Faith: For Nothing, For All

For everything in life, there is a price. The trouble is that most people pay dearly for worthless things. On the path of wisdom, we still may have to pay a lot, at various stages, but as soon as we do, we realise that nothing of any value was taken from us. Indeed, everything is given to us. There’s no better bargain.

I love the ending of Faith (Book 4 of the Waldmeer Series). For me, it encapsulates the whole human journey – the struggle to find peace within ourselves and with each other. All the struggle disappears in those moments of acceptance, trust, and love. It disappears into nothingness as if it was all totally unnecessary. Yet, without the struggle, we could not have made the choice. It is all for nothing and also all for everything.

The last useless battle;
someone will fall.
Useless but useful,
for nothing, for All.

Chapter 36: Annihilation

Although the Lowlands army was primed and ready to attack, the little group at Floating Cave Monastery did nothing – nothing out of the ordinary that is. The six members of the household – Faith, Aristotle, Odin, and the three mystics from the other Borderfirma lands – went about their day as calmly and quietly as if it was peace time. It’s not that they sat in meditation all day. They had their normal prayer and meditation times common to any monastery, however, they also gardened, cooked, and cleaned. They went shopping to the local village. They talked about minor things to the villagers and asked them about their lives. They volunteered at numerous local charities. They did normal things, but they did them with abnormal love and inclusiveness. Continue reading “Faith: For Nothing, For All”

Faith: Not on My Watch

Here is the next part of Faith (Book 4 of the Waldmeer Series).

Chapter 32: Us and Them

Every day for the week since Gabriel and Rybert left, more and more soldiers arrived from the Borderfirma territories. They camped on the Monastery hill and numerous ones beyond. As the thousands arrived, so too was the Borderfirma Lowlands army amassing on the opposite side of the land. Impending doom hung heavily beneath the sky which, regardless, remained a cheery blue with cloud puffs skipping along their carefree path.

Odin kept repeating a phrase which was dear to his heart, “Not on my watch.” Faith knew that he was reaffirming his commitment to protect Lady Faith, her family, the Borderfirma Mountains, its people, and all that he considered to be right. He was normally a force to be reckoned with but, with the added fire of danger, his intensity was not to be underestimated.

Faith had her own version of, Not on my watch, running through her mind. Continue reading “Faith: Not on My Watch”

Faith: Game of Life

Here is the next part of Faith (Book 4 of the Waldmeer Series).

Chapter 31: Coming and Going

Faith and Rybert walked to the top of a nearby hill at sunrise. This part of the Lowlands was mostly grassland. The wind was cold and unfriendly and there were few trees to minimise its sweep across the hillside. Rybert and Faith both pulled their coats tighter. The sun would warm the land a little later but its warmth was only a promise at the moment.

“I don’t want to go back to Wurt Wurt Koort,” said Rybert. “I wouldn’t have come if I wasn’t intending to stay.”

“Yes,” said Faith, “I understand that.”

She looked out over the land. Soon the entire hillside and beyond would be filled with the armies from the Borderfirma territories. Continue reading “Faith: Game of Life”

Faith: Gathering the Forces

Here is the next part of Faith (Book 4 of the Waldmeer Series).

Chapter 27: Borderfirma Battle

A year ago in the Borderfirma Mountains:
One year ago, in the Great Valley of the Borderfirma Mountains, Nina passed her hand over her flickering crystal ball. Faith watched carefully. The last time Faith had seen the crystal ball was when Nina did a reading for Bethany and told her that she would visit Earth and find her future husband. With the help of Rybert’s Aunt Charity, Bethany had discovered her internal husband on Earth. It was the realisation of her spiritual completeness. She returned to take over the running of the Borderfirma Mountains with her newfound husband in tow. Mind you, since then, Bethany had not been lacking in attention from eligible men. It was a matter of time and destiny to see who of the wonderful, young men was meant for her. Faith sometimes smiled to herself that it might not be one of “the wonderful, young men” at all. It could be anyone, of any age, with any personality, she thought. She would leave that matter to Bethany, just as she had always listened to her own heart about such things. Continue reading “Faith: Gathering the Forces”

Faith: Floating Cave

Here is the next part of Faith (Book 4 of the Waldmeer Series).

Chapter 26: Salt and Sex
In the Borderfirma Lowlands:

Floating Cave was sacred and secret. It wasn’t particularly hidden but only those who were meant to find it did so. It was a single cave within a large rock formation at the far end of Indra and her father, Peter’s, property in the Lowlands. An underground spring fed into the peaceful rock sanctuary creating a lukewarm pool. As there was no natural outlet for the water to pass through the cave, the water gradually evaporated leaving behind large reservoirs of salt and other minerals. Salt ponds are highly buoyant. In fact, it is impossible to sink in them and you have to make a concerted effort to roll over; not that you would as you would probably get salt in your eyes.

Unlike other salt lakes and ponds, the Floating Cave did not smell. Nor was it infested with brine shrimp and flies which make salt lakes unpleasant to swim in. Part of the Floating Cave’s mystery was how the water remained so clear, clean, and fresh-smelling. It was as pristine as a commercial flotation tank but it was much more beautiful and healing. Peter told Faith that he believed the monks, who had lived for centuries in the Floating Cave Monastery, extracted chlorine from the surrounding plants and that they would religiously treat the water so that it kept its purity. That sounded the most plausible explanation, except for one thing. Since Evanora had ruled the Borderfirma Lowlands, the monks had gradually disappeared until there were none of them left in the Monastery. Still, the water remained pure.

