The Queen, Sword, and Loaf
As he heard the stories of the stone men
he drew a gold ring off the hand of each one.
As he was leaving the hall
he found a sword
and another loaf of bread
and he took those as well.

Farther on, he came to another room
where a beautiful woman was standing.
She rejoiced when she saw him,
embraced him, and declared that
he had set her free.
"My whole realm will be yours
and all the enchantments here broken
if you return in a year's time.  
Then we shall celebrate our wedding."


Once we have done grief work,
the sorrows of our past become transformed.
Instead of being cold and bitter,
they take on warmth, life, and purpose.
Receiving the golden ring speaks of the
grace of God that has touched us and transformed
our stories so that may bring healing,
not only to us, but to others.  
We are connected to them in new ways.

As the young man moves further through the hall,
he finds a sword and a loaf of bread.
The iron rod that was used to open the gates
has been transformed into a sword
that can defeat all enemies.

The two loaves that fed the lions have been
transformed as one loaf.  
The loaf is able to replenish itself and feed others.

The outcome of grief work
enables us to fight those who would do harm in the world.
Our stories have astonishing power in the face of evil.
It is our testimony against darkness that
enables us to stand.  We know the truth.
We also are able to feed others with the life
we have received.  It is an unending supply of nourishment.
As we learned to feed the lions,
we learn to feed others.

One of the most foundational truths in life
is that we can only impart what we have eaten ourselves.

Learning to open the gates in our inner lives
and to the world of emotions enables us to
defeat any army.  We must find the way through
the stony, crusted parts of our lives and find
the golden rings.

And then the lady of the fountain appears!
The Queen of this realm represents the sudden
appearance of beauty and joy to the eyes that
have been washed with tears.  
Some enchantment has been lifted.
The feminine is released to enter this story.  
Without the work of grief, the Queen
remains hidden under the stony sorrows.
When she appears,
it truly is like turning one's mourning
into dancing.  What beauty and joy!

  Journey to the Well