Thursday, January 8, 2009

Postcards Without Postage, pt. 4

Dear little one,

I had a strange dream last night that made scant sense, but when I woke I knew it was about you.

From atop a mountain, I saw a dark bank of clouds streaming in from the east. They moved swiftly, heavy with purpose. As they reached the sky above me, they began to hover and swirl. Deliberately and ominously they gathered until they became the sky.

I heard a voice neither cruel nor gentle wail, "Cover your eyes!" Against my will I obeyed, the force of the voice driving into me with irresistible compulsion. As the world went black, I could feel the heaviness of the clouds crashing over me, an inexorable tide of darkness threatening to suffocate.

"Open your eyes," said a whisper in my ear, childlike and wise. Oh, how I wanted to listen to this whisper! But against the heaviness I could only manage to loose my left eye from its imprisonment.

I saw the underside of the clouds bathed in a bright orange glow, the reflection of some great forest fire, trees below singing with elegiac passion within the conflagration. It was terrible and beautiful, and I returned to my darkness with a mixture of regret and relief.

"Open your eyes," came the whisper once more, laden with urgency. Again the heaviness prevented me from complying fully, but this time I opened my right eye.

I once again saw the inky cloud bank bathed in fire, but this time the glow was warm and fading, like the sunset. It was another flame of passing, but it burned with the promise of tomorrow's rising. All beneath was silent in anticipation. It was beautiful and terrible, and again I retreated to the comfort of my blindness.

"Open your eyes," came the whisper a third time, adding gently, "Do not be afraid." These last four words birthed a lightness in me, and pregnant with expectation I opened both of my eyes onto the leaden expanse.

Just as I looked, the heavens broke open and the deluge began. The fire beneath the clouds shone through the rain to create a crystal clear rainbow, its arc crowning the horizon. I began to cry.

And then I woke, crying still. My little one, I am awash in sorrow. How will I not drown? I have sent my prayers for peace flying to the four corners of the heavens, but they have returned bearing no message, no assurance. Though I endure 197 days of silence, will I ever again see the world unflooded by tears?

As my red-rimmed eyes surrender to slumber once more, I am searching desperately for the courage to open my eyes to the sunrise. For I know it is you whispering in the morning, "Do not be afraid."

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