It took a few days of searching. I finally found that passageway that Deon told me about, the one that leads to the high country.
Walking into the crevice, I felt I was leaving behind all the bad stuff that ever happened.
And I emerged in heaven.
I never saw blue before, until I saw that sky.
Rainbows rode the waterfalls down into the pools
Granite crags line the meadow. It’s safe here.
I followed a western tanager up to a rocky crag, and I looked out below, across all the mountains, over the foothills, out toward the desert.
I’ve left it all behind.
Lying on a slab of granite, feeling the sun warm my face and the radiating rock warm my back, I found freedom.
I want to live here forever, where nothing can hurt me, where I can see forever.
A land full of rainbows must be where happiness is born!
Near the pool at the base of the waterfall, I found a ring of campfire stones and built a fire.
Then I heard laughter. First, I thought it was my imagination, because I was happy. Then I thought it was an echo from the waterfalls, ringing through the valley.
Then I turned around, and there was an old man.
“Are you Ted?” I asked him.
He was. I told him I was Deon’s friend.
“Then you’re my friend, too,” he said.
We talked for a while. But he didn’t ask me any questions about who I was or what I was doing there. He talked about seasons. He talked about a tree that was growing old, and another young tree that was reaching up and would fill the space that the old tree left, after its branches lost their leaves, dried, and got blown off in storms.
“No space goes empty,” he said. “There’s always something to fill every space.”
He asked me what I fill my spaces with.
I told him I didn’t know. I was happy now, and I felt quiet inside, so now my spaces were filled with the roar of the waterfall and the tickles of rainbows.
But I said this wouldn’t last, and something else would fill the spaces when this shifted.
He laughed and clapped me on the shoulder.
“Good answer!” he said, as if I’d passed some sort of test.
He asked if I was hungry, and he led me through the alpine meadows to the cabin where he lived.
I looked at the wildflowers lining the path, the light coming from the windows, the front door that begged to open.
“Can I stay awhile?” I asked.
“For a while,” he said. Something shifted in me, and the space inside me was filled with home.