Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Lesson

(This story is dedicated to my Beloved Teachers, Michael and Sananda)

The Teacher found his student frolicking in a sunlit meadow.

She laughed sweetly as she danced among the butterflies and wildflowers. The lengths of her pale pink gown and her slightly darker pink mantle trailed behind her as she skipped lightly along a path that had been cleared through the tall foliage.

The Teacher called out to her from some distance away, and then in an instant stood next to her and holding out his hand said, “Take my hand and come with me”.

The student looked at him quizzically. She’d heard these words from her Beloved recently, who also had a lesson to teach her. “Alright” she said “where are we going?’

“You’ll see…” once again came the now familiar answer. Did they all use that as a blanket answer every time a question was asked about the future, whether near or far, she wondered?

She took his hand and they walked through the meadow toward the mountains in the distance. She blinked once and they were already there, climbing the path that would lead them to the top.

Up and up and up they climbed, through the familiar forest, into the timberline and continuing on up past the snow level, all the way to the top of one of the highest peaks where they stopped. The Teacher stood still and looked across to the next peak and the sun glinting off the pristine snow cap, as he waited for his student to look around and get her bearings.

She stood next to her Teacher feeling good and quite privileged that HE had been the one who chose to teach her the lesson today, for although she was totally in Love with and was learning to completely trust her Beloved, her Beloved was almost always the one to deliver the lesson, and it felt good to have things mixed up a little. Besides she thought, being that often she was a difficult student, perhaps her Beloved deserved a break…

With her hand still in the Teacher’s hand she looked out across the valley, following her Teacher’s gaze, “Oh, it’s so Beautiful!” she exclaimed.

“Yes it is,” he replied. “You should try looking down, it’s quite a view from up here”.

And so she did. But much to her surprise, she realized, as she shrieked in terror and clamored to get a hold of her Teacher with both arms clutching frantically at him and his robes, they were both standing in mid air, with nothing but a few wispy clouds between them and the valley floor thousands of feet below.

“What are you doing?!” she managed to gasp with as much demand in her voice as she could muster through her utter panic. “You KNOW I’m afraid of high places!“ She felt her hands slipping and feared she might fall to her doom.

“No… you’re not afraid of high places” the Teacher stated calmly, “you’re only afraid of falling”.

As she continued struggling to hold onto the Teacher he said to her, “You’re not going to fall… you see me standing here with nothing but air under me don’t you?”

“Yes, but you’re YOU!” she virtually shouted at him, and she could hear his familiar words ringing in her head These things that I do, you can do … and greater! But THIS?! THIS was optimistic at best!!!

By this time she had allowed herself to slip far enough that now she was hanging onto his knees, her arms wrapped around them in a death grip, and her own feet dangling out into space. The Teacher slowly shook his head and then reached down and grabbed her by both shoulders, pulling her back up until she was at eye level with him. He looked her in the eyes and said, “You can do it too, you’ll see, and if you start to fall, I’ll catch you, just like I’ve done many times before…”.

She looked back at him and queried in a confused tone, “You have?”, and as she looked into his golden eyes they sparkled the answer back to her “Yes”. Then holding onto her left hand he turned her so that they were standing side by side again. Though she wanted to trust him her instincts still had her grappling for him with her right hand too, but he gently pushed it away and made her let go. She refused to move from his side however. Then he said to her, “Take your right foot there and step away from me a bit… put it out and see if you don’t feel something “solid” to stand on…”.

And so, wanting to prove that she trusted him (or at least wanting to make it look as if she did), she stretched out her right leg a bit, her pink gown and mantle whipped wildly in the wind around her calf and ankle as she felt for a solid spot with her foot. And sure enough, just as if someone had erected an invisible platform right there in mid air, she detected a smooth, solid, and amazingly steady area which she could place her foot on and bear weight. Okay, one down, one to go. She could still feel nothing under her left foot, but hanging onto the Teacher’s hand with a grip that was now starting to hurt, she inched her left foot away from his side and onto the “invisible platform” which her right foot now occupied. The wind had really picked up and her gown and mantle now trailed out behind her like a flag on a flagpole, her long golden hair looking like streamers, and yet she felt strangely calm, even with the wind whistling around her.

The Teacher smiled looking very pleased with his student, and she smiled back at him with her eyebrows raised, nodding and thinking to herself “Yay! I did it!!”

