By Duane Hewitt
Copyright 2016 Duane Hewitt. All Rights Reserved.
“It’s beautiful,” said the man, as if in a trance, “truly, truly beautiful.”
The couple touched and then took hands.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen,” said the woman in an equally airy tone as she looked far-off in each direction.
The couple took a few more steps together and then stopped to take it all in. For as far as the eye could see, there were gentle rolling hills and meadows that were completely covered in the most beautiful, peaceful green imaginable.
“Like… clover and grass,” said the man dreamily.
“And it’s so perfect,” she added softly.
They both looked down. They were in bare feet and there was the feeling of early morning dew on the surface of the grass. The dew drops squeezed between their toes.
“Feel how soft it is,” he said.
They both rubbed their feet in the silky, soft grass and smiled. She laughed at the sheer beauty of it all.
“And smell the air,” she said, “it’s fresh – clean… pure – and it has a wonderful what?… scent or aroma to it.” She took a deep breath, filling her lungs. “It’s delightful, absolutely delightful,” she said.
“Maybe this is how air is supposed to smell,” he said.
They both looked up and began to walk together.
“Do you see how blue the sky is?” he asked. “It defies description.”
It was like something from a childhood memory or a dream. Green grass and clover that went out as far as the eye could see, a gorgeous, deep blue sky that no artist could reproduce, and air – yes, air! – that smelled and tasted pure and wonderful and was a delight to breathe.
The man stopped.
“Are we… dead?” he asked gingerly.
The woman looked at both her hands, feeling the sensation of touch.
“I – I don’t think so,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like we’re dead.”
They both smiled. Who cared! If this was death, it was a welcomed thing.
“Look at the clothes we’re wearing,” as he started to giggle. “I don’t remember these…”
They were both wearing light clothing like silk and of a natural off-white color. It was light and comfortable, and fit each of them perfectly.
She smiled broadly and started to spin around as if in dance.
“Oh—” she said, “it’s just like—” And suddenly she stopped.
“Heaven?” he offered.
They both paused. She spoke, hesitatingly.
“Is it possible?” she asked. Then, with more of an evaluating tone, “No, it can’t be – can it? I mean… it just doesn’t feel that way.”
“So, where is this place?” he asked. “How did we get here?”
They continued walking, slowly, meditatively. Everything about the region – absolutely everything – was perfect.
“Where were we before this? Do you remember?” she asked.
They both drifted back in time, in thought; but they could feel the resistance within themselves, almost as if they didn’t want to remember.
“I feel like I don’t want to remember,” he said.
“I know,” she said, bowing her head slightly, “me, too.”
There were memories – for each of them; buried, somewhere: A big, north American city… loud, smelly, busy, with too many people and a lifestyle that didn’t work… hustle and bustle, ugly buildings, stress – lots of stress, turmoil and friction, perpetually gray skies – and no green grass, just pavement, asphalt, concrete, glass, wiring, and smog.
“Remember the smog?” he asked, as if he was saying a dirty word.
“Oh—!” she responded, with a tinge of disgust, “Do I!”
They got quiet again, took each other’s hand, and resumed their walk. They didn’t walk long or, at least, it didn’t feel long – perhaps 20 or 30 minutes.
“Hey!” she said. “No bugs!”
“Yeah, I know,” he said with a nod of agreement, “but also – no birds either.”
Just then, the most beautiful orange and green and blue pair of songbirds flew by, singing a song that was just delightful.
“Oh, my,” she said, “they’re so beautiful – and their music…”
“Yes,” he said, with a tone of appreciation and humility, “like Mozart, only more beautiful yet!”
“And still no bugs!” she said.
He laughed. “Yes! And still no bugs!”
They laughed together and continued on. After a short while, he asked her a question.
“How do you feel?” he asked.
She stopped to look at him with tears in her eyes.
“Like I’ve never known such peace or joy,” she said.
She looked absolutely radiant.
“Or love,” he said.
“Yes – or love!”
They continued on, slowly. He had another question.
“Are we Adam and Eve?” he asked.
She gave it some thought.
“I don’t think so,” she said, “no – that’s been done already. This is something else.” Then, after a moment: “Maybe this is just what it appears to be – us – and a peace and beauty that we’ve never known.”
“Yes,” he said, “perhaps. And yet, within us, it’s as if we know – or should always know – such peace and beauty.”
She had already considered this but didn’t answer.
“Oh, look!” she said, pointing to the horizon. “Can you believe it?”
There, on the edge of the horizon, was a beautiful iridescent waterfall. It was more stunning than anything either had ever seen before. The flowing water looked like shimmering diamonds – and it had an aura, a halo that surrounding it, making it appear supernatural if not heavenly. They both stood, watching it, transfixed.
“What are those incredible, intense colors surrounding it?” he asked.
“Those are flowers!” she shouted out, as soon as she realized. “Come on!”
They both ran and ran toward the waterfall, laughing all the way. Their hearts had never felt such delight; so full of splendor and joy.
As they got nearer, they found themselves surrounded by flowers that seemed almost alive.
“Look!” she said, bending over to touch one, “they feel alive!”
When he kneeled down to gently touch a flower, he was almost speechless.
“Oh my goodness!” he said, smiling, “it’s like…”
“Yes! Like the flower kisses and caresses you!”
“And listen,” he said, “the flowers—”
“Sing! They sing!”
They continued, giggling like children as they ran.
Each new step brought greater beauty. Each new discovery surpassed the one before, revealing new riches of resplendent peace and beauty and love. They were coming ever closely to the beautiful waterfall, and with each step it shone like the purest silver imaginable.
Again they held hands, and he posed a question:
“Is it just us?” he asked, “This all can’t be just for us.”
She turned to him with a half-smile and that reflective, far-away look in her eyes.
“No,” she answered gently, “you’re right.”
She paused to reflect. Then:
“I think the door is open to all.”
And, at that moment, they heard the sound of laughter coming over the next rise.
Copyright 2016 Duane Hewitt. All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. No part of this work may be copied or transmitted by any means whatsoever without the prior written approval of the author. Duane Hewitt asserts his rights as the author to this work and its plot, themes and characters, under International Copyright and Intellectual Property Laws.