Lady of the Keys

When I was a boy, the little girl in white came to me.  She said she was my sister, but I knew that she wasn’t.  We left the house together early in the morning like two intrepid explorers.  “I’ll take you to see her,” she whispered, “the wise woman.”

Behind the house was a disused farm.  The crops were long gone, but a tangled cornucopia of plant life had claimed the ground.  The field was engulfed with a soupy, white mist.  I could scarcely see my feet, but I followed the little girl into the brush.

She led me for awhile, giggling with joyful anticipation.  She seemed to trot faster and faster, but I managed to keep up.  Then — did she evaporate into the mist or run so fast that I lost sight of her?  I found myself alone in the field.

Except I wasn’t alone.  Through the mist, I could see the woman.  Her robes were as white as the mist itself, and she almost seemed at one with it.

Then she raised her eyes and met my gaze.  The morning sky seemed to shatter, revealing a deep canopy of blackness above us.  Those eyes were as deep as the charcoal sky.

The strength in my legs abandoned me, and I swooned backward onto the wild ground.  I could feel sticks and briars beneath me, and the mist began to cover me like a blanket.  I couldn’t move a muscle, but I retained my ability to see.  The strange woman approached and slowly bent over me, her hair dancing above me like the arms of a mobile.

She reached into a fold in her robes and produced a small metallic object.  With pale, delicate fingers, she placed the object gently — even lovingly — onto my sweaty forehead.

It was a key.

I awoke suddenly in my own bed.  There were no sticks on my skin nor dirt on my feet to prove that the strange journey had taken place.  But I did sense that the experience was important, and that was enough for me to treat it as real.

I had gained a nascent understanding of the power and potency of imaginal forms.  I knew somehow that they connect us to a level of consciousness beyond forms.

I had been given a key, you see.