Then he said to her, “Now, take ten steps forward and turn around and come back”.

She looked at him like he’d surely lost his mind, but she knew she didn’t dare argue with him, and besides, look at what she had already accomplished. So, she let go of his hand, and just stood there a moment, almost losing her nerve. Then she put out first her right foot in front of her, and slowly putting weight on it, took a step, and then the same with her left foot, and again and again until at last she had taken ten steps out away from her Beloved Teacher and the safety of his arms. Then quickly she turned around and flew back to him, no stepping… she was starting to feel that somehow this was all too good to be true, but still felt some sense of accomplishment for having taken the steps. She flew back to him so fast that she ran right into him, but he embraced her anyway for the good job she’d done.

Then he turned her around facing away from him again and said, “Okay, now take ten steps out and then turn around and face me, and then count to 30 and then come back”.

He was pushing it, she knew, but again she didn’t dare argue with him, and so she took ten steps out, even though she was feeling quite shaky at the prospect of having to stand there for 30 seconds in mid air, until she could come back to his safety.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten… turn. Alright she’d made it! She was facing him. And then she started to count,

“One, two, three… AAAAAAaaaaaaahhhhhhh!” her voice trailed off as she began to fall. The Teacher made a grab for her but it was too late, as she fell back into her body in the safety of her bed.

She could almost feel the impact as she opened her eyes and realized what had happened. Oh, she felt ashamed as she lay there in the dark, all safe and sound underneath her blankets. And then the familiar sound of her Teacher’s voice inside her head,

“Why do you doubt?”

Miserable, she replied “Because I’ve never experienced anything in this lifetime that could convince me that…”

“It’s real???”, he finished her statement for her.

“Well, yes, actually…”, she continued

“It wasn’t REAL?!! Just like your last lesson which your Beloved taught you wasn‘t REAL?!!”, he continued on in angry, incredulous tones making her feel really silly. She instinctively backed away from his angry voice and he went on, “You allowed him to lead you down a dark and foreboding hole, which after jumping into, to your delight came to a soft landing in a valley of Joyful Souls where you then both turned into giant butterflies and then fluttered back up into the forest canopy??? And it wasn’t real! Of course it was real!!! But you wouldn’t believe it! In fact I recall when he asked you why you don’t trust him now like you did then, you told him something like I know why I wasn’t afraid to jump ~ it’s because it was there and not here… I wasn’t in my body and so I knew that I couldn’t be hurt; nothing bad would happen, that’s because it wasn’t real!!! The only reason it didn’t seem real to you is because you weren’t perceiving it with your five senses which you have become so well conditioned to believe are the only thing that can tell you whether or not something is REAL!!!”
 
She could almost feel his hot breath as the angry words flew out of his mouth. The worst part of it all, she hated to admit but she had to, was that he was right. Just as her Beloved always was, her Teacher was also always right.

Just then her labored coughs from the cold she’d been fighting rang out into the dark room, and her Teacher suddenly realized that perhaps he’d been a bit hard on her in her weakened state. His demeanor softened a bit. She instinctively knew that she had just as much “power” in end of her own little finger as he had in the end of his, but she had no idea how to access it, and had actually always been afraid to try. She thought casually to herself that she wished she could use some of that restrained “power” to cure this nagging cough and cold.

“Perhaps we could try something different”, the Teacher said in a gentler tone, “You have in the past tried and failed, I know, to effect a cure on your ailing body. Will you try again if I help you to bring Spirit into you sufficiently to bring about the desired effect on that cold of yours? And perhaps we can address some of your other physical issues while we’re at it?”

She agreed, and so he had her lie flat on the bed with her arms and legs straight to effect a better flow of Energy, and much like her Beloved had taught her, instructed her to begin drawing Spirit into her body. She could feel that Lovely sensation as it traveled up from her feet and into and throughout her entire Being; pure Source Love Energy coursing through her. It grew and grew until, feeling as though she was nearly bursting at the seams, it was magnified to many times what she had ever felt it before. That familiar Ecstasy she had first experienced when she had reconnected with her Beloved was now streaming into her at an incredible rate. The Teacher then directed her to allow the flow of Energy to permeate all the areas of her body that needed healing with the intent of bringing about a complete cure. Her entire body began to pulsate with subtle vibrations and as she stared up at the ceiling, even though the room was completely dark, the air was scintillating with glittering light in every bright Techni-color of the rainbow… and then bright white Light began to fill her Being and she could detect the bright glow and subtle flashes of it all around the edges of her field of vision, inside her eyes.

