‘I Can Only Be Found If I Am Lost’
Harold stands at the gate of the convent. The gate is open for him. Razija waits. She has not walked the last steps to that gate which will close on her heart.
‘I know he must do this,’ she whispers. ‘And for ever after, I shall know pain.’
The gatekeeper is tall. His movements are poetry. His long hair is the colour of the sun. He smiles and reaches out his hand to Harold. ‘You are welcome, friend. All who enter here are disciples. All who are disciples are blessed.’
Harold turns. The sun rises behind the mountains. The shadows race towards him. All seem to point his way through these gates. But it is Razija he sees. She clasps her hands to her stomach. He is aware that at last he has loved. At last he has been with woman. But it was Razija. He can seek no other.
‘Except for the Other Magus,’ he breathes.
But he cannot move. He cannot turn and enter the convent. Razija is there, caught in shadow. But her eyes burn with her sorrow. Her fragility shocks him. Her need for him consumes him, draws his thoughts from anything higher than caring for her. He longs to lie with her. He longs to talk with her. He longs to stand guard over her.
And yet the gate is open.
‘My friend,’ the gatekeeper says. ‘The Magus calls all in their time. Much has been surrendered by those who are the disciples. Why does not your friend there join you? We are men and women in here.’
‘She no longer seeks the Magus.’
‘But she seeks something. I can tell.’
The gatekeeper nods. ‘I understand. The Magus used to speak of such matters. There is what he called the ‘greater pilgrimage’. He called it so, so that none of us would forget that all are on a pilgrimage. All walk the path, each of us in our own way.’ He smiles. ‘She seeks to become a goddess.’
Harold brings his head round. He stares at the gatekeeper. ‘What do you mean?’
‘She is to be a mother. And to be a mother is to be a goddess. She will bring forth life into the world. She will nurture and care for her child as the great Mother Goddess of All cares for Her children. The Magus spoke often of this. And I can see, friend, that her love for you is deep. And yours for her also.’
‘It is true,’ Harold says.
‘Then why not forget the Magus? Why not return to that which you have gained? A woman’s love. And the love you will bestow one day as a father. Why not do that? Just a few steps, and you will be one with her. That is the sacred way.’
‘Then what way is there in this convent?’
‘The secret way.’