Faith stood at the entrance of Floating Cave. Gabriel stood behind her. A year had passed both in Borderfirma and Waldmeer. This was the first time Faith and Gabriel had seen each other in that time. They hadn’t spoken yet. Gabriel appeared next to the ancient bell of the Floating Cave Monastery a matter of minutes ago. The bell was a portal for interdimensional travel. It announced visitors with a ring and forewarned their departure with another.

Walking a few metres into the cave and gladly away from the early winter wind, Faith stood facing the quiet pond. Without glancing back, she began to undress; Continue reading “Faith: Floating Cave”

Faith: Husband

When the ocean comes to you as a lover, marry, at once, quickly, for God’s sake. Don’t postpone it. Existence has no better gift. Rumi

Desperation is the door of the Divine.

Chapter 21: Zen Den

In Wurt Wurt Koort:
“I need a bigger space for my Mystery School,” said Aunt Charity as she showed Bethany the room she had set up in the back of Rybert’s tearooms.

Bethany passed her hand over the bewitching glass ball which had pride of place in the middle of the round table. How similar it looks to Nina’s, she thought. It even has the same red velvet underneath and the same mysterious lights darting around inside.

“It’s one of a pair,” said Aunt Charity. “The sister crystal ball went to a woman I met in a country shop sixty-five years ago. The shop was called Zen Den.”

Nina is Charity’s age, thought Bethany. “Where did the other woman come from?” Continue reading “Faith: Husband”

Faith: Tears and Sunshine

Here is the next part of Faith (Book 4 of the Waldmeer Series).

“I feel the love, I feel the love, I feel the love that’s really real.” (Walking on Sunshine)

Chapter 18: A Thousand Years of Tears

In the Borderfirma Mountains:
Aristotle hung his legs from the top of the three-storey tree house in the palace gardens. It wasn’t the same without Malik. Tree houses are meant for sharing; sharing adventures and secrets. The last time Aristotle was in this tree house was half a year ago but in those months, many years had passed in the Borderfirma Mountains. Malik had long since outgrown the days of playing in trees. Continue reading “Faith: Tears and Sunshine”

Faith: Keep Going

Here is the next part of Faith (Book 4 of the Waldmeer Series).

“Everyone who has come to Earth,” he said, “has chosen the ego and must learn, quickly or slowly, its worthlessness and its venom.”

Chapter 16: Move

Michael, the shy sixteen-year-old boy that Malik was training, stood in the cafe line. A group of similar-aged boys came in. Michael averted his eyes and hunched his shoulders as if he was trying to hide inside himself.

“Move back, idiot,” said one of the boys. “We’re ahead of you.”

Michael was about to give his place to them when he noticed Malik sitting at a nearby table. Malik was watching intently. Michael didn’t know what to do. If he didn’t move, the boys would get angry. If he did move, he would have to face Malik next training session. The boys also noticed Malik and paused to see if the gritty, no-nonsense man was going to do anything. All he did was return to his phone so the boys returned to their former aggressive stance. Although the boys had turned their backs on Malik and could no longer see him, Michael could see him all too well. Continue reading “Faith: Keep Going”

Faith: Two Hundred Laughs

Here is the next part of Faith (Book 4 of the Waldmeer Series).

Love isn’t a spell. Not if it’s the sort of love that wakes us up. Then it’s a spell-breaker, not a spell-maker.

Chapter 14: Babycakes 

In Wurt Wurt Koort:
The end of summer was fast approaching. The shortening days signalled the need to enjoy what was left of bare feet, long grass, and bountiful sunshine. Bethany had been attending a course in the city over the last few weekends and so Faith and Aristotle had been coming to Wurt Wurt Koort to stay with Lentilly. At twelve and ten respectively, Aristotle and Lentilly had great fun together as playmates. Wurt Wurt Koort had an inexhaustible supply of natural adventure spots for children – the creek, the woods, and the old buildings of the town. There was a children’s park but that fell short of the more interesting natural playgrounds and was only used as a last resort. Visits to Rybert’s cafe were a daily highlight.

“Hello, cutenesses,” said Rybert as Faith, Aristotle, and Lentilly walked into the tearooms midmorning. “Let me guess what you want,” Rybert said to the children who loved the guessing game. They all knew Rybert wasn’t actually guessing. He really could tell what they wanted. Even though this type of thing was baby play for Borderfirmarians, the children still enjoyed the game. Continue reading “Faith: Two Hundred Laughs”

Faith: A Different Approach

Relationships cannot be arranged or organised.

Chapter 4: Warlord

After two days in Waldmeer, Malik said to his mother, “Enough lounging around. Today, I will get a job.”

“Alright,” said Faith hesitantly. “Do you have a particular sort of job in mind?” Malik had spent the first fourteen years of his life in a palace and the next ten in the Great Valley. He wasn’t overly qualified for Earth work. Aristotle, who was standing nearby, smiled. He had been on Earth long enough to realise the problem with Malik getting a job.

“I have many abilities,” said Malik. ”Someone will want me.”

Deciding not to dampen his enthusiasm, Faith refrained from giving him advice about the way things worked in Waldmeer and instead said, “Good luck. Anyone who gets you will be lucky.” Continue reading “Faith: A Different Approach”