Slowly, little by little, starting first with her congested lungs she could feel the discomfort melting away and the urge to cough ceased. Then moving to other parts of her body, she could feel years of aches and pains being soothed and tissues regenerating and going back to a state they hadn’t been in since she was a teenager. And then going back even further, to when she was eight, and then five, and then four years old; the last time she could remember feeling really good and totally well ~ normal.

She lay there a moment luxuriating in the feeling of well-being, and then she thanked her Teacher for helping her to heal her body.

He looked at her for a moment, as if he knew something she did not.

“You’re welcome”, he said, “but you should be thanking yourself, not me. You did it all on your own…” She thought about that for a minute and realized that he was right, he had only talked her through it, and she had done the rest…. Or had she? Was this real, or had she just imagined it all?

She felt like she wanted to roll over and go to sleep, it being late night by this time, but realized that she needed to use the lavatory and complete a few other routine things before she turned in. So, feeling like a million bucks, she sat up, swung her feet over the edge of the bed, and stood up.

It was after a few steps that she realized, all the aches in her joints had returned, along with all her other discomforts AND the nearly overwhelming urge to cough up half a lung.

Curses!! She cursed as she went in to use the lavatory, and all the while she was in there, and on the way out. As she made her way in toward the kitchen to take care of the rest of her bedtime routine, her mind was screaming “Lies! Lies! All Lies!! You lied to me!! None of this is real!!! You‘re all figments of my imagination!!!” even though she knew it was real, and so were they. She wanted to cry big, hot, angry tears because she felt she’d been hoodwinked, snookered into performing a “trick” for his amusement, for THEIR amusement (she now lumped her Beloved in with the gang of false prophets she now viewed them as), but she couldn’t. She knew her pride wouldn’t let him see her that way.

He waited ever patiently for her to return to the Sanctuary of her bedroom. As she crawled back into bed and pulled the covers up over her he asked her,

“Why are you so angry?”

“Because it didn’t work!!!” she yelled back at him.

“Are you so sure it didn’t work?” he asked her.

“Look at me!! My body is just as achy and sick and decrepit as it was before!! No cure was effected! I just imagined the whole thing!!”. She coughed hard as if to emphasize her point.

“But up on the mountain… I know that you lost your nerve, you began to doubt and fell as a result… but before that, you did so well when you walked out from me ten paces and then turned around and came back… in mid air I might add”, he said nodding at her.

“But that’s because THAT was SPIRIT! THIS” she referred to her body, “is physical!!!”

“THAT!! That WAS Spirit!!” the volume and pitch of his voice was significantly raised and she could tell that he was getting angry again. “THIS!! THIS HERE!!” he gestured wildly, referring to her body as well “THIS is Spirit ALSO!! And so is THIS!!”. He slapped his palms on the bed on either side of her as hard as he could, “THIS is Spirit too!!”. He hit the bed again as if to emphasize HIS point. He waved his arms in the air.
“Everything aROUND you is Spirit!! EVERYthing is Spirit!!” his voice was very loud and his gestures animated.

“But I’m not you… I could never do all those things that you’ve done…”. She could see that he was very angry.

“My Dear,” he said sternly, “The only difference between you and me, and the reason I could do all those things, is that I have Faith!! I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can!!! You can too, but you don’t have Faith! You don’t trust me and you most certainly don’t trust yourself!!” His words bit into the air like fingernails on a chalkboard. She cringed. He was in her face now and although she didn’t like that one bit, she couldn’t escape him because he was also in her head.

“You still doubt!! And as long as you doubt you will NEVER be able to manifest!!”

“But it didn’t work…” she whimpered at him.

“I ask you again, are you so sure it didn’t work?! Did you give it enough time to see if it worked? Or did you expect instant results?”

“But you always got instant results”

“I did, but did I doubt?”

“No”

“How do you expect to make it work when you don’t have Faith that it will?”

“I don’t know…” She somehow knew that her Beloved was waiting nearby for the lesson to be over with so he could take her in his arms and comfort her… she’d like that right about now...

