“America’s forefathers had a vision of a spiritually enlightened utopia, in which freedom of thought, education of the masses, and scientific advancement would replace the darkness of outdated religious superstition.”
― Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol
“America’s forefathers had a vision of a spiritually enlightened utopia, in which freedom of thought, education of the masses, and scientific advancement would replace the darkness of outdated religious superstition.”
― Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol
Now knowing her ring is not one of a kind and also knowing neither is she to the silversmith; she understands the mingling of the auras she saw with him and the girl. When the girl took her hands, the girl noticed the ring on her hand too and looked her straight in the eyes. “The silversmith?”, she asks, her voice trembling. “Yes.” A tear falls from the girl’s eye, “but he said he loved me, he said he wanted to marry me. I wondered where he went so many nights. I don’t think you need to read my palm, it’s pretty clear even to me, there is no future with this one. What are you going to do?”
Her heart breaking too, she takes a deep breath and takes the girl’s hand anyway. She studies it for a while.“Hmm, with this hand, I see and this isn’t because of what has happened, but because your heart line has two X’s at the outer palm, You’ve experienced a deeply personal betrayal. But I do see someone new coming into your life in the next month. He will be coming from the south and have green eyes. You will consider today only a memory and reason for your soul mate to come into your life.”
“But what about you?”, asks the girl. Me? I will continue as I always do, continue my journey in life, I survive, I always survive and wait. The Universe is testing me, I need to be patient. As for our friend. He will soon regret ever deceiving either one of us. His karmic debt has not be satisfied and he will continue to struggle to find true love. Every woman he seduces will reject him and he will die alone and lonely. He has stabbed one too many of us in the heart.”
That evening after closing shop, she finds the silversmith waiting at her steps ready to walk her home. She smiles at him. He asks about her day and how it went as they walk into the sunset. She tells him it was busy, but does not mention the girl. He holds her door open for her while she carries her materials in her trailer. He hugs her tightly and kisses her, he begins to get amorous. “Oh, sweetie, it’s been such a busy day today, I’m exhausted and tomorrow is the final day of the fair. I have so much to do tonight to prepare for the finale. I really need to rest and pack. Let me say goodnight and I’ll come meet you at your trailer in the morning, okay?” He looks at her, but knows her limitations and knows how much work it will take to get ready for tomorrow. He says,”Alright, but I will miss holding you in my arms tonight.” She embraces him tightly and snuggles her head in his chest and looks up at him. “I know you will miss me.” then kisses him more passionately than she has ever kissed him. He leaves her trailer, looks over his shoulder smiling and feeling his lips. That was the most delicious kiss he has ever experienced.
She is blissfully happy, happier than she has been in such a very long time. This season at the Renaissance Festival has been her best ever, despite the demons that have haunted her, it has produced a surprise in meeting the silversmith and the love and contentment found with him. She feels like she has met her soulmate and finally can set aside some of her fears, finally can trust again. She prefers not to think about that this time.
This is the last weekend of the festival, so she packs her trailer to get ready to move on to the next. Hopefully, she can persuade him to follow her to the next fair. It would be wonderful to have him by her side. They make a good couple. He’s told her he loves her, he’s told her he loves her several times a day since he gave her the ring. He talks about a future together. A future, she hasn’t dared dream of a future. Gypsies don’t dream that way, we stay in the present, tomorrow never comes. She wants to believe, she loves him.
She notices the changing of the leaves as she walks to her booth for the last weekend and the chill in the air. She’s just left him at his shop still feeling the warmth and taste of him on her lips. But she suddenly has a feeling of dread as she approaches the steps of her sanctuary. She sees the crowds have already started signing up for readings and she is going to have a busy day.
There’s a raven sitting in the tree nearby making his loud warning cry to the crowds to “BEWARE”. She looks sternly at him and tells him to “Be quiet”. He flies away. She starts her day with a young teenage boy, anxious to know about his future and if he’s going to make the team this fall in school. The day seems to drag and for September it’s unusually warm, inside her small booth, it’s getting warm and uncomfortable, if only a breeze would come up.
“Excuse me, are you free? Are you ready for me?” says a young woman. “Yes, I see you’re next on my schedule, please come in, and what are you seeking today? Cards, crystals, aura, or palm?” Suddenly the clouds pass over and it cools down, a breeze picks up and scatters the cards. As she scrambles to pick up the cards, the girl sits in front of her. The gypsy woman looks up at the attractive face and immediately sees her aura and the mingling of another aura within. “Ahh, you’ve come about a love?” she asks. The girl says “Yes, and I’d like a palm reading today, please”, she holds out her hands and a beautiful silver ring with intricate scrollwork and a cabochon of opal is on the heart finger of this pretty girl.
