Portrait of Time

by alicia utterback


My short story came about when I decided to write about my life. I have made it into how I see it through the depths of my imagination and imagery on how I see my family and the spiritual journey I took to get back to them with help from them all. Most importantly with the love of me and the man I love our children. Our son Raven And our daughter April Rose. It's the completion of the reunification of what had been taken and blinded in order for us to open our eyes to true love by unlocking the past in order to mend and move forward with forgiveness for ourselves and one another.

As the what seemed to be corresponding yet never-ending fog drifted across the forest, an amazing dust of glitter spread throughout it. This of course only to be seen in the essence of the moon. As the glitter worked it's way into this essence the fog became a mirror to her unforgotten soul. Her beautiful pale but fearless overcoat of skin seemed to pierce eternity as if it were made of shattered glass. As the night pursued its destiny she too traveled through time. As she danced in and out of the hourglass she began to unfold the glass that was surrounding her. Each piece being woven into small unspoken pebbles of sand. When the very last pebble broke free she found herself surrounded by the dust of glitter once again. Only this time It was the warmth of her heart that portrayed her true soul as it reflected off the hourglass into her eyes. You see It is not time that portrays us but rather how our portrait of time will be portrayed.

As she awoke from what appeared to be an eternal sleep she found herself lying within the bosom of a tree and surrounded by the ripest red cherries she had ever seen. As she began to sit up and become more awake she rubbed her eyes to wipe away what was left of any remnants from a most generous sleep she had been given. In doing so she saw that she was wearing an elegant silk dress covered in the finest gold dust of glitter wherein green vines with leaves had been woven throughout. Not knowing for sure where the day would lead her she thought it best to eat some of the cherries. This way she could regain her strength and keep her stamina throughout the beginning of her journey. As she sat and thankfully ate the cherries she began to hear a murmuring among the animals as they watched her in amazement. When she began to sing a melody of the most precious praise the animals realized who she was. So they, the animals without hesitation came to her side.

Strolling alongside these ambitious creatures she realizes there is but a glimpse of what was behind her now fading into the distance. Joy and determination overtook her soul now with just barely an inkling of doubt within her mind of what was to come. Finally, she came upon a small creek with the simplest waterfall trickling down. It was flowing in a zigzag pattern off of the rocks to the left corner that enclosed it. So without further a due, she walked down to drink from its crystal clear fountain. After she replenished her thirst that had overwhelmed her on her path of clarity, she then decided to sit down on a log next to the waterfall and eat some more of the cherries that she had brought along with her. As she sat enjoying the sweet delicious cherries the wind started to blow. Whipping with it a smell of delightful full filling aroma as to which something somewhere was being cooked. This being the only thing that seemed to truly peak the interest of the thunder roaring inside of her stomach. So she anxiously but cautiously set out on this continuing journey of hers as to find where the aroma was coming from.

After traveling over what seemed to be a non-ending series of hills she came to the very last one. As she reached the top of the hill she saw what looked to be a small village. A group of people that were living in what appeared to be cone-shaped tents secretly being outlined by three pieces of wood. These pieces of wood combined at the top went out and down from there to the ground. These tents seemed to be covered with skins that came from an animal. To the front of them, which was facing her, was a hole that had been cut towards the bottom as to where it could be entered and exited from. Although there did still seem to be a flap of the skin lying to one side of the hole of the tent to be used to cover it. At the top of the tent, smoke rose like swirls of clouds into the sky as if there was a fire inside being used for warmth. Now more than before spiked her curiosity, so she proceeded to follow the aroma that had led her there.

As she continued on her way to the village she became distracted by noises that were coming from behind trees that outlined the village. Suddenly she was face to face with men that popped out from around the trees. These men were dressed with only a mere strip of cloth covering their loin. On their faces were a most interesting pattern of colors that had been painted onto them. On each of one of their arms was a strap of leather braided as to form a band around it. It was followed by non-braided strands that dangled just above their elbows. These strands were covered in beautiful beads. In their hand at the end of their opposite arm was clutched a stake with a rock shaped tip on top. These tips were being held on with more straps of the same type of leather. Then when she looked up toward their faces, she came into direct contact with their serious demeanor, yet sincere but cautious eyes.

As the sun began to beam through the clouds upon them she noticed beautiful bands around their heads that were lined with more beads forming what could only have been of some type of symbolic importance. Suddenly they started to speak to her in a language that at the moment could only be understood to her within her heart. Yet much to her surprise, she found herself speaking back to them as if she had unknowingly once walked among them. Then they began to slowly release their grip on the, let's call them spears, that they had refused to let go of just moments before. They motioned to her as to come with them toward the village. They began to sing a most welcoming combination of chanting melodies. They raised their spears up and down as if they were using them as props in a dance. The spears she had learned on the way to the village were not only a means of protection for them, and of extreme importance to their survival but also they had a purpose in sacred dances that they performed.