The Teacher slowly faded into the night, and she fell into her Beloved's waiting arms knowing that she had indeed learned a very valuable lesson.
-----
Five and a half days later the student sat typing her story out for the whole world to read. As she typed she thought about her Teacher, and how his “tough” Love, but such endearing Love at that, had imprinted on her, and how she realized that he was right, especially after noting that her persistent cough was now nearly gone, her energy was returning to normal as was her demeanor. The aches and pains that were a typical accompaniment to her life were all but gone and her sore shoulders, which had been sore for about the last three years felt almost normal.

She had forgotten to take into consideration that results don’t happen so easily in this dense dimension. It especially takes time to have the desired effects when the one trying to effect them isn’t really sure that she can affect anything.

Her doubts were being replaced by Faith and trust; trust in herself, and trust in her Teacher and her Beloved.

They are real. This is all real.

This really happened… This is really happening.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How Can I Say No to You?


How can I say no to you My Love ~ when you ask me to do something really difficult which I know you ask me only in Love, for my own good, for my own Love? How can I refuse you, when all you’ve ever done, you’ve done because you Love me, because you Love All? I trust you now, though I didn’t always, because I didn’t always trust myself, but in you I have found myself. In myself I have found my Love for you and in that Love, Love for myself and utter trust in what we are together; unstoppable. The Truest Love if ever a True Love there was. Absolute. One in All That Is. How can I say no to you? It’s simple; I can’t. And I am so thankful for that! I Love You Forever and ever My Beloved

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Once Again

(I imported this from my Notes on my FaceBook profile)


It had been a long time since I last thought about you like that.  I think my heart gave up ever believing you’d make it here.  Then I found myself trying to figure out what it is that  I desire.  Several images and scenarios went through my mind, one passing straight on to the next, and the next and the next; just like some convoluted slide show.  When I got to you my mind stopped, a frozen instant in time.  I remembered you like we had never parted.  I remembered you as if no time had passed at all.  I looked into your eyes and knew that you remembered me too.   I fell into you as if you were really there; I could touch you, and feel you, and smell you; hear your breath next to my ear.  All the feelings came rushing back.  All the passion I thought had been shuttered away; kept from the light; a dark, dark secret that nobody knows except you and I.

A thousand years of ice melted away and you are once again in my heart.  

Friday, January 7, 2011

Where the Butterflies Fly


Michael came to me as I sat at my computer.  He embraced me and kissed me… kissed me passionately and then took my hand and said “Come with me”. 

I said “Okay” and as I went with him I asked along the way “so where are we going this time?”  and he replied with his usual,

“You’ll see…” This has become a running joke with us…

Out into the vastness of Nature we flew ~ I say we flew because we weren’t walking; we just seemed to float along smoothly on a cushion of air.  Up over a grassy hillside and into the forest we flew as time stood still for us once again.

The light shining through the trees and the woodland thicket was a peaceful and diffuse shade of green – almost like watching a dream sequence in a romantic fairytale movie. 

Deeper and deeper we traveled into the woods until finally we came to a stop in front of a huge tree.  It was at least a hundred feet tall and had a circumference that was so massive that ten people, hand in hand would not have been able to reach all the way around it.  It must have been there forever. 

At the base of the tree was a deep impression; a hollowed out spot where time and the elements in combination with small creatures that lived in the woods had found and enterprising opportunities to make use of the massiveness of the tree.  The impression; the hollow spot in the tree was so deep that it appeared pitch black, even to eyes already accustomed to the lower light levels under the forest canopy.  Try as I might I could make out no distinguishing features within the great black maw in the base of that tree. 

It looked dark and scary.

And then Michael said “Follow me,” he stood there waiting for me, ever patient.  But all I could do was just look at the blackness of the hole…

He had done this with me once before, with intentions of working on matters of me trusting him ~ he had taken me down through the winding and narrow passages of an underground cavern, which wasn’t too bad considering that it was fairly well lit most of the way (I don’t know how he accomplished that… but he’s an Angel, so well, say no more…).  That is until we got to a set of rickety old wooden steps that was more like a ladder leading down into a deep, dark pit, the bottom of which was no where in sight ~ a cold drafty wind groaned up through it further intimidating me. 

