Once Upon A Time
“Open your heart,” says the Sage. “I know she hurt you, but open your heart.”
The young man nods his head, humble. “Sir, I know you are right, but I don’t know how to do such a thing. How to let a free bird go, how to love her anyway?”
The Sage sits in his high, bejeweled chair and waits. He watches the young man fumble with his hands, he watches him form the next question.
“Sir, once you have loved a person, do you ever stop loving them?” The young man dares a look, peering up into the lined face of the old man, into the blue eyes, the soul so wise.
“Of course not, child,” says the Sage. “And more importantly than that, you love everyone, you just don’t know it. Open your heart. Let it unfold like the petals of a flower. You will see that this girl is just a bird in the wind, a ripple on the water, sugar on your tongue. People come and go, but your love remains the same, a deep pool of tranquil bliss, a constant fire that has burnt since the beginning of time. The brighter it burns, the more light you will attract. You will love again.”
The young man listens and nods his head. He remembers the taste of her sugar on his tongue, he glimpses their reflections in the water. He sees her running down a grassy hill, arms extended, lifting off. She is flying, flying, flying away, but his heart will always hold her.
“Sir, will we meet again?” he asks the Sage. “Will I see her in my next lifetime?”
“That depends, my son,” the Sage says sagely. “If your connection is strong enough, surely you will meet again. Cultivate love and acceptance in this life, and find her again in the next. She may be a rose in a garden, and you the rain. Water her well. She may be a beggar on the street, and you an angel. Invite her into your home. She may be a black-hearted Queen, but you must melt her with your love. Try and try again. Life is practice. Practice well.”
The young man bows to the Sage and walks off. He wanders into the forest and shoots his gun. Squirrels scatter and birds shriek, lifting into the air. The young man kicks a tree, moans, and grabs his head. He is scuffing dirt with his toe when a beautiful young woman appears. She is wearing yellow and white robes, flowing around her like a dream. She extends her hand. The young man’s brown eyes soften and readjust. He takes in this lovely creature, and then drops to one knee. “Serena,” he says to this gorgeous angel, surprising himself by knowing her name. She is lovely, rose-like, a mirage of fleeting colors. He has never seen her before.
“Yes, my love,” she says, coming to kneel before him. She takes his hands in her soft, white ones. She is so ethereal, he is afraid she will disappear like cream slipping through his fingers. She remains. A luminous smile lights her face, and she opens her gown just slightly. Her skin glows with a heavenly sheen, and his jaw drops in wonder and awe. Here in this clearing, an angel is undressing for him.
“Take me,” she says, putting his hand on her breast. “Take me now before we both wake up.” He continues to stare, disbelieving, but somehow the blood has begun thumping in his body. He feels very alive. She sinks further to the ground, bringing him with her, and now they are facing each other, holding hands, the moss providing their earthly cushion.
“I have been waiting for you for a long, long time,” she says, her blue eyes sparkling and clear. “For lifetimes we have tried to find each other again, and here we are, Heaven and Earth, together. Let us connect. Let us make love.”
As the bluebirds chirp in the trees, and the Sage nods off in the Palace, the young man slides the gown off her shoulders and begins to caress an angel. As their bodies meet and merge, a million lifetimes flash before him, and he sees that he has known her for a gorgeous eternity. A transparent sphere is rolling before his eyes, showing him their lives together. Best friends, monk and disciple, baby and mother, lovers. Lovers. Again and again, lovers.
They melt into a puddle of rippling light, the sun dancing off of their surface. A curious squirrel comes to lap it up, the divine flavors mingling on his tongue. In an instant, he is transformed, immortal, and he goes chattering off into the trees where he finds his girlfriend with the brown puffy tail. He flexes his squirrel biceps and makes love to her all night long. The sun sets on the enchanted forest, and a happy ending is found. Once in love, always in love.