Cast your fate to the wind

Soraya had only been riding for an hour and already she was beginning to regret her spur-of-the-moment-decision to run away from home. At the same time, she knew that the only other option had been to stay and be wed the next day when she turned sixteen, to a man sixty years her senior. A prospect she had dreaded ever since her mother had informed her about the marriage that Soraya’s father had arranged for her when she was only five years old.

As she looked around, she sensed a familiar yet detestable feeling building up in the pit of her stomach. Fear slowly took hold of her, muddling her mind and making her feel nauseous and disorientated. From the restless nodding of its head, Soraya knew that her horse felt it too. This knowledge fuelled her fear even further, despite her attempts to calm herself and the mare down by stroking its neck. In her anguish, she began to wonder if she should turn back until she realized that she had lost her bearings. She was hopelessly lost, and above all, very frightened.

Telomere – Startides
To make things worse, the sun was beginning to set, ushering in the night. In less than half an hour it would be dark. Fortunately for her, the sky was fairly clear, so she would still have the stars and the moon to keep her company. Where is a good place to rest, she wondered as she hastily scoured her surroundings. She did not have to look very long and smiled as she discovered a rocky outcrop with a few cypresses a stone’s throw to her right. She spurred her mare and made her way to the outcrop in the hope of finding somewhere to shelter from the cold and the wild animals who were bound to appear as soon as the sun had set.

“Allah is merciful,” she sighed with relief when she spotted a small cave. She dismounted, tied the horse’s reins to the trunk of a cypress tree and walked over to inspect the cave. She was in luck. Not only did the cave have plenty of space to stand up and lie down in, there were also the remnants of a campfire and some dry branches to start a fire with. She went back to the mare, untied her and led her into the cave. There she took the saddle off her back, got hold of the leather water skin that was attached to it and poured some of the contents into an indentation in the cave floor.

“Here,” she beckoned in a soft voice to the mare, “drink, my friend.”
While the mare quenched her thirst, Soraya stroked her mane for a while before having a drink of water herself. When they had both finished, she went about collecting more firewood, which she piled up by the cave wall. She then took a tinderbox from one of the saddle bags and started a fire. By that time, the sun had already set and the first star had appeared in the sky.
“Well, we should count ourselves lucky,” she said to the horse. “At least we will be fine tonight.”
The words had barely passed her lips when she began to feel uneasy again. But what about tomorrow, she said to herself and looked up to the heavens in search of solace.

Jon Jenkins – Shrouded
A bleak smile appeared on her face when she spotted the star cluster ‘Thurayya’ that she was named after.
“Oh mother, oh father, what am I to do without you?” she whispered. “I am frightened and alone, yet I cannot accept the fate that you have determined for me.”
Then, as if it had heard her, a gentle wind picked up and whispered back: “There is no need to be frightened, Soraya.”
Soraya felt her heart swelling with courage and smiled, flashing her beautiful teeth.
“Who are you?” she asked, shyly.
“I am your destiny, sweet child, and I have come to guide you.
“Oh, I see,” Soraya replied and went on to explain about the arranged marriage and how she had ended up in the cave.
“Yes, I know all about this. Just as I know that fate is merely a glimpse of what your life will look like if you do not take your fate into your own hands and act upon your heart’s desires.”
“My heart’s desires?”
“Your heart’s desires are messages from your soul, your higher self, instructing you what to do in order to fulfil your destiny.
“Hmm,” Soraya sighed, knowingly. “What you are telling me, is to have faith in my own destiny.”
“Exactly,” the wind replied. “Faith in your destiny and faith in God.”
“Thank you, destiny,” Soraya replied with tears of love welling in her eyes.
“You have yourself to
be grateful for,” the wind said and disappeared as instantly as it had appeared.
For a short while, Soraya dwelled on her brief conversation with her destiny before tending to the fire. As she stared into the flames flickering before her, she noticed that the feeling of fear that she dreaded so much, returned in all its intensity despite what she had learned only minutes ago. This time though, she was adamant in not resigning to it.
“Do you really believe I am afraid?” she shouted angrily.
As her words echoed through the shallow cave, she felt a new feeling surging from her heart and filling every cell in her body. Her fear was transforming into anger and, in turn, anger was transforming into power.
“Yes, I am afraid, but my fear will never be as powerful as the love that I feel for myself! Do you hear me?”
Her question was answered immediately in the shape of a feeling that was unknown to her and familiar at the same time. Slowly but steadily, she was overcome by a warm and sensual sensation building up in her womb. It felt pleasant, in fact, she relished in it. And before she knew it, she undressed and lay herself down naked by the fire.

