I was walking along a trail the other day, high up upon a ridge. There were trees and bushes all around with occasional pinion trees - very beautiful. Along the ground there were
wildflowers growing. Occasionally there’d be a deer off in the distance.
This is a nice old trail, not many people know about it. So there’s never any stuff or trash, no cigarette butts - nothing like that and it’s always and only a sense of peace and calm. In some places it’s so high that on days when there’s low clouds or fog it’s always moist, though I cannot see as far as I would like.
As a result, I came up unexpectedly on an old turtle and we both stopped and looked at each other as if to say, “I didn’t expect to see anybody on this trail today.” You know how you can look at someone who cannot speak your language and they have the same expression in their eyes that you do. We were both quite friendly but I had a little space where I was in the trail so I moved aside and let old turtle walk by. We nodded at each other with a nice look in our eyes. A pleasant surprise.
When walking on this trail I think about how beautiful things can be because this trail is like an old part of the Earth where things are the way they were, I feel, many many years ago. As I said before, I practically never see anybody else up on this trail but this day I came across the old turtle and somebody that I never expected to see.
There’s a place on the trail just around a curve on the path where there’s a stone that’s almost in the way but what it really is like, this big stone, is a nice place you can sit but you don’t see this stone that juts out over the path until you come up right on it.
So I came around the curve and there sitting on the edge of the stone is a person who stood up when she saw me. I’ve never seen another person on this trail at any time so I was very surprised and I looked at her and she looked at me and we both sat down on the stone. We were both surprised.
I was hiking up on the trail and I thought perhaps she had been coming down. I asked her where she was from and she pointed off in a direction. I wasn’t sure then, whether she spoke my language but I hoped that maybe she could kind of get it.
She asked me where I was from and I pointed in a direction - normally I would just say - and we smiled at each other. Then I asked her, just taking a chance, “Tell me something nice about your life.” And speaking my language perfectly she said, “I live in an old part of Earth. It’s not far from here but you cannot find it from this trail unless you know just how to do it.”
I said, “I’ve been walking this trail for a few years and I haven’t seen any trails off to the side either up or down.” She said, “I know.”
We talked a little bit more and then she reached out towards me. I thought she was going to shake hands but when I reached back she reached up and it was like she was pointing at me but not exactly - she reached up towards my forehead and then things changed.
Everything sort of glowed gently and beautifully. I could see a golden aura around her and I looked down and I saw it around me too. She got up and made the signal to me to follow her and I - I just did. It seemed right.
We walked up the trail a bit further and we got to a spot where the growth of trees and bushes was very dense.
She did something with her hand. I’m not sure what because I couldn’t see all of it since I was behind her and suddenly there was another trail there that I had never seen before. We walked on the trail and we went up to this place. It looked a bit like a cave, sort of a small cave though it had a pretty tall opening. I’m not to tall myself but she was a little taller then me, not much but a little bit and she didn’t have to duck.
We walked in to the space inside though it was really quite small. She walked over to the left and on the cave wall there was what I can only describe as color moving around. It was beautiful. Kind of like seeing a round rainbow in motion.
She reached up with her left hand and while she didn’t touch the colors she came close to touching them and suddenly, I can’t explain how, we were in this other place.
It looked a lot like the trail in that everything was pristine and beautiful. There was a lake and in the distance I could see a river that either flowed into the lake or perhaps the lake flowed into the river, I wasn’t sure but everything had that golden glow. It was so very beautiful.
We walked down towards the lake and when we got there she turned around and smiled. Then she turned back quickly and walked into the lake. I thought she was going to swim and I’m a good swimmer myself so I slipped off my shoes quickly and tossed my shirt to the side.
I noticed she went in to the lake with her clothes on but I thought, “Oh well, she’s modest. That’s actually a nice thing.” As we got deeper in the lake I was just ready to swim but suddenly she ducked under and before I realized it she was gone but in her place was a dolphin and the dolphin nodded at me and made that sound that they make that’s so cheerful and for no reason I could think of I just ducked under too.
Suddenly I was a dolphin and we swam and played in that lake and I never felt so wonderful in my life. We did dolphin things and we enjoyed ourselves. We jumped out of the water the way they do and twirled around. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. I discovered what the joy of living in every moment felt like. It was such a great gift.
Then suddenly, without any warning, I was standing back on the shore. I looked around and didn’t see her though I did see someone swimming away in the distance and I knew I wasn’t supposed to follow. So I was sad to see my friend dolphin leaving and I didn’t see anybody else around.
I picked up my shirt and tied the shoelaces together on my shoes and threw them over my shoulder. I didn’t know what to do because I couldn’t see the way out but suddenly I decided to look straight up and there was an opening to the sky I hadn’t noticed before. I had never thought of looking up because all that was around was so beautiful.
I could see that there was a pathway that I hadn’t noticed before because it was a bit higher up. I’d dried off now so I put on my shirt and shoes and walked up the path higher and higher still in the golden light.
When I got close to the top I noticed that the path circled around above where the lake was. I walked up towards the rim that was open to the sky but the golden light started to fade and I didn’t want to leave it. So I went back down into the golden light and the place of the lake.
I sighed and thought how I am of an age where all my friends have passed away and I’m the last one left in my family. I’m very old and would it be so bad to stay here and pass the rest of my time away in this beautiful place. I don’t know if there is food but for some reason I don’t feel hungry.
I walked further on past the lake and got to a small waterfall. I cupped my hands and made a bowl of them and scooped some of the water from the waterfall. It was beautiful and as golden as everything else. I felt it was safe to drink and I drank some.
The water tasted wonderful. I was still just as old as I was before but I felt wonderful inside so I took another swallow and the next thing I knew I was in the lake. I was the dolphin again and I was swimming with my friend and I knew I could stay there forever.
Happy New Year. May it be a golden one for you.