She looked around her taking in the leaves in the small pots and the small budding white flowers growing slowly in between. This was not exactly what she had expected when she had emerged from her sleep like state. She knew this would be temporary, however, so she was not too worried about it. The flat was neat and sparsely decorated. It was a far cry from the wilderness she was used to or the luxurious surroundings she had dwelt in on occasion, but this would do for now. She wondered how her twin was living and whether he had awoken too from the sleep like state that he must have been in too. This was not the first time that she would be awake before him though, so she did not dwell too much on this thought nor did she attempt connecting with him. She would have time to do that later.
The last time she had awoken before him it had not been a good age. The world had been in patriarchy mode and her ways of the old did not seem suited to the times. She remembered with some displeasure the difficulties of that era and the near helplessness she had experienced where her physical body had not only been a point of weakness, but an actual hindrance given the limited freedom that women had then. She had travelled long and far to reach the area where recounts of her twin had emerged. She knew quite well by then the tell-tale signs: The fantastic tales, the miracles, the huge gathering of followers and the automatic unrest that accompanied this within the rulers of that time. Every time her twin had manifested on Earth, whether it was in Mesopotamia or Ancient Egypt or the land of the two seas, he could not help but provoke the established order and create problems for both of them.
In comparison her methods had always been more discreet, working within the shadows, mostly with the female population, never basking in the light. There were always two sides to a story like there were two ways of approaching matters and hers had always been the way of the silent stream that slowly erodes the foundations of mighty dwellings rather than the direct towering waters that her twin had always loved to raise against the norms of each era. Well she thought to herself, the last time had not gone so well for him and even their father-mother source had not saved him from the trouble he had got them into. As a female with child, she had been spared and did not go through the fate her twin underwent. In fact, barely anyone noticed her contribution to the upheaval of that era and she did not even figure in any historical recounts or barely as a side figure, an afterthought and mostly in a negative light. It was always her twin who was in the limelight and she realised that he might as well given how he loved it while she preferred the shadows.
The keepers of the secrets of the Source had sent them as messengers, each in their own way allowing humans to discover themselves, to allow them to delve into their light as well as their shadows until they could realise that neither was more worthwhile. The idea was for them to allow humans to understand that each being or inanimate object was just a manifestation of the flux that emanated from the Source, that both light and dark were just different perceptions of the same energy that encompassed all and permeated from within everything. She naturally identified with the female side of humans as her star soul was the moon and had therefore chosen the shadows. Her twin had chosen to represent the light and he had gotten so infatuated with it that he no longer remembered at every human manifestation that he was only partly light. She on the other hand had never been dazzled neither with the light nor with the shadows and remembered that their original mission was to allow this Universe to achieve balance. In every era she had incarnated within, she made it a point to achieve that and in the age of patriarchy, this had mainly become a work linked with liberating women from their bondage whether internal or forced upon them externally. Wherever she went, the liberation of women ensued whether slowly and steadily or in outbursts.
It pained her to think that this play of light and dark had made human beings reach incredible levels of hate and bigotry and that the rules that the source had enacted within the minds of the initial messengers had all been diverted into rigid and ridiculous sets of dogma that allowed humans to fight and kill each other in all impunity. She was not very fond of bloodshed, not even when she knew that it was sometimes necessary to rejuvenate the planet they were on and allow for the recycling of those souls which had gotten too dense to allow the others to progress. She was of a playful nature in general and had found it very funny to diffuse in the minds of humans a representation of the world of shadows. Owing to the way patriarchy had been dominant in the world, however, this representation took on a male nature rather than a female one and with the fertile imagination of humans, it became a monstrous figure with horns and hooves, something between an animal and a human being.
She looked at herself in the mirror and laughed at the thought of it. According to humans, the one who lurked in the world of shadows was a wicked being called the devil and he had a pointy tail, cloven hooves, wild looking horns and terribly pointy teeth. Above all he was supposed to tower over human beings and roast them with the fires of a place humans had fearfully invented and named hell. At the opposite side of that, there was supposedly a place where all souls that had been redeemed would be taken if they submitted to and worshipped their saviour, her light-loving twin. The humans had lovingly named that place heaven and each of them had their own personal idea of how beautiful this place would be although for most, it was likened to a garden with everlasting bounties. She laughed at the thought of this childish inclination but then sighed at the thought of the task that awaited. Perhaps she should have incarnated into something more akin to what they were expecting so she could be more convincing in her task. After all, better the Devil you know…
She walked through the swarming streets heading towards the beachfront. She smiled at the woman who crossed her path and touched her outstretched hands that were offering her a garland of jasmine woven with small roses. She took the garland and put it around her neck as her hair was too short to weave it in there. She paid the woman, smiled and moved on as the woman waved at her smilingly.
The sun was high in the sky but the sea remained grey as usual. She had wondered when she had first arrived at the seaside why the sea was always grey but had got used to it. It seemed like it had to blend with the darker colour of the rocks on the seaside. She thought back to the beautiful sparkling beaches in North Africa and wondered whether it was the pollution here that made the sea turn grey close to the coast.
She sat on a rock overlooking the beach and stared at the sea. The waves were making a gentle lulling sound interrupted from time to time by the shrieks of children jumping into the water. It was a joyous sight but somehow she could not help her heart feeling heavy. She could not get over the feeling that something had completely stirred out of control in her destiny, changing her future, and that it was not by chance. Barely a year and a half had gone by but it seemed like it was light years away.
Back home to keep the memories of those moments of the future she had glimpsed she had resorted to collecting falling leaves in which she mentally inscribed glimpses of that future. Over time, the future she had seen seemed to be slowly fading into oblivion and she would then take out the leaves to remember. Each leaf reminded her vividly of a place in time where she had been in thought and where she had lived an incredible adventure filled with love and happiness.
Her right hand felt for the small basket that was tucked inside her handbag. It was still there and she sighed a sigh of relief. She wondered how it could be so small and hold so much at the same time. She got up from the rock and resumed her walk but towards the canal this time. It was one of the rare places in the city where stagnant water was not necessarily a synonym of stench and rot. At some points it even looked beautiful with profuse vegetation and a small bridge-like construction.
The water was a sombre green. She walked to the bridge, looked over the edge of it and slowly emptied the small basket. The leaves fell into the water and swirled away with the current caused by the wind. She watched until they were out of sight and felt as though her heart were leaving with those swirling leaves. Yet she knew that she could not hold on to the leaves as a totem anymore. They had to disappear for what they represented to reappear.
Those moments of the lost future she had lived had to be reintegrated within her. They belonged to her and had to be a part of her again, not relegated to the role of externalised memories. Her heart warmed slowly with the returning memories that filled her being with love. It was as if the release of the leaves had opened a dam within her. The images cascaded in her mind like a whirlpool of sunny water as they filled her neurons. Tears of joy streamed down her face and wiping them she lifted her head and smiled up at the skies. It did not matter anymore that it had been steered away for it existed out there. It was forever hers.