I came back to the present after my momentary reverie, and even remembering how I had successfully traversed the rickety ladder and darkness of the other dark place without anything bad happening to me, I just couldn’t move forward with this one.  Something about the “unknown-ness” of that big black hole in the base of that tree was something like what nightmares take place in.  I couldn’t move forward – couldn’t budge.

And he stood there still looking at me patiently waiting and asked me “What are you waiting for?”

And of course I was too paralyzed by fear to even answer him.  And try as I might, even though he went ahead and jumped down into the scary black hole himself I couldn’t do it.  I afraid of… what WAS I afraid of?...  and then in that moment I realized that this was something that I needed to face.  The unknown.  Not worry about how it would turn out, because ultimately, nothing can hurt me in this state of Being anyway. 

And so I said to myself “What the hell…”  and jumped into the scary black hole on the heels of my Beloved.

I found myself falling, slowly and gently, more like floating.  There was a gentle, warm breeze blowing up from underneath me… and this wonderful feeling like coming home and falling into the open, waiting arms of my Beloved.  And as I neared what served as the bottom of this realm I knew that there were other souls there who had been awaiting my arrival, and they cheered and rejoiced when I alighted.  And I realized that there was nothing to fear.

And as I stood there, an enormous butterfly with wings in every color of the rainbow, but colors that you don’t see here in this dimension, took off from amongst the gathered souls and flew upward.  And as it flew I realized that the butterfly was Michael.  I reached out and lifted off to go and greet him and be with him and fly with him, and as I did so I realized that I too was a butterfly.

And so we flew, flitting and fluttering in a way that only butterflies can, up and up an up, back into the forest and up through the trees all the way to the top of the canopy, until we burst out into the sunshine.

And with the blinding flash of sunlight the vision was over with, and I sat there astounded at that amazing way that I felt.  Completely freed of the fear I had been paralyzed by only moments earlier.  And feeling quite light as, well, a butterfly. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

THE TRAVELING MAN


by Ariel DeAngelis

(this is a story that I'm importing from my FaceBook profile "notes".  At the time that I wrote it I just thought that I had an interesting idea for a story that seemed to flow through "stream-of-consciousness" writing.  More recently however, I've come to realize that Michael has actually co-authored with me many of the stories I've written.  This is one of them... Thank you Michael!  Enjoy!!) 

Once upon a time, there was a man who was a traveling man. The traveling man loved to travel all over, and in fact had been traveling most of his life. He felt emphatically that it was his destiny.

Though in the course of his travels he felt he still needed to feel grounded somehow, and so, from each destination that he stopped at he would take with him a souvenir; a little reminder of where he’d been, what he’d seen and what he’d done. Most of the souvenirs he collected were small enough that he could carry them quite easily. Occasionally, he would just have to have a huge one that would weigh him down much more than the others. But even though through the years the pack on his back kept getting heavier and heavier, and huger and huger, he just couldn’t bear the thought of parting with any of them. And so he carried them all, every last one of them, everywhere he went. People who saw him would always remark, “Wow, that’s a mighty big back pack you have there! And look at all of those souvenirs! Isn’t it heavy? Don’t you wish sometimes you could just leave some of them behind?”

The traveling man would just smile and shake his head saying “no, I keep these with me as reminders of where I’ve been, what I’ve seen and what I’ve done. It’s true that some of them are more burdensome than others, but I’ve carried them this far… I think I can carry them a little further”. And with that he would hoist the pack on his shoulders to distribute the weight once again, and off he’d go to his next destination.

Well, as you might imagine, after many years of doing this, the traveling man’s back pack got so huge that it towered several feet above his head as he walked and climbed and sometimes even swam where ever it was that he wanted to go. He didn’t seem to mind too much; his arms and legs had gotten very strong from the years and years of carrying the pack full of souvenirs. In fact if he twisted an ankle or strained a wrist he would hardly seem to notice because he was so used to feeling the fatigue in his limbs he just kept going.

Sometimes he would come across other people in his travels, who were carrying their own packs of stuff… some people had really beautiful stuff and others had in their packs what looked like garbage, and he wondered why anyone would haul garbage around with them. Every once in a while, he would notice a person with a back pack who was having trouble keeping it on their shoulders. He’d watch as the person struggled and once in a while someone would beg him for help getting their pack seated on their shoulders, but he would just laugh and say “well, you’ve got quite a pack there, but have you seen mine lately?” pointing up at the enormous pack on his back. “I have enough to carry without helping you with yours too” and he would go on down the road laughing to himself about the irony of that.