Sunrise is beautiful with the clouds creating a sky on fire of orange, pinks, and blues. She wakes to the wonderful smell of freshly brewed coffee. She hasn’t slept that well in a long time. He sits on the side of the bed with a cup of coffee in his hand. “Wake up, sleepy head, it’s almost time to get going”, as she scoots up in bed and takes the coffee from him to take a sip of the rich blend. His smile melts her heart and she forgets about her fears from last night.
As they walk together to the fairgrounds, once again she is greeted by a very happy and satisfied seeker. This time the festival baker, who came to her asking her just to hold a lottery ticket for luck. Although the gypsy woman had to silently laugh at this, she took the ticket and held it. She really didn’t believe in luck per se. The woman was coming into money anyway, it was time for it. But now the baker was thrilled and effusive with praise. “Thank you so much, I won $700.00, now I can fix my truck. It was such a blessing.” The baker then gave her a hug, perfumed with the aroma of the freshly baked bread and cookies that the gypsy woman can’t eat anymore, but she savors the smells in sweet memory.
Before they reach her booth, the silversmith, asks her to come inside his shop for a moment. He has something he’d like to show her. She follows him up the steps as he unlocks the back of the stall and reaches inside the safe. “I made this especially for you,” as he hands her a small velvet pouch. She looks at him, quizzically. “Come on, I hope you like it,” he takes the pouch and opens it to reveal a thick silver wide band ring with a moonstone oval cabochon in the center. “I hope it fits.” He puts it on her heart finger, but it’s too large. “Here”, she says and places it on her middle finger, it fits perfectly there. “Hmm, not meant for the heart”, she thinks. But it is beautiful and her favorite stone. “I love it” as she kisses him, “Thank you so much, you designed it yourself and put so much work into it” as she admires is on her finger and examines the scrollwork on the band. “It’s truly one of a kind.”
The safety of his embrace, however, is fleeting, there seems to be something that isn’t quite right, but she can’t put her finger on it. She wishes just once she didn’t feel so much or know so much. She really likes him, the summer with him has been very enjoyable, but within his aura, she has always seen another mingling shadow. It has her holding back, his youth has bothered her, but it hasn’t been the main reason causing her to hold back from him. She has enjoyed his company and would like to just ignore things, she is tempted.
He asks about her dream, she wonders if she should tell him. She’s had this dream many times. She doesn’t have dreams about her future, that’s true. But, she does have dreams that warn her about her present and dreams that seem to be indicators of past lives. At times she thinks she’s here on earth to help others settle their karmic debts. Should she tell him about the dream? She gets a very strong feeling that she wants to enjoy the love and attention she can have in the present and not pay attention this time. “Dammit, I want to be loved!”
She holds on tight to him, not wanting to let go, ignoring her knowledge of the karmic debt. One demon of the night can wait.
Dinner gets cold.
The day has been so good, she’s had such good auras mingling with hers today. It finally warmed up later in the afternoon and she is enjoying the music of the harpist who is nearby. The lilting melody is soothing to her and gives her a peaceful and happy feeling. It’s nearing closing time, so she is cleaning her booth, washing her obsidian obelisk under running water, drying it, then wrapping in sea salt and a black velvet cloth to cleanse it further.
As she finishes her chores around the booth, she hears footsteps come up the wooden steps up to her table. She turns around and sees him. “Hi, good day?” he asks, as he helps her fold up the curtain. Her heart skips a beat. He’s so cute and those dimples just make her knees go weak. Damn, but he’s so young! “Yes, it was great. I had a great crowd today, it’s always good to get positive feedback, and I got a lot of it today.”
“Listen, I know you must be exhausted today, you had a busy schedule, I saw all those people in and out of your booth today, how about if I go into town and get some real dinner and bring it over to you later this evening? How does that sound?”, he asks, as he walks her to her trailer and helps her carry her fortune telling paraphernalia in and places it on the sofa. “That sounds wonderful and delicious, I am starving tonight and really don’t like to cook. I will gladly take you up on that proposition, kind sir,” she smiles, hugs him and thanks him for helping her home. It’s been a wonderful day. He turns to leave but before he does, he quickly turns back and gives her a quick kiss on the cheek, it startles her and she blushes. “Rest, and I’ll be back soon.” She watches him leave, feeling all warm and tingly inside. Maybe he’s not so young after all.
