Wizard Academy Campus
I have wandered this property and found the humblest place on it, a speck of ground I doubt many would esteem as I do. It is not a tower from which a kingdom can be observed. It is not a popular wedding venue or a place where spirits are distilled and joyously consumed. It is not a spot of extraordinary beauty suitable for sharing on social media.
Deep in the valley below Dulcinea, protected by a priestly grove of trees, is a shelf of flat rock hanging over a gulley too small to have a name. From this spot you can see nothing devised or created by humankind. I stumbled into this quiet spot as the sun was setting and spied Orion through a gap in the trees hanging low in the western sky, Betelgeuse sitting red on his shoulder. The three stars of his belt whispered goodbye before they slipped below the horizon, and this projection of meaning into the heavens was the only human thing I could perceive that night.
I don’t know what The People who were here before us thought about stars, but a perfect alignment of three definitely catches the human eye. I know I’m not the first to enjoy this view.
I have built for myself – and for you if ever you seek and find it – a cairn to mark this place. This cairn is my tower, and I believe my view is as grand as the view from the Wizard’s own tower, which exists above and behind a black slash of treetops against the blue night sky. His view is telescopic, mine microscopic. He sees the larger lay of the land, the surrounding hills, a highway in the distance, and the new towers that have appeared atop the hill opposite ours on the other side of the valley.
I don’t know what wizard built these towers, but television screens flicker in the windows at all hours and I don’t like the feel of them.
I, on the other hand, see tiny flowers, patterns of lichen on rocks, and Foxy Brown (so I have named her) who has a litter of kits nearby and has encountered me five times in the two weeks I’ve been here, so far without serious incident, though once we surprised each other and ran in opposite directions.
I left a message in the cairn for you, dear reader. It is my request that this message never be spoken aloud. Let it be a shared secret held by all pilgrims who come this way seeking the grand and humble in equal measures.
I hope you will read it yourself someday.
As for me, I plan to wander every part of this land in the coming year and come to know it intimately. I will also explore the human artifacts that reflect the vision of our Wizard, who overlaid these sleepy escarpments with his art and his arcana and his tower built high above the valley. I seek to understand the Wizard’s beauty as well as the beauty of the rocks and plants and creatures. Are we not at least equal to the bird and flowers, which St. Matthew tells us are numbered in the very mind of God?
But I begin my journey here in the valley, on my little shelf of rock. I will build outward and upward from here, seeking to know the soul of this place. For I am in a lonely time of life and have lost much of my own soul along the way. Let this cairn also be my Ebenezer, raised this night by my own hand.
Let what help will come to me come quickly, for I am ready.
Follow the trail north leaving Gallagher Lane at the Sacred Circle. Make your way through the valley, passing Dulcinea on your right. Look for the glass man in the tree. If you find him you are close.