A number of years ago, I woke in the morning and had an urge to write out a dream. It was a vivid sequence of images and emotions that has stayed with me for the past several years. There are times when I can remember every moment, every color, and every heartbreak that that vision brought me.
On New Years Eve, between emergency calls at work, I found myself writing once again. It was an uncontrollable urge to free the beast from within. And I wrote. And the words just flowed forth. And I think it is time to share them once again…
There was a time when dreams told the stories of our hearts and souls, revealing the will of God and the answers to prayers that were unspoken other than the cries of our hearts. It was a time when giants walked among us, heroes were born and revealed, and men could see and feel the power of demons and angels.
The darkness was more than the absence of light, but a physical manifestation, a force of power. The light held back the nightmares of the night and the dark forces of evil, fear, and pain. It was a time when faith could be seen, and moments that were frozen in time for all eternity.
I saw it once, in a dream; The mountain shrouded b shadows. Before the path was a tattered temple, its orange cloth flowing loosely in the wind. A grizzled old man, his cloak pulled tight around him, his face and hair untrimmed by the long years in the wilderness, stood before us. His warning echoed in our ears, “Death awaits those who travel the path up the mountain.”
We pressed in close, as he showed us the path that led down the gully and through the gates. He told us of the demon that lived on the mountain, shrouded by death and fierce in battle, who slept in a hole at the end of the path. Hundreds had ventured down the path in an attempt to kill the demon, few had returned. None had succeeded. But we were certain that where others failed, we would be the ones to succeed.
We knew that to kill this demon, we would have to carry a log up the mountain to place on his head, so we grabbed the log and charged down the path. In our haste, we were unable to maneuver out way through the gate that guarded the path.
After pausing, I watched the group peel the bark from the log and strip extra limbs and material off to reduce the weight. As they worked together, they began to pray together and write words of inspiration over the surface of the wood. I watched from a distance, an outsider to a strange ritual and expression of faith.
I sat there on a rock outcropping, watching from above, until a girl with long hair extended her hand to invite me to join them. The acceptance into the mystery lifted me to join them. I knelt down to write a prayer in the wood, but all that would come out was one word: “Thanks.”
Before I knew it, I was swept to my feet as we dove through the gate and charged up the trail, the log lifted up onto our shoulders. The trail was lined with signs warning us to turn back, to flee before we lost our souls. Soon our path began to get darker, as trees reached up to block out the skies and thorns reached out to grab our ankles. The signs fell behind us and were replaced by ghostly eyes that stared out from behind the underbrush, their voices pleading for us to turn back.
Darkness covered our path as our numbers dwindled off; several people stopped to turn back and others just disappeared as we raced along. I found myself in the front of the log, leading the way down the trail when we came to a fork in the road.
On the right, the path led through a marsh, before twisting behind a bend in the road. To the left, a bridge that led over the water. I turned left to head across the bridge, a safer route, when the man behind me, a tall guy with shaggy black hair pulled the log from my grasp and motioned for me to follow him as he turned right and headed into the marsh. As he balanced the log on his shoulders, it didn’t seem as large as it had been when we set forth on our journey.
I jogged along behind him, alongside a couple others, as we slowly fell further behind. The water became deeper as the man rounded the bend and we lost sight of him. We waded through the murky water as it came up past our waists and up over our chests.
Fear reached out his hands, grasping my limbs as the waters around me started to ripple and several reptilian heads emerged. Even in the land of dreams, where ones thoughts are revealed as truth, one can sink into despair as I did. I sank into a pit of darkness, of numbness that pulled me under into the blackness. What little light was left faded as I sank beneath the surface.
Everyone says that drowning is peaceful, but the panic that sets in as the darkness grips you, as you struggle to breathe, as you fight to live is exhausting. And after the rush, the silence sets in and you are stuck in the middle of nothingness. Everything goes still and nothing matters anymore. It all just disappears.
In that moment of stillness, I saw a light; a pinprick in the black. It was a pain so intense, a burning of an unquenchable fire that I couldn’t turn from. The searing light that consumed the darkness and unleashed the fear that held so tight onto my limbs, that immobilized me for that moment, for that eternity.
And there, behind the light was the hand reaching out for me, and I had no energy or will to outstretch my own; I was too weary from my battle with the darkness. I watched, as if removed from my own body, as I drifted through the mist of conscienceness, lost in all time, but nor a moment passed as she reached through the fog and pulled me from that pit of darkness.
I was blinded by the darkness and the light was too painful to see, and even with my eyes closed, the light pierced the darkness that had consumed and accepted me. She pulled me from that watery grave and I gasped for air as I lay there on the bank of the marsh. Minutes and hours passed in that moment as I was thankful for the cool breath of life. I lay there, holding her, my savior in my arms as day turned to night and sight returned to my eyes.
I looked on her, and all I could see was the love radiating from her eyes. I realized that the light that had fought off the darkness and freed me to continue living was shining from her chest, pulsing with the beat of her heart.
And when I awoke to the world I was a part of, I could still feel her presence guiding me, teaching me how to love. And I have carried her with me from that day forth, until we meet again…