Visions of their criticizing faces flew around her. The wind whipped their words in a frenzy, echoing through her mind. “Empty” “Lost” “Hypocrite” “Failure” “Not Enough” Around and around they swirled.
Her heart pounded. She could feel the goose bumps all over her skin. The wind was deafening. She feared it would push her off that precarious ledge where she stood. Lightning flashed — oh! — so close. She felt its fire touch her cold skin.
A vision of a small girl appeared beside her. Lost and alone “Ignored” “Afraid” “simple” “Plain” were the words that came to her now. The little girl did not smile. Her face was solemn and smudged. She looked abandoned and unloved. She did not cry, just stared straight ahead – watching someone or something off in the distance. She realized the girl was wearing a dirty dress and her hair was a mess. And she didn’t seem to be afraid of the flashing lightning or the wind pulling at her, threatening to let her fall from the cliff.
The Goddess stood, half smiling beside them. Her many hands seeming to caress the silvery clouds. Was the lightning coming from her hands? “What do you want from this?” her eyes seemed to say. “None of this is stronger than I. I am you. I can take all of this away. Look deep into those words. Into those faces”
She found herself peering closer, forgetting the precipice there at her feet. The words seemed to shimmer. More lightning flashed. The wind roared louder and louder. Stones fell…down…down…into the valley below as her feet pushed closer to the edge. She peered. Her breathing came quicker, deeper into her belly…She leaned…further…further.
“I am here. You will not fall.” The Goddess’ strength surrounded her, wrapping her in her arms, yet not touching her. And the girl. Where had she gone? She looked back at the words. They were now translucent. She could see far beyond them. They swirled, but slower now.
She noticed that the lightning still flashed, but now she saw its beauty. She felt music in her heart, playing to the distant beat of the thunder. Or was that her heart’s pounding? The faces faded until all she could see was the fading colors in them as the wind turned them into whispers of clouds.
The hands of the Goddess guided the wind in slow, undulating waves. Drawing the beauty of the silver clouds all around them. She realized the girl stood beside her again. Her face was upturned and smiling. In her hand was a piece of paper. In the other, a pencil. She looked up, and, smiling once more, wandered off. Meandering and noticing the path down the mountain. Sometimes she’d stop and bend to look at something. Sometimes picking something up and turning it this way and that.
She watched the girl for a few minutes. As her attention came back to the Goddess beside her – she found that the storm in front of her was filled with shimmering lights and flashes of color. A chorus of beauty and power. She stretched out her arms and realized that so much of the light was coming from her pounding chest. And still the Goddess stood beside her – the knowing smile on her lips.
Gone were the chills down her spine. She turned her face up and felt the fire of the lightning warm her skin. She breathed so deeply and realized the wind was a part of her breath. The deeper she breathed, the more it moved.
She listened to the Goddess’ unspoken words once more. “Return to this place when you have need of it. I am here. I am you. I am strength and power. Return to me and fear no more”
Her eyes closed and she was gone. The storm was gone. The mountain was gone. The girl was gone. All that remained was a smooth pebble. There, warm in her hand. Black it seemed until she looked closer and saw her own rainbow reflection.