She leaves the screen door open to let in the evening breeze and air out the stuffy trailer, she hears the crickets start their mating calls outside as she tidies the place. She showers quickly, anxious to see him again. While she waits, she decides to sit at the table and read the cards.”I wonder?”, she thinks and deals. She starts the reading for herself. It’s useless, reading for herself, it’s confusing, and yes, she is tired, she lays her head down just for a minute and starts to dream. She’s in the woods, lost and scared. The time is wrong. Her skin is darker, her hair is black. She is wearing a leather dress and moccasins. Suddenly she is grabbed from behind, she can’t see his face, she screams. He ties her to a tree and gags her mouth. Tears stream down her face. She trembles in fear, her heart races she’s so scared. The forest is dark because it is so dense. Close by she can hear voices, it is the man and another man, they are white men and they speak another language, she doesn’t understand what they say. She hears them sharpening their blades. A man approaches her and stabs her in the heart.
The silversmith hears her scream and rushes in only to see her sleeping. She startles awake with tears in her eyes. He tries to comfort her, she places both her hands over her face. “Why am I having this dream now? I thought these dreams were over.” she cries. Finally, her trembles cease and she allows him to hold her. His embrace is warm and inviting. As he caresses her hair and hugs her gently, she begins to melt into him. She feels safe now.
It’s a shame she can’t see her own future, she wonders what is in store for her. All she can do is patiently wait. It’s so difficult, though, the waiting it’s so lonely. She’s so tired always being alone and having to be “strong”. She doesn’t feel strong. She wishes sometimes like her illness, she really could just fade away into the mist and just be gone. Lost in thought, she doesn’t hear someone come up the steps to her table.
“Excuse me, miss, remember me, you came to see me last Friday and told me about the baby my wife and I were expecting.” She looks up from her crystal ball that had held her attention and her thoughts. “Of course, how are you doing? How’s the baby?” The man smiles, and says,“If ever you have another dream about me, please tell me about it. We had a little boy, 7 pounds 1 ounce.” She smiles and says,“Congratulations, he’s healthy, isn’t he? And beautiful too, I’m sure.” The elephant trainer is brimming over with pride and pulls out all the photos of the baby to show her, she oohs and aahs over the photos, they really are adorable and the new parents are obviously in love with their new son.
It’s Saturday morning and the days of the festival are coming to a close here in this state, it’s beginning to get colder in this part of the country, but it has not deterred the crowds, they are making one last huzzah. The elephant trainer hurries back to the elephant, he sees a line of children waiting to ride and his helper is getting frustrated without him. “Again, tell me if you have any more dreams”, he yells as he scurries away and waves to her. She waves back, “See you later.”
The handsome silversmith looks over at her from his booth, hearing the elephant trainer yell at her and waves at her too. He has been having coffee with her every morning since that first morning. They have become good friends, but she just won’t let him close, he wonders why. He wants to find out, maybe tonight.
Her sign up sheet for readings is full up today, tarot, palm, and auras. Mostly auras, she specializes in auras, she sees them with ease during the day when she is warm. She enjoys having the hustle and bustle of the crowds around, but not too close, so the corner that she does her readings is tucked away behind a curtain to give her and the seeker some privacy. Sometimes the seeker gets emotional even over good news and tears are always welcome. They allow a cleansing that is necessary.
The curtain parts and in walks a familiar face of a young girl she met last year, she remembers this girl well. The girl was confused about two potential loves, she didn’t know which one to choose. The odd thing was that she had a dream about this girl the night before. It happens sometimes, dreams about people she’s never met, she eventually meets them, though.
Today, the girl is glowing and radiant. “I just had to come and see you today before the fair is over, I’ve been married a month now to the most wonderful man. The one you told me I’d marry. The one that I hadn’t even met when we first spoke! I was confused about two men that turned out to be total losers and you told me not to worry about them or to waste my time on them. Each of them one by one broke my heart. But one day in a coffee shop, the man in front of me bought my coffee, just out of the blue. ‘Paying it forward,’ he said. It started a whole conversation and I found out he was the kindest and most gentle man. He said a gypsy woman had bought him coffee the week before and told him to pay it forward. It was you wasn’t it?”
