I began to relax a bit as I walked on. The uncertainty was gone now, replaced by an odd sense of calm and the sudden realization that this was my destiny. Yes, the light was my destiny. But what would I do once I got there? That thought was quickly put to rest as I realized that I would receive further instructions once I arrived there. Wouldn’t I? Of course I would. Nothing this important would be left to dangle helplessly in the wind. There was a purpose to all this, I was convinced of that. Again, that fleeting sense of uncertainty like the feeling one gets when they embark on any long journey. Did I leave the water run in the sink? Did I remember to turn off the coffeepot? There was something else. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but suddenly I realized that the buzzing in my head had ceased and I had no idea when, but at some point, the pounding in my head stopped! Things were finally beginning to look up.
I continued to walk on with a renewed vigor, all the while coming closer to that light. I didn’t know why, but I felt better than I had in years and a sense of peace settled over me and I fell into a trance like state as I focused on that light.
Lost in my thoughts and not realizing where I was, I was suddenly snapped out of my trance when I nearly tripped over a chair. A chair? Now who would have left a chair out here in the middle of…. I stopped in mid thought when suddenly I realized that I had reached the light. Not only had I reached it, I was standing within its glow!
I stood there and tried to make sense of all this as I took in my surroundings. I looked all around and there I was in the middle of a clearing that held nothing but that chair. It was positioned in such a way so that if one sat in the chair, the path they had just traveled on stretched out behind them. Surrounding the rest of the clearing was a giant hedgerow that was covered with some sort of white flowers that gave off a scent much like fresh water lilies. Although being somewhat imposing, the hedgerow left me feeling as if I were in some sort of cathedral and the light gave it a sense of being somewhat ethereal.
Well, I was here…. now what?
I stood for a few moments, then decided to sit and wait. Almost immediately a narrow opening appeared in the hedgerow and a brilliant white light, even brighter than the one I was sitting in stabbed out and a figure clad all in white stepped out and stood before me so that the light seemed to shimmer all around it. It was a strangely familiar woman. I was immediately filled with the sense that I had known her all my life and yet, I could not put a name to that face.
“Hello,” I said and offered a weak smile. She said nothing for some time, instead leaving me to sit in silence awaiting some instructions, whatever they might be.
Finally, she broke the silence. “Are you ready?” she asked? “Ready? I…. I don’t know”, I trailed off. “You don’t know?” “Surely you must know!” “Well, if you are unsure, then we can no longer continue”.
Her voice had a quality about it. It was like a warm bath that washed over you as you sank into it, drawing the day’s tensions and frustrations from within and leeching it slowly out of you, leaving you bathed in this peaceful, contented state. She must have seen the disappointed look that stole over me fore she stepped forward and held out her hand, gently guiding me to my feet. “It’s ok, it’s quite common you see," she said smiling. Her voice was as gentle and inviting as a summer breeze. “We will wait until you are ready, but for now, I am afraid you must return.”
I stood for a moment and without a word, I turned and took a step toward the tunnel. “Wait,” she said, “There is no need for you to walk back.” I’ll have a car return you.” Everything then went black.
Back in my little room, I opened my eyes and looked around. The storm had passed and….”that’s curious” I thought, “its dark outside.” “Just how long was I gone?” “What day is this?”, I asked to no one in particular. “Sunday, July 13th” answered a voice. It was a woman’s voice, soft and sweet and strangely familiar.
I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember was being awakened by a bright, piercing light. But this light was different from the one at the end of the tunnel. This light had a yellowish hue to it. Slowly I opened my eyes to witness one of the most perfect mornings I had ever seen within my short lifetime, the sunlight pouring in through the window and the birds chirping out their songs as a gentle breeze blew in from outside. I could still smell the dampness left behind by the storm that came and went the previous day. The pain had returned in my head and along with it, that intense buzzing. But the peaceful feeling that had come over me earlier remained. “Soon,” I thought, “Soon it will all be okay.”
The day passed slowly, with various people coming and going and at one point, the room seemed full of people. A sea of familiar faces surrounded me. Familiar, but still, I was unable to fully recognize any of them. Except for one person. I looked up and smiled into his eyes for just a fleeting moment. But in that brief moment the years we shared together came flooding back. Every moment we spent together, every word spoken between us came back in that one brief instant. I smiled and he bent down and gently kissed my forehead. To everyone who witnessed it, it was just a tiny kiss. But over the years we grew to know each other’s thoughts to the point where we could accurately finish one another’s sentences. There was more said in that one tiny kiss than if we had spoken for hours on end.
I don’t remember much more about the rest of the day except that I ate cake… carrot cake (my favorite) and drank ginger ale. People continued to come and go, but I took little notice of what was going on around me. Toward evening, that nagging sense of urgency returned. As tired as I was, I knew what I must do and again set out to that place with the light and to that woman with the familiar face and soft, inviting voice. “I must get back”, I said to myself. I am ready now.