“Spirits, grant me peace.” Niyami chanted the sacred words, seeking relief from her torment in meditation. Yet peace eluded her, her spirit guides nowhere to be found.
Had she not served faithfully? Had she not done all that was asked of her? Never once had she turned away from the work laid before her. And never had her guides abandoned her.
Yet tonight, on this night of all nights, their voices were silent, still as the air she breathed and the waters in which she bathed. This night when her world was about to change irrevocably. This night which would mark her last as their prophet.
The one future she had never been able to see was her own. Perhaps if she had, she would have fled before her father had betrothed her to the prince.
It wasn’t that Niyami didn’t want to marry. And marriage did not necessarily mean she could no longer be the voice of the spirits. But this prince lived in a distant land beyond the sea of dreams. There, she would someday be queen. But a prophet of her people? No more.
A single tear fell into the pool below, marring its perfect surface. Niyami watched the ripples it created, lapping outward from the epicenter, unremarked by any but her. As the water stilled again, she whispered, “So moves my life, a prophet whose ripples will fade, unremembered.”
Her eyes closed, first in resignation, then in increasing acceptance as her breath slowed and the peace she had tried to force came upon her. She felt the spirits stir and her heart soared. At least this one last time, she would commune with them.
“Child, you had closed your heart to that which you most desired.”
“No,” Niyami insisted, “I sought you this night.”
Niyami sensed amusement. This only came when she had missed something vital. “I failed to trust in you.”
“I stopped fighting what is, and peace found me. I am again able to hear you, at least for tonight. Tomorrow I shall wed and cross the sea.”
Again, that amusement.
“Do you believe we belong only to your tiny kingdom? Do you think us that small?”
“But the prince’s people believe in…”
“The name does not matter, child. We are everywhere. We are always with you, wherever you roam.”
Niyami’s heart opened like the lotus blossom glowing before her. She liked the prince, felt she could love him in time. Truly, she could not have asked for a better match. As she rose from the pool, peace filled her and she found space in her heart for hopeful anticipation of the life awaiting her on a distant shore.
This story took a while to percolate. I loved the image, part of a series of mystical lotus blossoms I created. The title came to me immediately. Then the image sat for a few months. Today (the day of writing), the story gelled.
I think Niyami will take her new understanding with her into a life that will be filled with love, laughter, and children—and her spirit guides.
For me this story is about letting go and trusting the universe. It’s something I’ve always struggled with, yet always sought. It’s always been a guiding principle with me that if life is a card game, we never get to be the dealer. Life deals the cards and our role is to play our cards as well as we can. That requires letting go of the illusion of control that keeps us dancing to an exhausting tune.
What about you? Are you able to let go of trying to control life? How does your approach work for you? Big questions with, I think, no single answer.
I can let go of the need to control, daily. It's a habit. Acceptance can be hard but it's all that brings peace. And there is so much that is easier to accept than other events. I don't know tomorrow so will, for now, just breathe. Peace to you, my dear friend ❤️
What about you? Are you able to let go of trying to control life?
Only mine. I don't want control of anyone's life but my own.