by Robert Alan Silverstein
The Dreamer wandered through many dreams before he found the silver lake that shimmered in the moonlight. It wasn't the dream of Peacetopia he had been hoping to find once again, but he knew that this was a good dream, and he smiled as he walked along the path through the woods that led to the lake down below.
Through the branches of the trees he saw the hope and the wonder of the moon's glow as it bathed the sky and the clouds with color and danced on the surface of the water like silver threads that joined all life together in a wondrous pattern of promise and possibility.
He walked on ahead and his heart grew lighter. All along the path through the woods there grew flowers so wild in beauty and splendor, and their fragrance filled his senses, calming his soul. The flowers swayed gently in the moon's light. As the dreamer paused to gaze longing and lovingly, he noticed there were tiny fairies fluttering about from petal to petal and bud to bud, like butterflies. And they danced and laughed and sang and sang.
The fairies smiled at the Dreamer and his heart grew lighter still. Then they flew around his head until he was laughing with them. And they sprinkled fairy dust upon his brow, and suddenly he was flying with them, soaring into the night, laughing and free. They danced and they sang and they laughed forever.
"Oh, stay with us, Dreamer," they begged when they noticed he was lagging behind. He smiled at them as they flew around him. How he would love to stay, but something was calling him on towards the lake. They understood without his having to speak, and they smiled and sprinkled their magic into the air, and the Dreamer was standing on the path again, waving good bye.
As the Dreamer turned a bend in the path he saw a unicorn waiting patiently for him. Her eyes were sparkling, and without words she beckoned him forth. She bowed her head as he approached, and bade him touch her horn. Gently he did so, and suddenly he was a unicorn himself. His guide lifted her head to the starry skies and danced around him in playful joy. She led him through the woods, and they galloped together, free. In the distance he could see fields of flowers where he could roam unfettered forever...if...if he stayed. But he lagged behind at the edge of the woods, and the unicorn came to his side, knowing what was in his heart, and she led him back to the path. He trotted and galloped, enjoying each step of his hooves, until he was standing again on two legs, waving goodbye to the unicorn, and walking onward towards the lake.
All around him, the Dreamer heard whispers and quiet laughter in the darkness. Like promises of hope, the sounds stirred his heart, igniting his own passionate longing for peace, and drove him onwards, further into the dream.
With each bend and turn on his journey along the path through the woods, the Dreamer met magical creatures that shared with him their worlds in all their wonder. But before he knew it, he had come to the edge of the woods, and there in the clearing was a willow tree, with her delicate branches reaching out over the edge of the silvery lake.
As the Dreamer approached, he saw a solitary figure beneath the willow, staring out into the lake, drawing energy from the moon's glow, and letting it flow outwards in a prayer of hope, "May Peace Prevail on Earth," her heart whispered silently. The Dreamer knew that it was this heartfelt wish that gave the moon and all the creatures here their magic, for she was the Keeper of this Dream and this was her only prayer. She sat there silently dressed in black, as if she wore a cloak of the promise of the night. And as he came closer, she turned to face him.
Her eyes were wide and full of light, and in them he saw all the creatures and all the beauty of this Dream. And she smiled and held out her hand to welcome him. The Dreamer felt a gentle tingling as her loving fingers wrapped around his own. He was not afraid as she led him out onto the mirror-like surface of the lake where they walked in the moon's mystical glow. His heart grew fuller still as they floated up into the sky in a beam of light that fell from the heavens.
The Dreamer breathed in the wonder and magic of this dream, and it filled him with awe and peace. How he would love to stay. But his heart whispered that even though they shared the same wish and prayer at the deepest core of their being, this particular dream was not his own fate. And he turned to the lady in black, and she was smiling, for she understood, and gently she led him up beyond the moon's light.
The Dreamer lay in that place between dreams and reality, and the awe and wonder and the peace had returned with him. He smiled. The silvery lake was just beyond reach. Perhaps he would return there again as he wandered through dreams searching for the dream of Peacetopia he'd visited once upon at time, which ever since had both haunted his every waking moment and had given him the strength and the hope to face the dream of reality.
In his heart he could still see the lady in black, alone, waiting, and this saddened him at first. But then he smiled, for he knew that she would welcome many dreamers into her dream of wonder, and one day there would come a dreamer who would see the dream she dreamed was his dream too, and he would stay, and they would dream together there, forever. And this filled the Dreamer with great joy as he awoke.
© 1994 Robert Alan Silverstein