Fehintola was excited when she could confirm she was pregnant. She wondered if she was expected to go over to Numen Yeye. But Ayo asked her to wait saying if she was expected there the young witch would have come to visit. She gasped at his irreverence but he only laughed and tweaked her ears. His closest to expressing affection. The trips to the stream started. Most mornings they would have the path to themselves, sometimes they could meet one or two farmers along the path. On those trips Ayo would answer for her if they greeted her and he would watch the path ahead. She continued going to her church.
The prayer warriors there wanted to spend the day in the church premises because it was seen as dangerous for a pregnant woman to walk the streets at high noon. It was precaution against spirit children who had habit of chasing the genuine children out and taking the place of their place. She was determined to do everything she was asked to do
The dreams started simply enough. It tended to follow the same pattern. She would find herself in a great hall and listen to very beautiful music. Then she would wander into a garden. The garden always had a flowing stream running through it. The first time she had the dream she wondered if she ought to share it with Ayo but then she was embarrassed as she had nothing to say except her feeling of peace each morning, but she noticed that her husband would look at her and shake his head as if he was contemplating saying something.
The next thing was she had become really calm. She became friendlier with her mate and she would sit for hours staring into space her thoughts far away. There was a glow of happiness and peace about her. She rarely lost her temper and would just smile. One night in her dream she met a very young beautiful lady in flowing white dress and they chatted for a long time. She was however frustrated in the morning when she could not recall what the conversation was about. She still attended church and spent time there because in the tradition and culture of her race she had to avoid walking around at mid-day or high noon so she would not attract the attention of the spirit children. One day in the church she was tired and decided to go to the garden and take some air hoping she would be revived by the fresh air. She sat on one of the hard benches when she noticed she had company. It was a young pretty girl dressed in the robes of a prophet. She smiled at the girl assuming she was one of the young prayer warriors. The girl looked at her and smiled and Fehintola patted the seat next to her invitingly.
“It is a hot day isn’t it?”
The girl smiled and nodded a yes but said little thereafter just cupped her head in her hands and stared out.
Fehintola watched the girl and asked if she was there with her parents as she mentally tried to determine if she had seen the girl before. There was a grace and ease about the young prophetess that intrigues her. She was probably just about ten or so but carried herself with ease and did not act like a gawky young girl at all and had some kind of dignity in such a young person that Fehintola felt at ease.
She started to talk about her pregnancy to the girl, speaking about what she dreamed she could do when the baby arrived. She chatted and the girl smiled, touched her hand and gave her a smile saying she should not worry. “You are worried sometimes that your mate’s son will be the head of the house right?”
Fehintola stared almost transfixed.
How?... then swallowed, Lord even her private thoughts were open for all to see she thought in some chagrin. She didn’t know how the young prophetess could have read such very private thoughts.
“Actually all I am concerned about is that I should have a healthy child so that I would not have shame”
“If you do as you are told you would have a healthy child, and Ayo‘s son is not coming yet” the girl said very firmly.
Fehintola’s heart jumped and goose bumps walked all over her. She shivered suddenly and looked at the girl in awe. This must a very powerful prophetess
The girl stood up and gave her a sunny smile. “I have to go now, I will see you around”
Fehintola stared and requested to know the girl’s name.
“My name is Imole Ife.”
“It is a beautiful name.”
“You will remember it”?
“Of course I will remember, it is a unique name, the light of love”
“I am sure we will meet again” and she left.
In her next dream, she met a young girl who she found sitting pensively on the bench by the stream and they smiled in recognition at each other. She followed the girl to the stream and they had a picnic. They picked flowers and took it to the great hall where the girl taught her how to arrange flowers. She was shown different types of flowers. She was in an enchanted world, happy and relaxed. They returned to the great Hall and she was entranced by the sheer play of lights that filled the Hall. She had a sense of expectation, just like everyone else in the hall. It was full and everyone was gaily dressed. She stared at the guests, not recognizing any one of them but feeling quite at home. Then from the distance, music started, slowly at first and then it swelled to a melody of such beauty that she recognized the tune and sang along with the rest. Strangely, the scene changed and she was by a great waterfall and the water was sheer in clarity almost like it was living, and then from the sprays, her friend the young girl came out laughing and invited her into the cascading waters telling her it was healing water and she would be safe. She obeyed and followed the girl into the crashing foaming water. She felt like a weight lifted from her shoulders and suddenly laughed happy to be in the water. Her friend led her out of the water.
“One more trip I think” her friend said looking her over critically as you would assess a patient.
Fehintola nodded in agreement.
Then she opened her eyes. For a long time she still held the vestiges of the dream. Not understanding at all. She had a sensing that she was expected to learn something, her thoughts jumped “I am being treated for something like I have a disease” Ayo came in and she wondered if she should tell him about the dream. She shook her head and silently got ready for her trip to the stream. They walked the forest path silently. For some reason she sensed that her husband was changing slowly towards her. No, it was not something she felt alarmed about. She noticed that he would come into her room and just sit there for hours. He was never good at stating his feelings but this was different. Silence was some kind of conversation. He rarely wanted to make love but even that was no longer a source of pain. She felt she was suspended in some half way world where she lived. Her pregnancy was not showing yet but she was beginning to glow. Her skin felt soft and most times she had a smile.
