I once dreamt that I was crawling through the dirt. Branches and twigs stabbed every part of me. I bled and beads of sweat pooled on my skin, making the uphill battle even more challenging. I had this deep sense that I was fleeing something, and voice inside me just kept whispering "don't give up." The sky in this daunting universe was a bleak twilight and eventually faded out to the deepest hue of black. Still I crawled for seemingly ever trusting this voice. And then I heard the roaring thunder, that snapped and cracked like a whip in the sky. I heard the droplets bounce off the leaves in the trees before cutting through the humidity to cool my skin and wash away the filth of the journey. I crawled as far as I could until, in the darkness, I felt a wall of rock blocking my path. My hand patted the boulder looking for away around. Just as my hands found some vines and indentations in and around the barrier I heard the voice whisper again. "Climb," and so I did.
This part of the journey was by far the hardest. I didn't clear the wall for quite some time. I slipped and every time I did so the rain beat down faster. But I got stronger and wiser which each misstep, and when I was ready I was able to hoist myself over the top edge of that boulder. The rain ceased as I laid on top of the cool stone and moss catching my breath. Gazing up I saw the first sign of light through the parting clouds. Stars. Twinkling, dancing stars ready to greet me. I closed my eyes and smiled thinking this is what I fought so hard for. This was the reward for all that struggle. Just at that moment I felt warmth kiss my side.
The sun had emerged and was greeting me from the north, peeking through the trees. I followed it, noticing how smooth the ground was in this part of the forest with the air being so light and crisp. When I finally stepped past the last rows of trees a vast span of lake, seemingly divided me from this great wall of stone, that split just where the sun shone in. A hawk soared above looking at me before taking the turn towards the slit of light. And suddenly a breeze seemed to push me forward. Closer approaching the lake I discovered that a narrow glass bridge, nestled slightly under the water, stemmed from the bank of sand to the clearing on the other side. The warmth invited me in. That walk across was truly breathtaking. Looking up at the vast clearing every detail was so sharp and vivid. From the beautiful blue of the sky, every shape every leaf on every vine and tree, the rugged and soft ridges of that stone wall, and that silky water that cooled my worn and tired feet. As I got closer to the light more signs of life appeared. Bees gently buzzed and spun in the air, wings seemingly sparkling in the light. Schools of fish grouped and swam beneath me. Birds chirped from every direction, singing their songs of joy and home.
Coming to the end of that glass path a silhouette emerged of a man. He wore a linen robe, his hair was a deep brown and his skin evenly tanned from the sun. The hawk sat, perched on his arm. He smiled at the bird before turning to me and saying, in a voice so deep and engrained, "You made it."
It was the first time his voice wasn't a whisper.