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Don't Come Back

Farkas tried to keep the little flower alive but it was not going well. He wanted to settle into life at the garden but he was restless and distracted.

“I am not feeling well,” the little flower, Amira, said softly one evening.

“You are so strong,” said Farkas looking worried. “Make yourself well again,” he commanded as if such a thing could be commanded.

“When I am a flower,” Amira explained, “I am reliant on those who care for me. I cannot change that. I think you should go to the Homeland for a while. It is autumn here and we will all survive without you for the coming months.”

When Farkas arrived at the Homeland, he was sent to the Vastandamine Forest and told to rest there. He went but could not rest. He knew, all too well, the talent of this forest. It would bring into one’s experience whatever most needed healing. No one ever wanted to come here, yet, everyone knew its benefit. Sure enough, before long, he had a visitor. It was his last Earth father. The likeness was uncomfortably obvious. Neither said anything. Farkas glared at his father. After a week of occasional appearances, Farkas’s temper got the better of him.

“What the hell are you doing here? Do you think I want to see you?” His eyes narrowed and grew dark, “If so, you are dead wrong.” His father looked neither apologetic nor offended. Nor did he look like he was going. “You never showed the slightest interest in us. F#ck off and don’t come back.” Upon his father’s departure, Farkas felt a sense of victory but, also, a strange disappointment. Couldn’t he, at least, explain himself? Better still, say sorry. For God’s sake, say sorry.

One evening, as Farkas walked by the river, he saw his father’s reflection in the water. I told him to go. Farkas swung around, insults ready. Nobody was there but the reflection still was. He looked more closely and was shocked to see it was his own reflection. It is disturbing enough to hold a lifelong grudge against another person. It is much worse to realise that the person is oneself. The grip of anger was loosening and sorrow was taking its place. Farkas felt warm tears. He had never cried about his father. He had cried many times for himself but rarely about himself. That would have been too confronting.

A woman appeared and spoke assuringly to him as if none of this mattered. “I am Milyaket, the Keeper of the Forest. Your time with us is done, Farkas. Come with me, please.” Disliking the forest intensely, he followed her. Farkas had nothing to say that was worth saying and so he let Milyaket’s soothing voice continue its rhythmic speech. “We know that you are in pain. We will help you get rid of it as soon as it is allowable. You cannot see it now but your pain is saving you from making worse mistakes. Be assured that your Earth father loves you and you love him. How could it be otherwise? You both chose each other. That is the greatest compliment. When people die, all these Earth disagreements are forgotten in favour of love. You blame others to save attacking yourself. Neither is necessary. You are not as you think and nor is anyone else.”

Farkas could not help but soften to Milyaket. She was so calm, peaceful, and good. He saw none of himself in her. That helped. He wanted to keep his forest discovery a secret. Besides, he did not even understand what it all meant. Milyaket spoke as if she was a consented part of his thought-conversation.

“Anything that is held in secret cannot be healed, Farkas. The light cannot reach that which is locked away in the dark.” Together they reached a large, open room. Farkas could see very little in the room but Milyaket acted as if there were things and people everywhere. “Farkas, the Advisors have convened and suggest that you return to Earth in human form to continue your journey,” she said. “They feel that you will make better progress with a body.”

“I love a creature that is a spirit.” It was the only time that Farkas spoke. “If I return as a human, we will be too different to connect.”

“You see the separation of life as very arbitrary at this time,” said Milyaket. “You are not alone in this assumption. You have far more connection then you are even vaguely aware of. You will not lose the love that is yours. Return now.”

The garden was asleep. It was early Winter. Farkas’s stride was sure and grounded. Dark hair, well-proportioned body, self-contained face, and eyes which were simultaneously soft and hard. It did not feel bad to be a human again. Let’s try this again.

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