I know I have forgotten my soul cape when the supermarket lights pierce my eyes like lances, the sound of the traffic roars like a tornado past my ears, people look at me askance and I cannot remember what it was I came out to get.
I return home and huddle by the hearth. I say a prayer to Hestia as I light the fire. ‘Shelter me,’ I pray. I realise I have been without my soul cape for the longest time. I left it behind years ago as I rushed out to climb career ladders and leave my mark upon the world. Now I can no longer recall where I left it. Outside my house the wind howls. All morning violent squalls of rain have been sweeping up from the south. Each one arrives with a wild burst of pelting rain and tearing winds. Inside the fire blazes warming me. I drift into a trance as I gaze at the flames.
I hear drumming and see a shaman from another time and place circling me. The stamping of his feet is hypnotic. It pulls me deeper and deeper into the vision. The sound becomes a pounding. I feel fear. Is it the pounding hoofs of soldier’s horses as they ride to war? It draws nearer and I see a herd of buffalo charging across a grassy plain. Their humped backs are like a brown wave across the green turf. They charge on and on. So many. Countless hordes.
The sound of my neighbour starting his car brings me into the present. The engine snarls against the kerb like an angry beast and I am back in the twenty first century god-is-dead world of the white god. ‘Oh god, heartbreak’ an old anguish within me moans. ‘Oh god, heartbreak.’ Were the buffaloes a vision from a past culture I wonder or are they in both the past and the future? I do not know. The insistent drumming hoofs seemed to come to me from the future.
Hestia’s fire crackles. The warmth enfolds me and I slip back into the trance world. The drumming returns, louder and more insistent this time. Like a heart beat but not that of my own heart. It is like the pulsating heart of the universe. I catch a brief glimpse of planets spinning then the fire crackles again. I hear the clink of clapping sticks and see faces from the beginning of time staring into the flames along side me. I feel they are with me on my quest for my soul cape.
Slowly I return to my current reality. The neighbour has driven off. The rain squall has passed and been replaced by thin, watery blue sky. I reach for my old pack of Native American Medicine Cards. I pull a card. Antelope. ‘Do it now’ the commentary says. I turn on the computer and type this. Perhaps I am weaving my soul cape anew through doing.
Just as I finish typing the door bell rings. I open the door to a beautifully dressed elderly lady. ‘I would like you to extend an invitation to you and your family to attend a conference this weekend,’ she says in cultured tones as she waves a piece of paper at me. ‘Oh yeah, what’s it about,” I say, my Aussie accent as thick as vegemite. She gives me the paper. I see picture of a happy family running into the sunset and read the caption underneath ‘How will you survive the end of the world?’ I give the lady back her paper saying I not interested. She toddles off and I get back to weaving my soul cape. Is the end of world really nigh or is it that a new one is dawning? One where the buffalo roam free once more.