Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Secrets from the Underground

Secrets from the Underground - Image courtesy of Dorena-WM

We never knew who they were but the creatures of the underground always gave us the answers we sought but only if we cared enough to ask and listen.

They did not always answer promptly; we had to follow a few strict rules and no exceptions were entertained. 
First, you couldn’t ask a question unless you have tried hard enough to answer it either yourself or with the aid of family and friends. 
Second, you couldn’t share the secrets you were told with anybody else. Cross your heart and hope to die. 
Third, you dared not ask a question unless you were prepared to receive and face the truth for an answer. 

Talking to them came in handy when as children we played hide-and-seek. Whenever I had a tough time as a seeker, I’d simply go put my ear against the trumpet and ask in my mind where the other children had concealed themselves. But only after a long, arduous search. And it almost always turned out that most of them had gone back home, having given up hopes of ever being found by me.

I once asked the creatures of the underground what I would be when I grew up. A princess or a magician? A queen or a witch? They said I would be a Keeper of Secrets and Mysteries, which at the time sounded delightful and exotic enough to keep me happy. 

I run an apothecary these days but a few of my customers come every now and then to pour their deepest sorrows and darkest fears into little decanters that I then bury in the woods. And they leave a little happier, their souls unfettered from the secrets that had haunted them for so long.

I now ask the creatures more obtuse questions, the whys and wherefores of life. They still haven’t answered me though. I wonder if it is because I haven’t tried hard enough to answer these myself. Or am I not prepared to face the truth?

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