Imagine a stream of water. A fountain. A riverbed. A calmly moving lake. The undulation of the water moves with perfect ease as your mind relaxes and settles back on the inner feelings you once kept locked away. Nobody likes to settle, but we are forced to take such drastic measures when all hope seems lost. When your mind decides it is time to make peace with lost hope, a small piece of you withers into dust. Of course, the physical ramifications of that withering have drastic differences, but we somehow always bounce back from defeat.
Now imagine the stream of water has picked up in volume and speed. The dulcet, mellifluous tones of running water have become fervent in their synapses. A fountain. A riverbed. A calmly moving lake. Something about the running water is so relaxing that you feel a panic at how relaxing it is. It’s unfamiliar but welcome. Something about the relaxation is bizarre and out of the ordinary, and your body reacts in such a way that you can’t stop yourself from feeling happy from it.
While you’re asleep, you dream of a solid door in the middle of a dark room, emblazoned with intricate patterns and engraved runes. Several torches rest in sconces along parallel sides of the door, their flames alight with bright colors of red and blue. Sapphire hues flicker off the torches, lighting the oncoming and following hallways, giving illumination for passersby.
The door stands firm, erect down to its very roots, an immovable object. Such treasures sit behind that door, treasures far beyond the feeblest of minds. Any man would consider himself lucky to have even the smallest inkling of that treasure. It was too much for any one man. No man should need or want that much. But that isn’t to say that the treasure was never meant for consumption.
Gleaming like a dazzling star, a bright blue light finally cascades over your eyes. You’re forced to raise your hand to shield your eyes from the illumination. The light finally diminishes. The light now emanates from a beautiful blue sapphire that sits upon a large pedestal. Something about the sapphire seems to radiate an untold beauty, normally only seen in the pages of fantasy novels.
The beauty of the sapphire is rivaled only by the beauty of the facade put forth in your wildest fantasies. Your eyes glitter with wonder; not at the ambition of taking the sapphire but at the beauty and luminescent glow of something so pure.
A scattering of pitter patters. A dash of something moving. A glimpse of scurrying. Is that your mind running away from the ideals of happiness and contentedness? Is your inner conscience telling you that this is something scary yet beautiful, ergo your flight or fight response kicks into overdrive?
With a sense of dread, you creep along slowly, the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. Why does this place give you such a dreadful feeling? Why did you think this was such a good idea? What gave you the inspiration to do something this brave?
Continuing on, you raise a light above you, the illumination of it brightening even the darkest of pitch black corners. Nothing could lurk in the shadows, even if they were made of shadows themselves.
Focus and peace fills your mind as you continue to wander down the corridor in search of…well, now you’re not quite sure, but you know that some great treasure resides at the apex of the cavern. Whatever may await you at the apex was inconsequential as it was truly the knowledge of whatever lay hidden there that matters to you the most. You have arrived at the point where you’re not sure if you want the treasure anymore. Instead, you start to wonder what the treasure was and how it would affect you in the landscape of your life.
You stop and close your eyes. Conflict fills your heart, the very essence of dispute keeping you from being calm. Breathing heavily, you attempt to clear your head. Whatever presence may be watching you is no longer of any consequence. Your focus shifts heavily from the inner dread you’re feeling when a warm light fills you to the very brim of capability.
The dream shifts and you find yourself wandering in a lonely forest, the relaxing sounds of the rushing water ringing out in the inner sanctums of your psyche. You look up and see the most beautiful, flowing sunrise that has ever existed. Serenity enters your mind, weapons adorned, ready to fend off the conflict.
The battle rages in your mind when you come across a lake that isn’t on any map. Through some fickle mind searching, you don’t recognize anything from your surroundings. Everything is alien. You do not recognize any of the foliage nearby. In fact, it is almost like you just stepped into a hidden fantasy world.
You sample the lake water and find it tastes strangely like a sweetened wine. The aroma from the water cascades your nostrils, the smells of perfume, campfire, and something hidden flares, firing off synapses in your brain. It’s a familiar smell, although you’re not sure from where that familiarity stems.
You’re exhausted as you’ve traversed all thoughts of exhaustion and giving up. You have spent your life searching for what lay at the end of a rainbow. Metaphorical pot of gold or not, it was now the principle of finding the end that drove you forward for all those years.
You have passed over every possible and thinkable terrain and climate. You have trekked through snow, ice, desert, and forest. Soaked to the core, you have traversed through swamps, sand, mud, and gravel. Every time you see a rainbow, you moved as fast as possible towards the end of it. Each time you were so close only to fall slightly short and fail.
But this time, you spotted one relatively close, and you could see the bottom of the rainbow at the foot of a ravine, which resided right in the middle of that sweet wine lake. The rainbow fell into a rough patch of trees, bizarre given that it was in the middle of a lake, so it is close enough to touch in your mind.
Once you descend that ravine, out of the corner of your eye, you glance something dull against the bright illumination of the lake water, the lights shining from the bottom of the rainbow. Swimming down, climbing down, descending the ravine and rainbow, you see a medium-sized chest at the bottom. Excitement fills your chest, your heart beating so fast it feels like it is going to burst.
A stream of water. A fountain. A riverbed. A calmly moving lake.
Salivating heavily, you close your eyes and reflect upon the journey you’ve taken to get to this point in your life. Every aspect of the journey was worth it. The hurt. The pain. The incessant burden. The happiness. The triumphs. The failures. All of it has been worth every single moment, down to the simplest of life’s endeavors.
It took 30 years, but in the end, asking somebody to marry me is the most pivotal moment of my life.
A stream of water. A fountain. A riverbed. A calmly moving lake.
One word. One life. Two lives. Finality.