[a continued meditation … part 1 is here.]
Suddenly I wake. I have dropped off to sleep beside the giant. He is breathing softly, at least softly for him. I find that in my sleep I have moved toward him, edging toward the warmth of his bulk, though I am a bit fearful that he might roll over on me.
I look toward his face and see that he is awake. Lying on his side, with his head propped up on one hand, he waits for me to open my eyes. He sees me look at him and smiles. “So you wake up, do you? You are ready to start our day?”
I smile back and scramble to my feet. I walk over and stoke the fire, still burning, quietly, slowly. Just barely more than glowing coals, the tiniest of flames dance in the inner chambers of the fire formed in the spaces between the logs. With very little work the fire is strong and warm. I pull up a waiting log for a seat and warm my hands and stretch the soreness out of my body. Some logs were added since last night. I wonder about that briefly, but the giant’s movements catch my attention.
The giant reaches toward the oilskin bag in which he carries his provisions. He pulls a piece of manna from the bag. It is wrapped in a cloth, which he unfolds onto a stone beside him. He breaks a corner from his large loaf and hands it to me. This act, this simple gift, seems very like communion. He shares with me this gift. We break bread, together.
He has a water-skin, too. But he is not sure just how to give me something to drink. I have no cup and this water-skin is far too big for me to lift. Finally, I cup my hands and he pours some water into them. I drink and then rinse my hands with what remains.
“Shall we go?” I ask the giant.
“Go? Why go? We are here, we are.” he replies. “Where do you want to go?”
“Yesterday you said something about taking me to a meeting….” I begin.
“That’s right, a meeting. That meeting is here. Here is where we hold the meeting.”
“Oh.” I’m really a little disappointed that we won’t be moving on. I am filled with a dancing energy from the bread and water, from the fading memory of the night’s adventure. (Was that a dream or was it real?) I pace around the clearing. I reach into my pocket and touch my lighter. “What is this meeting? Who will be coming?”
“I don’t know,” the giant replies. “They sent me to get you and bring you here. They said there was to be a meeting. They sent many to look for you, but I found you, I did, and I brought you here.”
“Who are they?” I ask. “Who sent you for me?”
“The voices on the wind,” he says.
I stop, struck cold. The voices on the wind? I rode in the pocket of this giant far from where I was, because he heard voices on the wind? I’m not so sure about this. But then I remember Aslan. He was here last night, wasn’t he? Sometimes it seems like morning makes things less clear.
I turn to the giant. “How often have you heard these voices?”
“Two times before I have heard them, I have. This time makes three.” He holds up three fingers and seems to be quite proud of himself.
“And who is coming to the meeting?” I ask.
“They didn’t say,” he shrugs his shoulders, “They just said to find you and bring you here.”
I’m a little frustrated by his satisfaction with these incomplete answers. “When is the meeting to begin?”
“Tonight I think…. or tomorrow. They will know when to begin.” He looks at me, curious that I should be so insistent on all these details.
“So what do we do till then?” I ask. I can tell my voice has a bit of an edge.
We have reached an impasse. The only one who can give me any hints about this meeting is quite content to let it happen on its own. He rises and strides off toward the stream to wash his hands.
I am left to wait, questions unanswered, trying to hold my impatience at bay. I don’t much like waiting. But sometimes that is what is required: to wait.
The difference between me and the giant, here, is that the giant seems, somehow, to trust the unfolding of experience. It’s not so much that he trusts the plan. Indeed, he seems unaware of any plan – or even of any need for one. Instead, he trusts … what? The voices? Perhaps it is that he trusts the one who calls.
I manage a wry smile. Can I trust a call, rather than a plan? I think I’ll plan to do just that …
[this soul story continues, here]
[image cropped and adjusted from photo by Ron Frazier per cc 2.0]