Her young mate seemed to want to be friends and gradually from stilted conversations they had started reaching out to each other. Ajide was respectful and wanted to do everything to please. It was odd because she had assumed she was going to have a hard time with her junior wife, in her culture all the wives of Ayo would be referred to as her wives, since she was the oldest wife. The junior wives must also see her as their husband as she had right to determine who could share his bed. It was amusing and painful as Ajide was handed over to her, so she had a junior wife now, not one she married or had even wanted to marry. Tradition and culture had made that easy for both of them. The women knew that it was in the nature of the African man to have several wives. Her mate was a Muslim who went to the mosque regularly. Ayo was not of any fixed religion she had discovered few months after they had eloped from home together. He had an irreverent attitude to any form of religion and she used to wonder if that wasn’t the reason for her problem. He never took religion seriously. He hardly went to church and would stare at her in amusement each time she had attempted to make him be consistent at church services. He also did not like the prophets and would call them scammers of the spirit. At first she had being alarmed that Ayo was going to be besotted as to change and become a Muslim but nothing had happened.
They returned to the house and she went to get breakfast ready when there was a knock on the door. Curious she went to open the door, Yeye”s priestess stood at the doorway smiling at her a bowl of water in calabash in her hands. She was startled but asked the young woman to come in.
“Yeye brings greetings”
Fehintola smiled her response and brought out a chair for her to sit. The young woman handed her the calabash bowl and said she was to have her bath with the water.
“Just pour it over your body after you have had the bath and do not towel just allow it to dry off on your body.” The priestess said as she watched Fehintola a smile in her eyes.
Fehintola took the bowl and was about to place it on a stool when her hand was held stopping the movement. The priestess said she was to carry out that instruction right now and the calabash bowl must not touch the ground. “In fact I will hold the bowl of water for you until you are ready to pour it over yourself. Don’t worry we will need to return to the stream and no one will see you, nor will anyone here notice you have gone until you return” Holding her by the hand the priestess smiled and Fehintola’s heart almost gave way when she felt herself passing through bands of light os so many different hues. Everything paled into oblivion even as saw, and felt the lights going through her and also felt someone holding her hand as they seemed to move at great soundless speed. Everything and everybody seemed to have paled into the background and then she was in the gardens and making her swift way to the stream. It looked familiar to her. At the stream, she felt herself dipped into the water. She emerged onto the bank of the stream and saw the outstretched bowl of water which was poured over her. She shook her head and used her hands to wipe out the water from her eyes and was shocked to find herself back in the room still about to make breakfast. She was stunned. She looked round in complete bewilderment. Ayo walked in and stared at her.
“What is the matter”? He asked.
“Did you see her”? She asked looking round and behind her husband.
Her husband looked round as well and was puzzled, “Did someone come to the room?”
Fehintola abruptly went to the bed, closed her eyes and shivered.
“Don’t you think you should have toweled yourself before coming out of the bathroom? You are dripping wet on the floor and on the bed.”
She looked up, opened her mouth and then closed it. She shook her head and in a quiet voice she asked if her husband if she could skip preparing any food. She wanted to be alone.
Fehintola prayed all day, really confused, but a longing to understand the threads came slowly alive in her and she supplicated as we watched and joined her in prayer that she might understand the threads of help that lies above her and for that matter all other human beings. There was little we could do; we had helped her to hold the bridge. I wanted to help her untangle some of the threads she had knotted wrongly, but I could only do that if she allowed me. The clouds of ignorance that hovered could only be cleared from within.
Fehintola still went to church and after a few days, she seemed to have forgotten her strange experience. Still went to the stream and for some weeks she did not have her dreams of the great hall and gardens. She started her ante natal and hope flickered in her heart and she found herself most times taking long walks when the heat of the day was down. She would walk for an hour and never felt tired. Some days she would simply sit in the church courtyard just watching the ebb and flow of worshippers as they came to see the prophet. Life seemed to have settled into a pattern. She did not see the young prophet and assumed she may have been taken to a boarding house. She never did find out who her parents were though. Fehintola was a naturally shy women and had a gentle smile but really found comfort in solitude.
When her pregnancy was about half way she had the dream again. Back in the great hall, there seemed to be a lot of great preparations going on. A lot of the ladies in the hall smiled at her and greeted her with a lot of old gentleness. She had become very familiar with them but she waited to see her young friend. A lady came to her and told her not to worry that her friend will be along presently. So she sat in one of the great chairs by the entrance wanting to catch a glimpse of the Queen. From the look of the preparations it appeared that it was the Queen who was been expected. She asked a lady what was going. The lady curtsied to her and she was very surprised. The lady told her that the queen was traveling and so they were making everything to get things ready. She looked round and wondered what was keeping her friend away when she saw Imole emerge in very beautiful flowing dress. She smiles and waved. Something about her friend now looked familiar just as her friend turned and waved to her and she held her breath, it was the same Imole she had chatted with in the church! Imole waved at her and asked her to come close.
“Hello, you look very lovely” Fehintola complimented her young friend trying very hard to act normal, she really could not take in the facts she was seeing. Who really is she? But Imole only smiled and with a graceful nod of her head, “The queen is traveling and you will not see me for sometime, but I will always look for you”
Fehintola only nodded they held hands as music sounded in the distance indicating that the arrival of the queen was imminent. Her young friend took her to the exit door and sent her on her way waving promising that they will meet soon. She walked out of the great Hall into bright lights, and she woke up. Her baby kicked for the first time and she held her stomach in wonder.
Through bands of waving light
And boundaries of the Rose
I descend the mists
Wrapped in light veils
I left my home again, my home of extra ordinary beauty, of streams that gurgle with musical notes and forests that are wrapped in the glory of the color of service, the whispering winds, and laughing sun, from valleys of shimmering lakes I am led into swirling bands of light as I pick cloaks of my choosing falling further and further down, like a white cloud of softest hue escorted by friends, we serve together the Rose and I start a mission again into matter to learn and serve and hopefully point the way home. I leave my friends at the bridge but take the thoughts of their help and guide with me across into matter as I become human again.