I take her hand, look at her new wedding band still bright with newness and the beautiful face filled with the look of all the tomorrows sparkling within her aura bright white around her. It fills my heart with happiness, that she has found this true love, her twin flame. “I’m so very happy for you that you have found each other, it’s going to last a lifetime. Take care of each other.” As I hug her gently, she looks over her shoulder and I see her new husband smiling at his bride, he lifts his hand in greeting to me. I wink at him. “Now go, he is waiting for you,”. She offers to put some money in the jar, I shake my head no. “Consider it a wedding gift.” She hugs me again and slips it in any way.
The walk to the festival grounds is short and the air is chilly this morning. She’s glad she brought her shawl, as she wraps it closer around her, he notices and pulls her close as he puts his arm around her. She smiles, that’s very sweet of him. They approach his jewelry booth. As she helps him open up, she notices the craftsmanship of his work, the fine detail he puts into each and every ring and necklace. He is truly and artisan. As he starts dusting off the display cases and putting out his wares, she notices the time and needs to get to her booth and bids him farewell. He says,“Maybe I can take a break later in the day, and see you, will that be okay?” She doesn’t know her schedule, “It will depend on the seekers, but we’ll see, I’d like that.”
As she walks to her booth, she watches the dancers dance to the fast beat of the drummers, throwing their brightly colored scarves in the air, hips swaying, feet moving rhythmically. She stops for a moment to reminisce as she listens to the finger cymbals chime in with the music. She admires their energy and remembers how she used to belly dance and move with the same grace and flexibility. She loved to dance. But right now however, she searches out the elephant trainer, she had a dream about him last night. Ah, there he is. “Good morning, I know you don’t know me, and haven’t visited me, but I had a dream about you last night and I needed to tell you. Would you mind if I share?” Getting his curiosity up, he agrees. She tells him asks him if his wife is expecting a baby and he is surprised and says, “yes”. She says that she saw that is a little boy, 7 pounds is coming within the week. He laughs, he says, “Well, we are expecting the baby soon, but all the doctors say its going to be a girl, but I’ll let you know.” She smiles and touches his arm,“Okay, it was just a dream that was very strong for me that I just had to tell you. Let me know and I know everything is going to go exactly how you need it to. I must run. Have a great day.”
She proceeds to her booth, cleans off the dust from the night, waters the flowers leading up the steps to her entryway. She lights some incense, does her meditation to prepare for the day and opens the curtains to greet her first visitor, a teenage girl anxious to find out who her true love will be.
The demons are invisible now, it’s a good thing it’s Sunday today, the crowds are not as prone to come to a fortune-teller on a Sunday, they are a little superstitious. This however, works to her advantage, she doesn’t feel as well today because of the night. The demons took a toll on her. Her hands are not as flexible as yesterday and dealing the cards are not as easy. They can still hold a persons hands warmly and with sensitivity, but even though they hurt, they can sense what the seeker needs and feels, they know what emotions the seeker is going through, but no one knows what is behind her smile and her gentle touch. They have no idea. Her mood today has been lifted because of the silversmith. She envisions his face and his cute dimples. Just the sweetness of the thought eases her pain today. She accepts the moments in time, they don’t come often so she tucks them away like little treasures to sustain her during those times when she gets lost in thought. But her mask remains in place today and no one knows her secret, they just see her smile and continue on.
Finally, dawn breaks. She reluctantly and stiffly gets out of bed. She may have gotten another hour of sleep, just enough to start dreaming. She sighs if only she could sleep longer without pain. The dreams would tell her so much more.
Dressing today in her white skirts and white peasant blouse, with her flowing blonde hair, she looks like an angel in the sunbeams of the morning light.
She hears a knock at her door. Not bothering to put on shoes, she answers and is surprised to see the festival silversmith standing there smiling, with his deep dimples, with whiskey-colored eyes, holding a basket and a pot of coffee, just waiting to be invited inside. The demons may have had her company in the night, but it looks like her day promises to be much brighter.
“I saw you stirring and I thought you might like to share my breakfast with me”, he tells her. “I noticed your lights on very early this morning, troubles?”, as he places the coffee pot and basket on her small table. “Insomnia”, she says “and the summer is coming to a close, so the seasonal change affects me.” She places two coffee cups on the table and gestures for him to sit.