Sometimes the traveling man would think about how lonely he was. He always traveled alone, and this was of some concern to him because sometimes he thought he might like to have a traveling companion. Maybe he might even like to have a traveling wife. Unfortunately every time he tried to get close to anyone, his overstuffed backpack would always get in the way somehow; either literally, or when it was suggested that he put it down, or just out and out get rid of it all together to make the relationship easier. He was so fixated on the contents of his pack however, at times he thought he might just love them more than life itself.

One day, the traveling man had been heading in the direction of a long cherished dream of his; to visit an ancient city made of gleaming crystal said to be the origins of all civilization. As he walked across the plateau he could see the city sparkling in the distance. It was so bright and shiny he couldn’t take his eyes off of it as he closed ever nearer.

Finally he stood in front of the grand city. The image took his breath away and he could feel the subtle energies of the people within beckoning, calling him to join them. He took a few steps closer and nearly fell off the edge of a precipice into a deep canyon that lay between him and the city. He stood there a moment looking and wondering. Hmmm… maybe it wasn’t too far, if he got a running start he might just be able to jump across. He couldn’t let a measly little canyon get in the way of his lifelong dream now. Then he pondered the pack on his back. He really didn’t want to leave all his souvenirs behind, even though he knew they weighed him down terribly.

He looked up the canyon and down the canyon, and noticed down the canyon a ways, an area where there was a line of people who were making the leap across the canyon into the beautiful city. He noticed an effect like little sparkling stars falling off into the canyon as each person leapt across. And so he started walking toward them thinking that perhaps they had gravitated to that spot because maybe the canyon wasn’t quite as wide there and they could cross more easily.

What he felt he should have been able to walk in 2 minutes actually took him the rest of the day. He knew his backpack of souvenirs was slowing him down. When he arrived the sun was almost ready to set and he knew if he was going to make the leap on this day he’d have to hurry as it might be dangerous to leap in the dark of night. He watched as one by one people stepped up to the edge and leapt, landing effortlessly on the other side.

He walked back a ways from the edge of the canyon, and adjusting the weight of the pack on his back, readied himself and then took off running. He ran as fast as he could, but as he neared the edge he realized he wasn’t going nearly fast enough and would never make the leap to the other side. So he dug in his heels just as he reached the edge and once again narrowly escaped plummeting down into the canyon.

He sat for a moment on a nearby rock, and pondered his situation. He REALLY liked all of the souvenirs in that pack; even the ones he knew were unnecessarily heavy. He took the pack off his back and set it down and opened it, looking at the souvenirs that were the ones on top. He ran his hand over them all – he knew each one by feel. As stood looking at them, he suddenly became aware that it had been a really long time since he’d dug all the way to the bottom of the pack to look at the souvenirs he’d acquired such a long time ago. He wasn’t even sure if he could remember what was really in there. His mind ran briefly over a consideration that perhaps he could just unload the souvenirs from the bottom of that pack to lighten his load so he could fulfill his life-long desire of visiting this special city. And as quickly as the consideration came over him, it left. He just couldn’t bear to part with any of them. So he got back up, hoisted the pack and it entire contents back up onto his back and continued on down the canyon a ways hoping to find a spot where the gap was narrower.

The going was very slow. He was starting to tire. And the farther he walked the farther out of sight his beloved city was. Only a sliver of the sun remained above the Earth’s rim, so he knew he was going to have to do something soon. He headed back to the place where all the other people were making their leap from. He watched them again, and wondered what it was that allowed them to make the leap so effortlessly. One by one, up and over… and then he saw it, or rather it was what he DIDN’T see that caught his attention. Not a one of them was carrying anything except themselves and the clothes they were wearing. How interesting. He guessed that most of these people had never been very far away from home, travelers like he was, otherwise they’d have their backpacks full of souvenirs as well that they couldn’t bear to part with. Well, then that must mean that he was certainly a more well rounded fellow of a very sophisticated demeanor, and because of that, then he SHOULD have an easier time of making that leap than they did. He just couldn’t figure it out.

So he walked up to one of them and struck up a conversation with him, “Say there, YOU getting ready to leap there. I see you have no backpack such as I … that must mean you haven’t been many places in your life, right?”

