Happily, my private journey led me back to the sacred garden, and I returned to it early this morning, as the sun stretched its arms, and mist still smelled of soil. Ever true, ever immortal and faithful, the lovely gatekeeper, Raven, was upon the post to greet me as I approached.
It was not a joyful greeting as one might expect; not the reunion of two souls that had been apart for so long. No, indeed...for indeed my lovely gatekeeper has been in my heart through all my journeys near and far. She said very little as I paused and rested my hand upon the gate...which is to say, she didn't say anything at all. She looked outward to the Xanadu Forest, head tilted slightly downward.
Her lack of words nearly prepared me for what I began to see--nearly, but not quite. I saw before me a filthy, slimy, dark, and sullen garden that had been overgrown by all things that thrive through neglect. It was a garden that had lost its former majesty, nourished by tears of regrets and what-ifs. All its furnishings were gone, of course (it was quite an elaborate garden, for those unfamiliar), as were all its inhabitants, from what I could see, hear, and even feel. And I was nearly correct.
I wept, but just a little. Then just a little bit more. I also had no words, and for a moment, it felt, I had no more home. I had not the heart to go in that morning, so I curled up next to the gate, just outside, and fell into a deep sleep filled with nightmares and ghosts and messengers of despondency.
That is how the reclaiming of my sacred garden began. May it prosper once again.