In the basket, she is relieved to see a variety of fruit. Grapes, oranges and strawberries. No pastries. Another secret villain in her life-grains. Is this man psychic too? “I hope you don’t mind just fruit”, he says, “but I’m celiac and I need to be careful.” She smiles, “Welcome, to my world, this is perfect.” Finally, someone who understands. They enjoyed a breakfast together and she learned they had a lot in common, birthdays only days apart, similar meditation practices, and beliefs. He was an interesting man and their conversation was easy and relaxing. It put her demons out of mind.
She has seen him at other festivals and for the whole summer she and he have exchanged pleasantries, but this is the first time he has approached her personally. It’s nice to have someone take an interest. Especially a handsome man, but he is much younger than she and wonders why he is interested. She likes his gentle demeanor, his kind eyes, dark curly hair, and his appearance, in general, is extremely alluring. “If only he wasn’t so young”, she thinks, as she cleans up the breakfast plates, he joins in and cleans the table. This is another pleasant surprise.
It’s time to go to the fairgrounds and he waits while she gathers her satchel, she locks up and they leave together. This too is a very nice change, she gets butterflies, if only he weren’t so young.
*Celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy), sometimes called sprue or celiac, is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Another Invisible Illness. Read More
After a busy day in her booth, she gathers her tools of the trade in her satchel as the minstrels play and the crowds’ cheer. She hears the barkers selling their icy cold pickles and smiles. She walks towards the back of the festival grounds. It’s been a good day. The seekers were happy with the results of her readings, and she made a nice little profit to sustain her for the day.
She stops by the food court and buys some crab cakes and an artichoke to take back to her trailer for dinner. She’s tired but really kind of dreading going back to an empty trailer. The noise and music of the crowds are nice and gives her a pleasant sensation. It’s bittersweet, however, seeing all the couples together when she walks alone. She is always alone.
She sits in her rocking chair outside her small mobile home and watches the sunset as it changes from a fiery red to pink to purple to deep blue. As the sun sets, a tear falls from her eye. The demons are sneaking up on her. “Stop,” she cries,“I’m trying, leave me alone. Everyone else does why don’t you!” She’s had her share of lovers, but it’s difficult when you are an empath and sensitive. She can read them so well, when their auras mingle, she knows what is in their heart and soul. She knows just how much she can deal with, she knows how true or untrue they will be. She knows that her life is not meant to be with anyone. People basically are afraid of someone who can see through them, who can see all their flaws and knows their true intentions. What they don’t understand, however, she can also accept them for who they are. But they are afraid and leave anyway.
The night brings her first demon—loneliness. He haunts her frequently. She has tried to embrace him as a lover too, but knowing what was and what could be, make it difficult. She feels empty, she feels like part of her is missing.
As the moon rises over the horizon, her next demon begins his visit, her body is aching from the day, she has almost gone over her limit of what it can handle. But she resists giving in every day. She listens in the distance to the other Rennies sing by the campfires as she goes inside to shower away the negative energies accumulated today and slip into bed. It’s going to be a long night and not an easy one, it never is. Her body aches, the muscles and bones hurt, they never stop hurting. She needs to rest. The warm water temporarily soothes her body as she envisions a white light encompassing her and flowing over her chakras cleansing not just her body, but her soul. It gives her peace. She’s now ready to face the night.
Sliding between the silky smooth cotton sheets of her comfortable bed, with the moonlight coming through the window, she thinks about her day and how happy she has made some people and the smiles she observed as the seekers walked away. This gives her joy. She thinks about the empty side of her bed and a tear falls as she slips into slumber. It doesn’t last long, though, her demon lover waits to intertwine his tendrils on and into her body. Midnight comes, she wakes to his presence. She is in pain. So much pain, her body throbs, aches, and shudders. She walks the floor to ease the stiffness, then climbs back into bed. “Please let me rest.” But no, she lays there, desperately trying to sleep with the pain, with the demon lying with her, not releasing his firm grip on her. Insomnia joins in, the hour’s pass, it’s now three in the morning. She rises again. Maybe a little chamomile tea will help. She needs some rest, she needs to sleep before the new day begins again. This nightly visit from her demon lover is exhausting, is so debilitating, is the cause of her tear. It is the cause of her isolation. How could she possibly expose anyone else to this nightly scene?
* Invisible Illness Awareness Week is Sept. 28-Oct. 4 and you can find it on social media with #invisiblefight #invisibleillness. Hundreds of thousands of people share their stories, their struggles, and their strengths, while encouraging one another and increasing the awareness of the public about the daily challenges they face and why they do not always feel as well as they look. Find more info at Invisible Illness Awareness Week or their Facebook page.