In the Garden of Time there lives a flower called Shadowflower. No one knows how she got her name. All the bees are drawn to this flower for its sweetness and the way it sends out rhythms that dance on the wind. Birds sing more deeply and more beautifully when in the presence of this flower. All the little flowers, especially one called "Bright Spirit" sit at the feet of this season old flower and love to hear the story of how she got her name.
When all is quiet in the Garden of Time and the birds have ceased singing and the bees have stopped buzzing the flower that loves its own shadow begins the story of how it got its name.
Shadowflower takes a deep breath and remembers a time that once but has gone forever but is forever returning. She looks into the faraway sky and far beyond the time when her life was not as it is now. She returns to the time when in the Garden of Time she was rootless. She returns to a time when she lay in a bed that was low and devoid of any nourishment. She lay in a bed where there was little light for most of the day, everyday. There was no feeling of opening to the sun. There was only the feeling of shaving away from the light. Shadowflower felt so sad. In her sorrow she called out to the Gardener of the Garden of Time but it seemed he did not care or could not hear.
But the Gardner of the Garden of Time is not just any Gardner. He is the Gardner who comes from beyond time. He only comes into the Garden of Time when those who call really want to come out of the shadow into the light. Otherwise there is little that he can do to add nourishment to the soil or create an opening for the sunlight. So it was that Shadowflower called and called and called. Her roots began to get dry and hard and this caused her much pain. Finally she thought that she would simply go and lie in the Sun and that would end of all her sorrow and suffering.
So one very bright day Shadowflower began to uproot herself. As she was doing this the Gardener came over and came and said, Beloved of my heart what are you doing? "Shadowflower covered her eyes." The light around the Gardener came over time seemed brighter than she had ever seen before and it stung her eyes. Shrank away.
"Who are you?" She asked defensively. She had never seen this man before. She feared that even she felt very bad that he would think she was a weed. That would have been the last straw to end up being rolled up by the roots and being thought one was something as abnoxious as a weed.
"I am the Gardener beyond Time and this is my Garden. You are one of my Beloved Creations." You have been calling me and I am here to help you in any way that you care to ask me to do so, "advised the Gardner Beyond Time.
Shadowflower wanted to say, "Well you took your time coming." She wanted to tell this Gardener beyond Time person that she had been calling and calling and that now it was too late. She wanted to say like but she resisted.
"Let me help you Beloved Creation," requested the Gardener.
This only served to irritate Shadowflower even more. "Who does he think he's calling 'Beloved Creation. I'm no creation of his. I created me all by myself with some help from the soil. I've never even seen him before." Yet Shadowflower sensed something more. It was in the sound of the voice. There was such tenderness in this voice that she forgot her pain.
"OK you want to help me do you?" Asked Shadowflower with not just a little bitterness in her voice. "If your so helpful then explain to me why I have why all this shadow around me and what I did to deserve it. I've been a good flower all my life. Pain at my roots and I do not know how I can get it to go away. " At this the flower began to weep and all the petals around her sad face began to shake up and down.
The Gardener from beyond Time remained silent until she had stopped sobbing. He left it a moment and said, "Are you sure that you want to know the reason why you are in so much shadow?"
"Of course I want to know," replied Shadowflower who was feeling that this Gardner from Beyond Time was far beyond anything she had ever met before. For one thing he appeared to listen to her in a way that no one ever quite listened to her. She appeared, despite her irritation with him drawn to share her heart that felt shrunken and unalive.
"OK then," replied the Gardener from Beyond Time. "The reason why you live in shadow is because it's the Law."
"It's the Law," Responded Shadowflower. "Is that it. Your telling me that the reason is because of the law."
The Gardner from Beyond Time replied quietly, "Yes, Beloved of Creation."
Shadowflower began to shake. "Well let me tell you that you are real good to hear. That makes me real real happy to know that its because of the Law. At least now I can rest in peace knowing that all this suffering, all this pain is all this horror is because Of the Law. Gee thanks you do not know how good you have made me feel. " This was all said with sarcasm and anger. "
When she had finished venting Shadowflower shouted, "I am not your Beloved of Creation."
The Gardener from Beyond Time remained silent. This was always the way those in shadow responded to the answer he got them. He knew that you had to let them shake up and down and go bright red and have their breathing change and their angry words be heard before you could explain them to the Law.
Shadowflower took a deep breath. Then she took another. She sat down on the ground and tucked her dry roots into the dry earth. This caused her some pain. The Gardner from Beyond Time came and touched her dry body and in an instance she felt, for one joyous moment, pain free.
Whoh, thought Shadowflower. Whoh. This feels so good. You are a real Gardner. She remembered what her mother had taught her and she said, "Thank you."
"Your welcome, Beloved of Creation." Then the Gardner from Beyond Time smiled and said, "Sorry, you asked me not to call you that."
"It's OK you can call me that if you want. You seem to think its true and to be honest I can do with someone who thinks I am the Beloved of Creation. I certainly do not feel very Beloved. Feel very lovely. " Shadowflower began to cry again but this time there felt some release in crying. This time there was crying but it did not feel painful or pain filled.
Shadowflower sat quietly and felt the soil beneath her roots. It felt good and she just wanted to be there for a while. The Gardner beyond Time sat on the ground before her and let her be. After a time Shadowflower asked, "This Law," and then she explained. She was not sure if she wanted to know more but so far the results of conversing with the Gardener beyond Time had been more than she could have hoped for.
The Gardner beyond Time let her proceed at her own pace. "This Law, she began again," Tell me more about it. "Then Shadowland`s mother popped into her head as all good girl's mothers tend to do when they are tying to assert them. Then Shadowflower said reluctantly," Please. "
"This Law is Our Law," replied the Gardner beyond time.
This only set Shadowflower off on another of her rants. "Just wait a minute," she said slowly at first. Then the rant began to gather speed, "Just you wait one God damn minute there buddy. Did I hear you right or was it a bee buzzing in my ear? Law. '
"Yes that is true, Beloved of Creation."
"OK Mr Gardener beyond Time or whoever call you yourself, just answer me this question. When was I ever consulted about this Law, you call our Law. I want to tell you I do not ever remember being consulted about any such Goddamn law And let me tell you more. I do not think very much of a Law that makes good people like me suffer for no reason. I do not think very much of a law like that at all.
Shadowflower was panting. She was up off the ground. She was now stamping her roots. Strange to say that there was no pain in the movement where previously there had been little or no movement at all. She suddenly looked down and saw what she was doing. She started to leap up and down.
"Hey look at me, I can dance," she said. And so she did. She forgot the rant about Our Law and she went dancing there and then and it seemed that a lot of shadows left her face and flew off into the light.
The Gardener from Beyond Time watched her and a soft light fell from his face. He loved the dance. He loved the dance of his creation. Nothing cave him more joy than the dance of the light that he had created in all his Beloveds.
"OK friend," Shadowflower said. "I do not know what game your playing with me but it sure feels good." I'm going to take a chance on you. You seem to be able to pull some strings in this garden of Time and I think you might well be Able to help me. I'm not sure if I agree with all you`re going to show me but heck look at me I'm dancing. "
And so it was that Shadowflower went of dancing and when she returned she learned the Law.
To read Parts II and III see below