Soon they arrived at the village and all came to greet her and the others that had welcomed her to come with them. She decided to ask them where that delightful smell was coming from. They led her in the direction of where a beautiful but aged woman was standing over an enormous clay pot held by sticks above a small fire. Her hair of blackish gray was formed into two separate braids passing down her shoulders and stopping at her waist. She was cooking an interesting stew. The woman began to insist that she have some. She of course obliged. So the woman grabbed one of the many clay bowls sitting near her and filled it with the stew. Upon the woman handing her the bowl, she grabbed it with both hands and began to sip the soup for they did not seem to eat with any utensils. The taste was amazing, and definitely agreeable to her senses. It was of the richest broth and contained corn, along with some very aromatic herbs and also present was a meat that she had not come into contact with before. She told the woman that she was very excited to have finally found the aroma that she had been following, which had been making a great thunder inside of her. This brought about a beautiful smile on the woman's face that was very warm and accepting of her gratitude. She asked the woman where the wonderful meat in the soup had come from. The woman said it came from a great beast that gifted them with its many wonderful uses. The woman made it known to her, that they made use of all of an animal, for the purpose of it's sacrifice of life and to life should not be wasted. This being a great beast they called the buffalo. That being said, they called it buffalo stew. Then with not even a whisper, the woman allowed her to finish the stew. After she had finished the stew, she made sure to show her appreciation for the woman's generosity. She did this by offering the woman a gift of some of the sweet red cherries that she still had left. The. woman kindly without a second thought accepted her gift. In doing so they formed a respect for each other that became the beginning of a mutual start to a long and prosperous friendship.

As she made her way through the village, making her departure, they all gave her wise teachings along the way to help her seek not only the reasoning of her journey and the spiritual cleansing of herself but also to be able to see the truth. This would help her in all situations as a protection to herself for there would be things that would possibly try to deceive her. When the village became nothing more than a blur in the distance, she saw a beautiful wolf standing before her. Somehow he was able to speak to her not by tongue but by an unspoken feeling. Walking alongside the wolf, she realized what had just appeared to her as a fortress of beauty, was starting to fade into the eeriest and wicked entrapment. It felt as if it were leftover ruins that had filled with rot. The smell was almost unbearable! Twas like the very bowels of it was burnt and then frozen only to be thawed so quickly that it left a permanent scar. Even though she was trembling with fear and had an unrelenting pain in her stomach, she proceeded on remembering of the deception the wise ones spoke of. What happened next was frightening! She became surrounded by these creatures for of what origin she had no clue. Suddenly without any command, the wolf started to snarl at them and proceeded to fight them off. Her feeling helpless chose to just stand back and let the wolf serve part of his purpose to which was understood by her but never once spoken.

The next thing she remembers was being awoken by a caw being made by something flying above her that she could barely see due to the bright rays of light coming down upon her. When she finally sat up and moved back from the light a bit, she could see an eagle flying overhead. Deciding to look back down and using the earth to help her, she stood up and turned around to see the Wolf lying there at her feet, next to where she had been sleeping. He seemed to be patiently waiting for her as if he had been without a need for praise, loyally watching over her and comforting her, from what had been a most unbelievable night of terror. So as a gift of thanks, she shared with him the rest of those sweet cherries that she had been carrying around with her.

Having had a chance to rest and regain some clarity they began to continue on. They came to a winding path that was lined with the most beautiful roses. They looked at each other and then started to walk through them. All the while they had a raven following them the entire time. Coming to the end of the winding road the raven began to fly in front of them leading them to a river up ahead. They then noticed a boat sitting near an entrance to a cave to which the river flowed through. She got on board first to help the wolf get into the boat. Once he stepped part of his paw on the side of the boat he started to become a human form. He had become a man! Dressed in what only a noble warrior would wear. He was of great size and valor. He had just past the shoulders, sandy blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, and was made from what she felt was the perfect vision. Looking into his eyes she finally knew and felt the understanding of the unspoken feeling! As they glided through the cave sunshine was piercing through an opening in the top of it. With amazement, they realized that they had become a rainbow of colors. This being from the light coming through the opening that was reflecting the different colors of the cave off of the water onto their silhouettes.

After they passed through the cave they were welcomed by All that had been waiting for their return standing on each side of the river. As the current came to a complete stop so did the boat. They stood up and the man turned to her. As their eyes met they finally knew who they were through the reflection of themselves in each other's eyes. He slowly brought from behind him a rose that he had carried in his heart that was given to him on the winding road that they had traveled down. He then, as a declaration of his love for only her, proceeded to place the rose in her hair near her ear. Then he put his arms around her and she obliged by putting her arms around him while sharing a sweet kiss. Thus completing the unification of the snake to never be opened and released again. As for all of those that were waiting patiently along the sides of the river, well let's just say they believed in a little thing she and the man call magic, which in return was truly a miracle that God had given to them all, through the birth and life of the raven.

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