The trees. It’s the trees that I notice first. Each trunk, each limb, each branch, each twig, reaching, reaching, reaching for the sky. In worship. In the serenity, I can hear them. Each cell singing, raising its voice. Higher and higher.
The stream bubbling in joy. The butterfly flashing its colors in the sunlight. Ruby red. Sapphire blue. Emerald green. Amethyst purple. Even the colors raise their own voices. Voices that are gentle to the touch, pulsing through my veins.
The forest harmonizes around me as I walk. The sun dances on my smiling lips.
I place another foot down, and crraack. Silence. The birds: silent. The stream: silent. The gems: silent. The sun: silent and hidden. A cold breeze tugs at my hair. I pick up my foot—there is nothing beneath it.
I sense the sobbing, the longing. But it is stifled and distant. I turn my head and see the shadow. A stick lay in two pieces beneath its right foot. Fear leaps from the trees and crawls upon my arm. The shadow is still. It will not approach me. The sobbing continues, the reaching out. I sense a frail finger behind the shadow, reaching toward the light beyond. Nearer, nearer; nearer to the light, but nearer to the darkness—ahhhh!! a piercing shriek of agony. The finger recoils. The shadow remains still.
In the silence and stillness I am aware of my own warmth and the light emanating from me. The sobbing is a weak call, and yet it is a call nonetheless.
The thunder in heaven is earthshaking. The silence is banished as the trees, the stream, the butterflies tremble. I keep watching the shadow—though its silence is threatened, it refuses to tremble. Another Call emanates from above: SEND THE CALL OUT. send the call out. send the call out send the call out
I begin to advance toward the shadow. My warmth and light are bursting beyond skin-deep, into the dimness around me. The shadow stands its ground. I stop in front of it. My hand reaches out. A tremble shakes the shadow and it takes a step back. Before it can take another I penetrate the darkness with my lighted hand. The cold recedes from the puncture. I grasp a chilled, frail hand.
And hear the faintest fragrance—so ancient, so new—of melody and harmony rising.