“Well, no”, the person getting ready to leap replied, “that’s not what it means at all”.

“Oh yeah?” said the traveling man, “I’ve been just about everywhere there is to go, where have you been? What have you seen? Where are YOUR souvenirs??? Hmmm????”

The person getting ready to leap just looked at him and smiled and said, “my good man, I’ve been all around the world 20 times and have visited every continent and every country there is 3 times 20 times, and I’ve seen such wonders as you could only imagine, because I could get to places you couldn’t with that backpack such as you have there”. The man getting ready to leap looked at the traveling man and asked him “what have you got in that backpack anyway?”

The traveling man replied “souvenirs” in a rather snarling manner. The man who was getting ready to leap laughed softly, to which the traveling man demanded, “what are you laughing at? I again ask you, where are YOUR souvenirs??? Or did you never have any??? Hmmmm???”.

The man who was getting ready to leap looked at the ground for a moment and then looked back up at the traveling man, “I did get souvenirs along the way through the course of my travels. Some I realized right away were too heavy to take with me, and so I put them down and left them where they were. Others I realized were of great value and maybe useful to someone else I gave away to people who needed them more than I did. Some that were just too unwieldy or had too many sharp edges or corners I realized were hurting me and so I threw them away. The ones I brought with me on my journey here, I left back there in the desert somewhere, as I knew that once I entered the beautiful city, I wouldn’t be needing them anymore for in the city is everything you could ever imagine wanting and more”.

The traveling man said “Pffftt” in disgust, and watched as the man took a running leap and sailed effortlessly over the chasm.

The traveling man adjusted the pack on his back again. He figured he’d give it one more try as he noticed the sun had sunk to just an orange glow on the horizon. Just as he braced himself to get one more good running start he heard a voice call out behind him,

“Excuse me,” the voice said, “can I take that for you?”

The traveling man turned around and saw a very gentle looking fellow dressed in a soft white shirt and pants standing behind him holding out his hand to the traveling man.

“Take what for me?” asked the traveling man in a gruff voice.

“Why, your backpack of course” said the man dressed in white. “Don’t you think it’s a bit heavy and bulky to be trying to make the leap with it on your back? It is a ways across there you know. You’ll have a better chance of making it if you let me hold it for you”.

“Sir, I’ll have you know” the traveling man replied, “that I’ve carried this pack throughout most of my life. Now granted, in the beginning it wasn’t as heavy as it is now, but I’ve done just fine hefting it from place to place. And besides, how could I possibly trust you with all my treasured souvenirs?”

“Oh, rest assured; if you get to the other side and you want to come back for them, they’ll still be here. I’ll make sure of that!” the man in white answered.

The traveling man looked at the canyon, and then back at the man in white. The sun was now barely a purplish haze on the horizon and the stars were beginning to shine. It was becoming more and more clear to the traveling man that he would have to part with his treasured souvenirs for just a while if he ever hoped to make it to the beautiful crystal city on this day. He heaved a great sigh of resignation and slowly slid the straps of his backpack off his shoulders, and set it on the ground.

With the backpack of souvenirs on the ground and the desire of his unfinished mission so prevalent in his heart, the traveling man felt so much lighter he almost knew he could fly. Maybe he did know he could fly. A great feeling of excitement and anticipation welled up inside of him, filling his whole being, and he knew what he must do. He looked at the man in white and said,

“Kind Sir, I thank you so much for opening my eyes to the possibilities that await me. I don’t think I’ll be needing those anymore,” he pointed at the backpack full of souvenirs, “they are all in the past, and I am in the present. I have a destination I must reach before the day it out, so I must hurry. You can keep them, or give them away, or throw them away if you like. I truly don’t need them anymore”.

And with that the traveling man got a running start and leaped gracefully over the canyon, landing perfectly on the other side, just inside the open gates of the beautiful crystal city. While he was in mid leap the man in white swung the backpack out into the canyon where all its contents flew free and scattered in the wind. And as gravity took its toll on them, they each took on a little sparkle as if a thousand tiny stars were falling away into the canyon.

©2010 Ariel DeAngelis - all rights reserved

Note: please feel free to copy this and redistribute it to all whom you feel would like to read it; all I ask is that you keep the copyright notice in place.