Resurrection Meditation: Following into the Dark
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree and Rising.
One of the great things about having a leisurely (by comparison) weekend is having the chance to spend a little time working on my spiritual pursuits. My meditations have been shortchanged with all the excess work recently, and Iâ€™ve found that when Iâ€™ve had time to mediate, Iâ€™ve fallen asleep instead.
Iâ€™ve tried numerous times to revisit the Underworld in the meditation I did several months ago. I never get past the initial decline and the best Iâ€™ve been able to do is pick up a torch from the wall before getting tossed back to the waking world.
This one was different, in many ways.
These meditations now begin in the same place for me and Iâ€™m just suddenly â€œthere.â€ Itâ€™s almost like playing Second Life, except that I discovered Second Life long after I found this place in my meditations.
When I â€œset downâ€ in the Enchanted Forest, I am standing, as usual, and barefoot, as usual. The fountain is behind me but within easy reach, as usual. The sunlight filters down through the thick canopy of trees, as usual.
Thatâ€™s where the â€œas usualâ€ ends.
The first thing thatâ€™s different is the ground. Always before, the leaves have crunched under my feet, but now instead of leaves, itâ€™s grass. New, and a vivid emerald green. The water in the fountain is cool, and I cup my hands in it and drink from it. It reminds me of Brianâ€™s Water of Life. I raise my cupped hand of water high above my head and let the last of it drip into my mouth and run down my elbows and under my arms to tickle me.
Iâ€™m excited. It feels like Spring here. Iâ€™ve never felt Spring here before.
I head South immediately, catching the white wildflowers between my toes as I stroll. Eventually, I come to the clearing where I first saw the entrance to the Underworld. The foliage is vividly green around it and thereâ€™s a feeling that the tunnel has been abandoned.
I stand in the doorway, note the domed roof and the dirt walls and the torches further inside. The grave dirt at my feet no longer seems slightly damp and full of tiny clods. There are wildflowers growing at the entrance and for as far along the walls as the sunshine strikes.
By the time I reach the first torchâ€”this time I donâ€™t pick it up to light the way: I simply move forward and let the light glow from the wallsâ€”I note that the tunnel has changed since my last visit. Itâ€™s no longer a straight and slight descent into the depths, warm and well-lighted and damned cozy for a prison of nine gates and torture. Thereâ€™s no straight line of sight to the dead-end. This time is different.
There are steps. I really hate steps. My knees arenâ€™t fond of them at all, especially descending them and these are extremely steep.
The steps are stone with pipe handrails built into the narrow walls. This is so unlike the tunnel before.Â As I descend the steps, they are so steep that I cannot see the tunnel ahead of me, just the ceiling of it directly in front of my face. I never bump my head but I canâ€™t tell where Iâ€™m going. I trust my feet will find the way, and Iâ€™m not at all scared.
I reach a plateau…or a reverse plateau, I suppose, since itâ€™s so far underground…and walk out into a vast darkness. The blackest of rooms. I look over my shoulder and see the light of the tunnel dim behind me and the steps leading almost straight up. In front of me is another flight of stair-steps that end in a huge room of darkness that seems more like a field or void than a room.
I step down to the lowest level of hell. Itâ€™s cool, dry, a wind whistling. No fire. No sunlight, no water, nothing fertile here. And nothing but vast darkness all around me. I see nothing, no one. But I wait. I call out.
A man steps out of the blackness and we clasp hands. My left hand is in his right as we turn back toward the dim light of the tunnel and the stairs upward. There is no lingering here, no looking back at the darkness. We ascend to the plateau. I never have to complain about the steps but maybe weâ€™re not ascending fast enough. Heâ€™s ready to get out of this place of darkness, to be in sunshine.
He picks me upâ€”not so much out of romance but out of nurturing concern for meâ€”and carries me up the steep stairs to the entrance/exit of the tunnel. Itâ€™s strange walking out in the light and I can see it almost from a more distant point of view, the light on both our faces and looking up as we step into the brilliant sunrays.
We become accustomed to the light then, and sit in the grass outside the entrance to the Underworld and picnic and laugh.
Yes, Spring is in the air and itâ€™s the time of year for resurrections.