9. The Land of Vida


They slept and they slept, and when they awoke they were in a strange place. Mika had dreamed that smiling children had carried them a long way to an enchanted kingdom. And when he looked around at the brightly glowing houses and the laughing children that stood all around, he knew it hadn't been a dream at all.

"We are the children of Vida," their hosts laughed, and they pulled the travelers to their feet and began to dance and to sing. Mika was caught up in a feeling of joy as he danced with the children. And as he looked in Jeena's face he saw an expression he hadn't seen in all the days they'd been together. It was one of utter peace.

Days passed by in the land of Vida. And each day was spent singing and dancing. And the children told stories that made Jeena and Mika laugh and laugh. And then all the children would Dream. Mika wasn't sure what they meant that first day in the land of Vida, when the children asked the two travelers to Dream with them.

"Sure," they had both agreed.

And then the children sat down in the beautiful flowers that filled the kingdom, or beneath the tall majestic trees, or stared up at the sparkling stars. Jeena and Mika and some of the children sat around a rushing stream.

Mika stared into the stream and watched it drifting by. He felt the water like life flowing endlessly through him. And he heard the sweet song the stream whispered, and he began to hum it himself. All around he could hear music. "It's only the sound of the flowers blowing in the breeze, and the rustle of the wind in the trees," a part of him whispered. But it sounded like music. And then it was gone. He heard only the rush of the water, and looking around he saw Jeena and the children still staring at the stream. Everywhere in the Kingdom the children sat motionless, staring at whatever was before them.

"Jeena," he whispered. But she didn't answer. He sat there a little longer. After a while he pulled out the flute and tried to play something, but it didn't seem to fit in with the whisper of music that was everywhere around him.

And so, each day, when the entire kingdom stopped their singing and dancing and began to Dream, Mika would wander around the land painting beautiful pictures that almost captured the unimaginable beauty of Vida. He would play his flute and sing of adventures and of the Quest that lay before him.

One night he Dreamed. In the Dream Mika saw a butterfly, and he was the butterfly. He flew up, high in the sky, then raced down to soar between the flowers. Oh what joy, what freedom. He fluttered quietly playing his own song that mixed with all the sounds of the world, creating a beautiful symphony.

The butterfly flew and he flew, happy and peaceful, and then looking down he saw a silent traveler asleep in a field of flowers.

Mika opened his eyes. The sun was shining brightly on the new morning. A butterfly drifted past his eyes. He blinked, half remembering the dream, and he opened his mouth to say something. But the butterfly disappeared in the flowers.

"Jeena," he said that day. "Many weeks have passed since we arrived in Vida, and, well, as beautiful as this place is, nothing really ever happens here. I mean, we just sing and dance and laugh. And the weather never changes -- it's always beautiful of course. But every day is the same as the last."

"But Mika, you just told me that you Dreamed last night. That you became a butterfly."

"What do you mean Jeena. I didn't say I became a butterfly. I just dreamed I was a butterfly."

"But don't you see it, Mika? Everything is so clear to me now, ever since we found Vida. Why, whatever we want to become we can. I never knew that before. We have only to see that we are and we become."

Mika shook his head impatiently. "Yeah, but Jeena, there are adventures out there. Destiny awaits me."

"But whatever you want you have only to see it, and you become it."

"That doesn't make any sense to me."

"But just as you were a butterfly last night..."

"Jeena, I told you I just dreamed I was a butterfly!!!"

"Your body may have been asleep, but you were a butterfly. Can't you see that. We are everything and everything is us. One spirit."

"Jeena, I don't know." Mika sighed. "I kind of understand. I guess I felt what you're talking about. Once. But only for a short moment. That time by the stream. But just when I felt it, it was gone. Then I was just me, Mika the searcher."

Jeena smiled. "Mika, I know you will find happiness some day. I can see it so clearly. I wish you could, too. You are right. You have to go. Find Gumba. He will help you find your dreams, whatever they might be."

Mika sighed. It was very beautiful here. He wanted to believe. Maybe if he tried he could learn to be happy like everyone else. No. Destiny was waiting. He had to go.

"Mika," Jeena said slowly. "Take this with you." And she handed him her guitar. "Remember me and the friends you have met. We're always with you, in your heart. Remember that. You have only to think of us, and we'll comfort you...And Mika, try to think of the road you're traveling, rather than what lies at the journey's end."

Mika shrugged. She didn't understand how something drove him inside, made him search. He hugged her, and looking back at the dancing, singing children one last time, he set off again on his journey.


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by Robert Alan Silverstein
Avstar Publishing (2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1492114291
$3.99 paperback

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