The Transformation

Kathryn Murdock 


Copyright 1998 by Kathryn Murdock

Photo of a dandelion seed head or `clock'  (c) 2004 by Richard Loller.
Photo of a dandelion seed head or `clock' (c) 2004 by Richard Loller.

Rhynna stepped one foot in place on the sand and looking up saw the fether through which she must pass to gain entrance to the garden. It gleamed a gentle gray, luminous in the soft light, and she was not afraid.

She had gone so far and did not know how much farther her journey would be. She had been so tired; now it was with a light heart and step that she approached the portal. Astonishingly, as Rhynna neared the gray rock a radiance grew, and within its heart she saw on her left the face and form of a beautiful woman, on the right the good face and appearance of a man.

"Is this Paradise?" The figures were quiet, shimmering, fading away. Rhynna stepped through the portal and was in an immense landscape which, while pleasant and calm, was quite empty. Continuing forward, though there was no path, Rhynna moved with calmness. Looking about her she was puzzled by the lack of any discernible features, and yet it all seemed familiar and strange at one and the same time. Feeling something brush her foot, she looked down. Small white flowers suspended delicately from long stems were springing to life all around her. Looking up she saw another of the dusky portals in middle distance and as she approached it saw the sun and moon on the right and left.

"Is this Paradise?"

Again there was quiet. Nothing gave her an answer. A movement and there was a sere, roundly thin creature suspended from the top of the fether, who seemed about to answer her. Rhynna, desiring her answer from the portal itself, turned, continuing on her way. Wherever she stepped flowers sprang up, cobalt blue, emerald greens too deep to look into, reds of every hue, immense, nodding heads with petals the color of sun, luxurious green of leaves nearly hidden by petals of violets, blues, purples, and all the shades of these. These blooms were unlike any she had ever seen. A riot of color and scents which she could barely remember. They blew softly across her face, and she dreamed of love and seemed to hear music that she had heard in another land, long ago.

Desiring to go on, to go forward, she found her way obscured. A thin, diaphanous veil woven of dreams moved gently as the winds of chance fell to soft folds around her. Freed from the earth, flowers falling up into the blueness all around, Rhynna once more lifted her eyes to the horizon seeing another portal now distant, now near. With this sight in her eyes Rhynna experienced a joy and longing such as she had never known. Haltingly she started toward the portal while on all sides grasses of many hues, flowers like rainbows sprang into being growing higher as Rhynna took each delicate step.

The melody, at first faint, increased until it seemed to be coming from each flower, each of the grasses, so the very earth glowed with sound. Rhynna felt carried along on crests of water-colored harmony that filled her with delight.

Looking about her she thought the portal as far distant as it was when first she saw it. "How can this be? I have come so far."

The air shifted, became filled with silvered light. Rhynna looked about her seeing nothing. The light filled her eyes and mind. The silver mistiness cleared and Rhynna saw a fantastically hued bird sitting atop a large flower. The bird was unlike anything she had ever seen. Long and short feathers of colors never before seen all blending into one another. Shining atop a sleek head, a crest was cascading down its back and flowing over the flowers and onto the ground forming another pool of colors, purples royal and shy, greens of emeralds, limes and rice, golds of sunsets and dawns, jewel blues, blacks so deep they contained all the other colors, striped with white that shone iridescent This phantasmagoric bird seemed to be waiting for her to speak. "Is this paradise? Will I find that which I seek?"

There was no answer, but a humming filled the air and the bird began to move faster and faster, swirling and spinning so fast that Rhynna could not see the bird at all, only colors now separate now one faster and faster until the air pulsed with all the colors - gently feathers fell around her, painting her with colors and softly caressing her hair and face, tumbling about her, covering her feet.

Now Rhynna could once again see the portal. Her steps were now firm and sure. The path became steeper and clothed in green. She was filled with a wild nameless longing to reach the portal, sure in herself that here was the absolute entry to her dreams. Casting a look backwards to see the beautiful country she had traversed, she saw that it was emptied of all that she had thought.

Closer now Rhynna could see the portal clothed in ivory and green. The opening seemed to encompass the whole of this world and to subtly beckon her. Achieving this entrance was the only image she could keep. Looking back once again at the radiant country, forgetting it was emptied of all she had thought, she found herself weeping bitterly, for she found she wanted to go back and could not.

The portal whispered, "What is your heart's desire?"

"To find my love and paradise."

"You have only to see. Look into your heart"

"Must I wait forever?" Now the portal was silent and Rhynna felt cold and silent. Almost imperceptibly her foot rooted in the fine soil. Her arms, silvery leaves, overall a smooth ivory covering, her head with green feathery wands waved softly in the warm breeze. A day passed, an eon and still Rhynna waited, empty of all save a terrible longing.

As Frend stepped onto the dusty plain, it turned into waving grasses of emerald, olive, turquoise, newly budded tree greens. Flowers fell from the sky, petals gleaming with reds, golds, blues, purples. Leaves striped with fiery oranges and pale mauves. As he walked over the hills his step became confident and sure. He looked eagerly about him, taking pleasure in the wondrous scene before him.

After so long wandering and enduring with little hope he felt renewed. Birds flew past, became rainbows, rainbows turned to flowers, all about him animals, flowers, grasses, and trees welcomed him. He had never thought of transformation, for he had not known love.

More and more eagerly he moved forward and stopped in wonder as he beheld the portal clothed in fabulous colors, jewels, and light. As he neared the portal seemed to move a distance, making Frend cry aloud, "No! Please stay. I need you."

In a melodious voice the portal spoke, "The time is not ready. You must look and wonder. Take it to your heart."

Frend did as he was bidden and with a wondering gasp beheld a wondrous sight! The tree, Rhynna, cast a glow over all.

Running to the marvelous tree Frend sat beneath the softly swaying leaves. All the spices of the world scented the breeze and Frend soon fell into a deep sleep. While he slept extraordinary dreams came to him, dreams of warmth and love and home.

The animals, grasses, flowers, trees, and all others came closer and song filled the air and Rhynna heard the melody and silently cried out to Frend, "Come and wake. Come and see." Rhynna felt something almost forgotten - - hope.

Slowly, slowly, Frend ascended through fathoms-deep sleep, becoming aware of exotic odors, alluring music. Rising and turning, he felt he could see, dimly, a shape in the tree. Seized with a great joy Frend embraced the slender, ivory-hued trunk of the tree which was Rhynna.

Rhynna stirred and was filled with love and rapture such as she had never known but knew that this is what she had been seeking.

Frend felt that he could be complete now and turned to the portal which had moved nearby.

"Is the time ready?" Frend asked of the portal.

"Is this whom I seek?" asked Rhynna?

"Yes" replied the portal.

Frend embraced the tree which was Rhynna. Feeling transported with love, he felt himself and Rhynna grow close. The silvery leaves, ivory bark, and soft green crown pulsed with color, then settled to a glow of quiet, many colored love. As they grew to one, a sigh of joy breathed from the tree and all that had gathered for this transformation of love.

Now everything was splendid. Each had become whole, fulfilled, complete. Rhynna and Frend had reached the true, endless transformation. The flow of enduring creation was theirs, coursing through their veins. They, as one, could go on changing eternally, becoming whatever they would. They, as one, cried, "Not alone! We are one. Out of halves we are whole. We are sun and moon. We are us, the man and woman together shining throughout the sky."

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