Stand here with me for a moment" she said, as she held my hand in hers. "I bid you an eventful and safe journey. If you are ever in need of assistance, know that you can always return to the Guild or get word to me at any time if you need my council. I will care for your doll, placing her alongside her sisters, keeping her safe." With that said, she gave me her blessing and bid me safe journey. I was relieved as I made my way back to the courtyard and to Freedom.
No sound other than a soft "whinny" from this most incredibly beautiful horse imaginable was heard. He nuzzled me affectionately, as I stood near him, whispering in his ear that we would be as one on our journey together. I mounted Freedom, settling into the soft leather saddle before touching his thick wavy mane. At the start, I felt that Freedom had a kind disposition and that he was charismatic and light on his feet. His head was finely chiseled made of solid bone and dynamic vision. Soon my internal compass guided me southward from the mountains and celestial skies of High Heaven, where the Guild castle was located. The river, Bevaqua, lay below, leading to Runehaven at the Place of Power.
Slowly we traveled, enjoying the flora and fauna along the way. Crossing the mountains presented no problems. The river lines were like tabs, indented every so often in a curvilinear manner. Freedom found it easily managed as we meandered downward. He appeared to be very athletic-- his movement being powerful and elegant.
Water was plentiful, and we drank whenever thirst demanded. Trees laden with fruits and berries sustained us along the way. Beautiful birds were in abundance...some cranes and flamingoes were wading in the water; parrots were perched in their nests, others soaring in the sky. Some birds I recognized. Strange, I thought, as birds are of the Spirit, and I thought I knew all birds. Their sounds are a part of my forever knowledge, but some were new to me. Perhaps this is part of my learning?
There were many nights spent beneath the stars, and I could see the constellations above, using them to guide us to our destination. Measures of velvet black sky followed the twilight of softened light before the heavy darkness of nightfall. The woods were scented with the whisper of pine and wild flowers. Soft moss cushioned our resting places, and each morning I awoke to hundreds of butterflies sailing through the air into the sky overhead. As I lay there, on the earth, I felt so strange. A grounding I never felt before (as I am a creature of the air~space~heavens~ and used to the ether. This "grounding" was carrying me--holding me--solid beneath my earthly body of flesh and bone. So very different than what I was used to. New,and accepted.
A new mind set enveloped me as I traveled with Freedom. I gave much thought to my impulsive departure from the guild, and my obedient allegiance to the Great Spirit and Council. Was this a test of sorts? Was I supposed to, as a human, be expected to follow allegiance or to act independently? Had I lost my spirituality by not following the directions given to me by the Gryphon--or did my earthly-ness fill me with an oppositional quality that spurred these actions at the final moment? Food for thought and grist for the mill. Perhaps the Place of Power would clarify some of these questions?