She had a choice. Step across the threshold and into the past, or stay where she was. The idea of moving day by excruciating day into the unknown future filled her with a nameless dread. Was it anxiety, or ennui? The world was at a crossroads. One path led to hope. The other – it didn’t bear considering. Chaos was in the past – civil war too, if she wanted to be honest. They’d all seen the news reports of violence in the streets in other countries – foreign countries, less civilized countries. War here was tidy. People marched. They protested with signs. They never killed, for god’s sake.

But she could see that was about to end. Peace was soon to be a distant memory. There was nothing that could be done to avoid the upcoming bloodshed – citizen again citizen -divided along party lines.

For decades people had divided themselves – what football team they liked, whether they were dog or cat people. But in recent years there were more divisions – meat eater or vegetarian, liberal or conservative, religious or spiritual. Sometimes the lines blurred and people were in more than one group. Never did they stop to see their dividing themselves was dividing the nation. They were split asunder, falling apart, chaos. They had done it to themselves and it had gone on so long there was only war as the cure.

Sophia knew she could not be a part of it, but she also knew she could not move to another country. That would be running away, quitting, and she wasn’t a quitter. Her family had endured much change, mindfully, wisely. They’d kept records of it, all of the revolutions they lived through, the overthrows they’d observed. All present, yet not involved. Observers only, not participants. But how? They never told her. It was a family secret, so secret that they never spoke about it – not even to each other. It was too important. People might talk and then it would all be over.

Then they wouldn’t be able to help anyone. They were time weavers, but not all of them. The trait was genetic, but not every family member had it. So they never spoke about it. If the trait awakened in you, you knew what to do, just like how baby birds knew how to fly. Best not to put the idea of flying into any other creature’s head – one that didn’t have wings. Nothing good would come of that.

Sophia’s parents had hoped she’d be a weaver, but the signs didn’t appear with puberty as it had with them. Or if they had, she’d hidden them well.

Her parents were distant cousins. Many generations back a matriarch had realized they needed to shape the family tree to keep the trait strong. That was her special gift of weaving – to see the soft silver-blue line of power weave in and out of the bloodline. It would thicken here to a rope, thin here to a thread. Too thin and it would break forever and all would be lost. 

In her family you still asked the parents for permission to marry, but it was for the bloodline. The suitor might be wealthy and kind and of the right faith tradition, but if s/he didn’t have the gift, the marriage would only be allowed if the mate’s gift was strong enough to make up for the loss.It was a bit like a thoroughbred breeding program, but the stakes were a lot higher in this race.

Sophie had finally admitted to herself who and what she was in her 40s. After years of thinking she was mentally ill, she finally saw her vision as a gift and not a curse. She wasn’t crazy. She was simply in the wrong time, with the wrong people.

Prophets look crazy to those who refuse to see – those who are convinced of their own infallibility. She’d been called insane by a priest once. She left that church rather than be silent. His sin was before him now. She’d acted as she should, informing him of his danger. The path is narrow and the dangers are sure if you step from it. He’d assumed his own path and told himself he was right purely based on his title. “Reverend” was not revered, however. The title was a placeholder only – not a guarantee of holiness, or even of accuracy. A seminary degree didn’t ensure life without sin. In many ways it made it harder, because they knew better, or were supposed to.

Her family never entered the ministry, not in any ordained fashion, that was. It wouldn’t do to get paid for a gift they had freely received. They might have side work – being a counselor or social worker, a nutritionist or chiropractor. They helped people get back in the groove, get re-woven into the tapestry of life. 

But this doorway. Before she was able to See, it was just an entrance to the side patio. Now it was misty with time. She could see ‘now’ and ‘then’ simultaneously and saw the threads that were unraveled or cut short. She knew down in her bones which ones needed tending. Not all needed work. Some threads needed to be cut. Some lines needed to cross. But some were a mess and would lead to lines ending too soon.

How were the pyramids built? And Stonehenge? That information was part of the lost threads. It was best not to have too much continuity. People tended to get upset when they realized how insignificant they were. They like to think that history started with them. This is why each generation had to do its own genealogy. What did people why did people only know their living ancestors? Why was nothing written down?

Sophia knew only that it was time to cross the threshold and walk into time. Whether forwards or backwards made no difference. All that mattered now was that she remove herself from the sacred tapestry just long enough for a rest. She had a lot of work set before her with new timelines to weave in. She would need all her energy for the upcoming pattern.

Written early August 2018