Then I sat for a while on a scrubbed rock to cleanse my inner self. After a while, I would feel something rise up inside me which pulled me up. And yet I just sat on that rock. When I was completely immersed in that state, no matter how long it had lasted, I approached it. The large, egg-shaped, green-blue stone seemed to tremble and float. But it too was standing on the ground.
It was a double experience, every time. It was as if the stone and I were both perhaps not flawless on the outside, but completely pure on the inside. It was also as if we were speaking to each other internally, without using my ears. I knew that a great deal was happening and that the Stone possessed infinite wisdom. There were never other people there when I went, and yet it seemed as if there were many of us. Where else did the enormous power I sensed come from? Or was it the stone’s inner self?
I had many questions but they were not answered. Yet there was something in me that asked and received, that was fed, it seemed.
I was the only one at home who was allowed to go to the Holy Place. I had asked my parents why the others couldn’t go too, but they just looked at me and did not answer. Month after month, year after year, I visited the Stone and when I went to live alone, I continued the tradition. I never heard anyone else talk about the Stone, or about other Holy Places, which I knew were there too. There was a Sacred Lake somewhere in the North and a Sacred Tree south-west of the Stone, my mother had said.
When I turned 28, I was excited, which I never used to be at birthdays. I didn’t care what day I was born on; I was there, and that should be enough. But now…
Like a crowned king, I walked more upright than usual, just like that. I also felt very tall, although for a man I was not big. What was also new was the feeling of incredible determination, a feeling that no one would ever be able to stop me if I wanted to go to the Holy Place. It was a will that lived in me, but not my ordinary will. This will brought me further.
When I reached the river, I took off my clothes and immediately jumped in. The water was cold and the current strong. But the new Will did not let itself be carried away. It was as if I had water inside and out, cold, cleansing water. As usual, I wanted to rinse my hair under the waterfall, but I could not. I could not go there. I stood there not understanding. Suddenly, water poured down on me, but it was not from the waterfall. It just fell from the sky. This was so special that I did not even notice that someone had come up behind me. At the Holy Stone, where I had never seen a human being or animal before. I actually wanted to be frightened, but I was not. I held out my hand to her and she took mine. I was in such a state that I did not think about anything. Everything was special, everything was sacred.
We walked together towards the Stone and the Stone made us one.
Of course, I did not want to leave, but the Will took me outside the Holy Place. At least, I thought it was outside the Holy Place, but had it grown? Wherever I walked, everything was sacred. I walked past the old mill, which was dilapidated and empty, but which stood shining in all its decay. Whoever or whatever I encountered was holy. Holy Birds flew and Holy Grass grew. Holy Children greeted me cheerfully and at home I even saw a Holy Chair standing next to a Holy Table. I was looking for something ordinary, but I didn’t find it. I walked outside and looked around again. No, it did not change, everything was holy and remained holy. I was filled with reverence, completely, the air was full of reverence. A bee approached and sat on my hand. We were related and stayed together for a while. Then Jake, the boy next door, arrived. His whole figure stood in the light. He greeted me as I was used to, but looked at me for a long time. I saw him with new eyes, the boy next door. I tried to act as usual, not to show that I saw his holiness, but it was not possible. How do you act ‘as usual’ towards a saint, even if he is a formidable chicken thief who never admitted to his theft? I saw his How and his Why.
He looked surprised because I said nothing, and after a while he turned and walked home. There was a little hop in his gait that I had not noticed before.
Suddenly I wondered if I had become a saint myself. No, I thought, that’s not possible, I’m just the way I was, otherwise that would have been holy too. I smiled. Would I ever find out? But why?