A Novel by Sophie Nougué. Part 5
As we passed, my mind was lightening. I wasn’t thinking about anything. The colors seemed even brighter than the day before. Each plant appears to be so brightly green that it seemed to have been glossed with encaustic. As for the birdsong, they were so numerous and varied, that it was impossible for me to count them, much less identify them. Birds, animals, trees each expressed his joy to be there, it resonated from all sides. No false notes. From time to time a song took over. The soloist whistled his repertoire with such force that he seemed to surprise his fellows. All froze, admiringly, and then everything started again.
The miracle of this score that no one ever wrote was that it was endless, night and day, it sounded. One song stopped, another appeared immediately. The forest was overflowing with life, love, beauty, not for a moment, in no place did the ugly or the evil have their place. A light gust of wind was enough to trigger a discussion. The branches of the trees touched each other and life rustled. They greeted each other, told each other stories, bursts of laughter resounded. We were not alone lost in a thousand-year-old forest, thousands of us gathered in an enchanted forest.
Yellow, too, hummed a melodese that I felt I knew without being really sure I had heard it before. He walked in front of me, he did not walk away as he had done the day before. From time to time, I could see him picking flowers and putting them in his bag. It’s for the bath, he told me, the spring likes flowers. I thought he was beautiful. The attitude, the gestures of this little man touched me deeply. He reminded me of my paternal grandmother. Memories were coming back. She also took me into the woods behind her farm when I was a kid. She, too, was picking as a walker. I remember the herbal teas and cataplasms she was developing. She had this same empirical knowledge, she understood the secrets that plants transmit to those who have eyes looking, eyes of the heart. Whatever the continents, the genes, the color of the skin, the men and women connected with the vibrancy of the world carry within them the sheer force of the matrix. As we progressed, I measured the chance, the privilege of being in the energy of sacred bonds. Beyond the consciences, a higher order and benefactor watched over us.
Every sound, every perfume, every powerful smell of flowers, earth or wood deeply nourished every particle of my body. The forest had remained in me, it had infused, patiently distilling its nourishing nectar. I was happy, carried by the happiness and gratitude of the moment. I didn’t stumble anymore, I didn’t have to look where I put my feet, they were sure of themselves and walked me with amazing ease. With a smile on my face, amazed by the sheer beauty of this preserved nature, I lived the life I had always dreamed of. I was at that point when Yellow stopped pointing to a hole in the trees.
– The source is there! We’re going to get some rest, I’ll explain how to prepare the leaves and then you’re going to go alone.
I couldn’t take my eyes off his face. He said that with a smile. Continue alone to the source. His face was soft and confident. I was moved without daring to tell him.
– To the ritual of bathing in the source of origins, you will do it alone. Keep the leaves and flowers with you! Did you see how I did it yesterday? Today, you do with your own gestures. The bath of origins is that of integrity. Detaching oneself from everything, purifying the mind, receiving peace. All night long, the spring will take care of you. The spirits are there too, they are waiting for you. More will come. You will listen to what they have to say to you and you will take the bath. From now on your family is that of the spirits, all the spirits of the forest, of the earth, of water, of animals, of the air. It’s all Spirit. Tomorrow morning when the ritual is over, I’ll come and meet you at the source.