He woke up at the foot of the mountain near the river. As the mists cleared from in front of his eyes he knew that he was once more drawn into the dreamworld. He could hear her name in the wind as it laid the leaves down across the bridge like breadcrumbs. Instinctively he follows the trail onto the wooden deck. Each leaf was imprinted with a symbol that represented a quality of his true love. Beauty, loyalty, passion, intelligence, creativity and joy and more. As walked further across the bridge collecting the leaves the symbols kept adding new traits to the list. As he reached the center he looked up from the last leaf. She looked back at him with her own basket of leaves in her arms. The mountain mists rolled between them as the real world pulled them from the bridge. Each awoke in their own bed with memory of the other’s perfect eyes looking into their own.
Later that same morning as he was driving to his new job he came to the crossing. His foggy memory of previous night’s dream was still fresh in his mind but he couldn’t recall the details. The fog obscured all but the bridge’s threshold as he stopped his truck in the middle of the quiet country road and stepped out. Just as he was beginning to recognize the structure a single leaf drops from the forest and disappears into the fog. Curious about what was happening he starts walking across. Before he takes his second step she emerges holding the single leaf. It was only when their eyes met that they recalled the dream.
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I exited the highway and slowly drifted down the muddy road. A few days prior I’d spotted the tunnel. The entrance is dark and foreboding. The Virginia Creeper vines hang across the opening as if they’re daring me to step within reach. Just on the other side the light falls gently on a peaceful looking forest. This is a mystery. My mind harkens back to my childhood and games of dungeons and dragons. What will happen if I cross the threshold? Will the vines try to grab me and pull me up into some primeval jungle? Will I find out the peaceful scene on the other side is just an illusion as I’m transported to an alternate reality by some mystical gateway? Will I find an angry axe wielding ogre waiting to squish me into jelly? My sense of fantasy and adventure begins to run wild. I began to recall hours of solving puzzles and riddles with my college friends in a world where one’s fate was controlled by the roll of a 20 sided die. It was pure escapism. Magical swords, cursed rings and legendary beasts all awaited us on Thursday nights in the student lounge.
The best games were the ones where we bent the rules just a little to keep the story going. I was tempted to temp fate and enter the tunnel for a few minutes. I quickly checked my pocket and found my trusty Victorinox Swiss Army Knife to fend away the vines. However, I remembered that the 20 sided die was lost to a wild roll and an open floor vent in 1988. Unwilling to face any axe wielding ogres without my lucky die, I opted to stay in the real world…for now. I turned my big blue truck back towards the open road and my day job where the vines don’t try to eat you. However, I am a little suspicious of the ficus in the corner of the office. 😉
When I can’t really get out for some down time I take a moment for a mental vacation. Let me share one with you today in my thoughts below.
Warm sunshine and cool waters fill my thoughts. I long for the salty air and the cry of the seabirds. My only goal for the day should be to finish a good book with my toes in the sand. The ocean breeze washes over me as the crashing waves drown out whispers of the to do list. Responsibilities are for those who are imprisoned. Today I am free.
As a child I used dream that I could fly. The dreams were always very vivid. I could feel the inertia as I banked through the clouds. Every time I stand by this spot between two skies I’m taken back to those dreams and I know that one day I’ll hear a trumpet summoning me to “come up hither” and in the twinkle of an eye I’ll be soaring between two skies.
A morning stop at the junction of the Gauley River, New River and the Kanawha River was rewarded with a display of the mists rising up from the surrounding mountains. Fog and mists are inspiration for the imagination. While looking at the scene before my eyes it was easy to conjure up what it must have been like during the settlement era. There were no houses or roads. Just the river and the tree covered mountains with the occasional rocky ledge. If I close my eyes and focus on the image I can hear a Shawnee playing his flute as he sits on the bank. He’s working on a love song for his true love, drawing inspiration from the song birds. The tune has to be perfect because it’s the only dowry he has. I can also smell the fire from his camp as his breakfast cooks. He’s having fish from the weir he made yesterday. He’s wrapped the fish in wild aromatic herbs and the scent is amazing. The leaves of Carolina Allspice impart a lemon flavor to meal.
The young warrior pauses to make a mental note of the tune and turns towards his meal. He pretends not to notice that she has been watching him the whole time. He smiles as he watches her reflection in the calm pool along the river’s edge. Playfully he calls out, “If only there was someone who would share this meal with me!” With slight giggle his true love emerges from edge of the bushes. They embrace and I am called back to the real world. I pulled my truck back onto the highway and began my morning commute. However, as I did could have sworn that I saw the two lovers reflected in the river.