[Continued from the Magician’s Water and the Magician’s Water Journey]

From where I sat I looked and I saw . . .

The magician had woven a fate on the water gold that it would be drawn to come back together. And so after the pieces were at last stolen away, every last one, eventually a collector acquired them all. They were broken up again by his heirs when he died. And so it went. The pieces would be brought together, then spread out, then together again, then scattered again. The world changed, fortunes rose and fell, the years and the centuries passed, and a kingdom arose that built a great palace in pride. The front was a great, sheer wall. All along the front the kingdom fixed the golden objects, so that it was as a waterfall running down over gold.

The kingdom grew even greater, grew corrupt, decayed, dwindled, the last inhabitants of the palace left–but the gold stayed in the ruin. Whether from superstitious awe or some lingering enchantment, who can say.

There is a feeling you get when you wander down a road you don’t know the end of. It is the same feeling you get when you come to a stream you haven’t traced to its source or to its mouth yet. There is an ache you’ve had your whole life, a sense that something is missing, a sense that there is more than what you know. And when you wander that road or sit by the running water, you keep glancing down the road, upstream or down, to where it bends out of site or vanishes into the distance. And you feel that thing you are missing. So, sometimes, you will walk up the river, or keep on driving down the road. You will enjoy the journey and the anticipation.

But unless the road or river never ends, or unless you find something transcendent at the end of it, you will finish disappointed. Because your ache is a desire to pierce the veil of thing, and that thing you are missing is magical and mysterious. It is the horns of elfland.  It is more than the horns of elfland.  You won’t find it.

But there is one stream. There is one stream that you may come across some day. Perhaps you are fishing or exploring for the sheer lazy restlessness of poking around with no goal in mind.  Or you happen to drive by it; you get out to stretch your legs.  You feel that ache and you hear that call. You’ve heard it before and you know how it ends. But you never quite stop looking. So you wander up that stream.

If you do, if is the right stream, you will come to a massive wall of old stone, heavy with the ages, towering over you, glowing with shining carvings of marvelous gold, and from all of them water sheeting down to become your stream. You will take a sudden breath. You will stay for a while. You will leave without taking any of the gold. And when do these things, that ache will be filled. Not forever–you will wander roads and rivers again. But this once, you will not leave disappointed.

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