Soraya closed her eyes and became fully aware of her body and all of its sensations. Through this, she made deep contact with body, soul and mind, and began to converse with herself without uttering a single word. It was a conversation about the knowledge deep down inside. She knew that fear was but an illusion. It was merely an emotion that shrouded her higher self and therefore her true power. Fear caused her to contract and love caused her to expand. Expand and open up in vulnerability, in order to see God. And when she saw God, she saw herself, for she herself was God, in the same way that everything on Earth was God. The fish in the sea, the wind that spoke to her, the cave she was in at the present moment, the flowers in the field just outside her house and even the tiny specks of sand on her face. Knowing this, made her realise that she had the power to create anything that her heart longed for. She could create her own life simply by following her destiny.

If you look around, you can find the face of God in each thing, because he is not hidden in a church, in a mosque or in a synagogue; he is everywhere. As there is no one who lives after seeing him, there is also no one dying after seeing him. Who finds him, stays with him forever.
– Shams of Tabriz

The next morning, Soraya awoke with a deep feeling of faith. During the night, she had seen her higher self and felt the power of creation within her. And she now understood that by looking at the world through the eyes of her higher self, she would see herself in everyone and everything. She would be open to her heart’s desires and would always know what to do no matter what situation she found herself in. Soraya sighed deeply and smiled. She knew exactly what to do. With no time to waste, she jumped up, got dressed and walked to the cave’s entrance.

There she stood with her arms open wide and took in the magnificent view of the desert that stretched out before her beyond the horizon.
“Thank you,” she said with a glowing sensation in her heart.
Without thinking, she looked up to her left to see the most beautiful falcon she had ever seen, circling in the bright blue sky above her.
“Hmm,” she sighed, realizing what this meant.
“Follow me,” the falcon said.
Without giving it any thought, Soraya saddled her horse, led her out of the cave and mounted her.
“Where to?” she asked the falcon.
The falcon stopped circling and began flying to the west. Soraya spurred her horse and followed the falcon.

Before long, Soraya began to recognize her surroundings.
“Oh, falcon, you’re taking me home to my mother and father!” she cried, ecstatically.
The falcon did not reply. It merely circled above her three times and then flew off in the direction they had come from.
“Soraya!”
“Father!” Soraya shouted with tears in her eyes and turned in the direction of the voice. “Mother!” she added when she saw her beloved mother riding beside her father and a handful of men who had volunteered to help find her.
Her father dashed forward to meet her. When he halted his horse before her, he quickly dismounted and rushed to help her dismount too. Father and daughter flew into each other’s arms and held each other tightly. Then her father surprised her by getting on his knees and bowing for her.
“Dear Soraya,” he said, “please forgive me for wanting to make you do something that was not true to your heart.”
“I too ask you for your forgiveness,” her mother said, dismounting. She then went up to Soraya and embraced her like never before.
“You have my forgiveness without even having to ask for it,” Soraya replied.
Her father smiled through tears of love and joined the two women he loved most of all. Then the three of them were startled by a freak gust of wind.
“I am proud of you?” the wind said softly in words that only Soraya understood.
“Thank you,” Soraya smiled in return.

George Benson – Cast Your Fate To The Wind (written by Vince Guaraldi)
Symbolism:
Soraya: A girl’s name of Persian and Arabic origin, meaning: ‘gem’ or ‘jewel’, and derived from the Arabic name for the Pleiades star cluster: ‘Thurayya’
Falcon: Higher self; connection with the spirit world; speed and agility, knowledge of magic; power and self-empowerment; overcoming difficulties

Images:
‘Muslim’ by SamWilliamsPhoto on Pixabay
‘Sand’ by zakibmsr on Pixabay
‘Adult’ by Pexels on Pixabay
‘Falcon’ by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

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