ON THE OTHER SIDE

 

“ Knock,knock! Are you sleeping? “-asked the dream.

“Not anymore…”-he mumbled as he stretched and opened his eyes. He was in a haze so he fingered the table next his bed and recovered his glasses. The image cleared. He noticed a packed suitcase on the chair.

“That’s odd…”-he thought. He couldn’t remember packing it. But he lived alone on the house so no one could’ve packed that suitcase but himself.

“ Huh, I need a coffee…”

He stood up and walked to the kitchen to warm some water for his coffee. But the kettle was already filled with fresh and hot coffee. He stared at it in disbelief.

“ I must have started sleepwalking”-he thought. “Better wash my face and drink that coffee before anything more happens.”

Luckily, by the time he washed and dressed up nothing new happened in the small cottage.

Oh, but the day was just starting. The man was a musician and he has moved in only a few days ago. He needed a break from the crushing noise of the big city and the ad in the newspapers was speaking of a peaceful corner of pristine Nature. So he left behind everything, packed his suitcase and embarked for a journey into the unknown.  The place was remote and somehow otherworldly: a narrow country road, playing hide and seek between softly curved hills and gentle meadows, a few patches of trees from time to time and so much azure in the open skies that the man got almost dizzy watching it. The little house was neat and properly equipped, giving him the necessary freedom to let himself go. He slept like a log during the first night spent there. Far from the huge turmoil of the beast of glass, concrete and steel, his mind stretched like a cat, then cuddled in the arms of silence…

The healing sleep filled the man with new energies and the next morning he ventured on the hills around, breathing in the caressing sunshine of an early summer. He even walked to the nearest isle of forest and walked under the green canopy, in the twinkling of the light filtered by the murmuring leaves. The forest had its own orchestra, an invisible yet cheerful one. The man was amazed by the skillful arpeggios of the hidden birds, by the hushed voice of the wind in the trees and by the faint sizzling of the sunlight through the elusive holes of the green dome. The harmony of life encompassed in these voices was seeping in his mind, turning into the notes of a new melody. Under the spell of music, the gates of his soul were slowly opening…

So when the dream woke him up, he quickly dismissed the odd feeling and prepared for another joyful walk. He was about to leave the house when the dream called him from behind.

“Don’t forget to take your suitcase!”

“Why would I need it? I’m not leaving yet. I just want to take a walk.”-he said.

“Take it.”-said the dream. “You might need it. Don’t worry, it’s not heavy. I have packed it myself.”

“ OK, I’ll take it.”-said the man with a grin. “If it makes you happy….”

He took the suitcase and stepped out. The air was crisp and scented; the birds were singing and the waters of the skies calm and blue. The man turned to the main road and took the way towards the higher hills that were hiding an unknown horizon. He walked happily, with quick steps and whistling the melody of his first trip around. The road boldly cut through the hills and took a steep turn. The man stopped, facing the thick wall of fog.

It was sky high and dense like a brick wall, cutting off abruptly the path and engulfing half of a roadside tree. The man looked at it in silence.

“ Why have you stopped? “-asked the dream.

“What…what is this?”-stuttered the man.

“Hmmmm…”-mumbled the dream. “It’s….a portal. You have to step through it if you want to see what lies on the other side”.

The man nervously shook his head.

“What is on the other side?”-he asked, eyes rounding in surprise while thin filaments of fog were reaching towards him, touching him gently.

“Whatever you wish is on the other side….” –whispered the dream.

The man took a step forward. The wall of fog closed behind him with a sigh.

It was night in the land beyond and the path under his feet was leading towards a cliff. The warm evening breeze filled his nostrils with a salty scent and the rasping sound of the waves washing the shore reached his ears. The Sea was near. Excited by the discovery, the man hurried towards the cliff. He sat on the top of it and took a deep breath. Deep down, the silver glazed sea was gently rocking from side to side.

“ Open your suitcase, my friend!” –said the dream.

The man opened the suitcase and looked inside: nested in a small box, he saw a harmonica.

“Oh!…It’s been a while since I played a harmonica….”

“ So why won’t you play it now?”-whispered the dream. “I know that you have a new song in your mind. Would you play it for me? “

The man took the harmonica and fingered it lovingly. He closed his eyes and started to play. One by one, the musical notes got wings and took flight towards the star-spotted skies. And while his song was unfolding, flowing and swirling, the cliff under his feet joined his song. The Ancient Spirit of the Land came to life to the sound of music and she regained her voice. Her clear, high voice made him shiver and the passion flowing through it slammed the gates of his soul open. He kept playing the harmonica, with eyes shut and tears flowing down his cheeks….

From the top of the skies, the silver Crescent was slowly descending towards the cliff. It stopped above the musician and sent two moonbeam ropes down to him.

“Open your eyes, my friend..”-murmured the dream. “It’s time for you to follow your journey….”

The man looked around and saw the silver ropes. He grabbed them and the evening breeze pushed him gently over the cliff. The Silver Crescent was gracefully sailing through the glowing night, above the endless expanse of rolling waters, towards a far horizon, while the rocky Spirit was singing the new song learned from the musician….

“Safe sailing, my friend…” –said the dream. “Safe sailing….”

 

He woke up in his bed, at home in the city. He woke up smiling. It’s been a while since he last smiled. He jumped from the bed and rushed to the window. He opened it impatiently; the night was not over yet. He looked up to the sky and for the first time he saw the stars. His sky was teaming with glittering spots and his soul was singing a new song…..

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