We come down the winding stone stairs in two groups of three, hands cupped to steady the splash and flicker of fragrant oil lamps. The deeper we go, the louder the rush and roll of the underground river flowing through the apothecary. Here is where the souls of the Mothers slow for the earthly; here is where appeals to heal scars from ill deeds are most likely granted.
Once upon a time, summer sunrises warmed deep forest, from chill evergreen to clattering gold, edging our bedroom curtains with the nascent glow of unarticulated adventures. Ceaseless waves, having raked over agate and quartz all night, left hints in bits of driftwood and bobber, and precious white-scrubbed logs from distant islands and Superior storms. Continue reading