In the Beginning …
One walked alone beneath the everlasting stars. He sang in time to the pulsing of the sun and the rhythm of the planets. He danced to the changing of the seasons. He wept with the rain. He was alone.
He looked down from his lofty mountain home and saw them. Two men working side by side, talking, sharing. He saw them shake hands and laugh. He saw them share their lives and thoughts. He heard their name. Brothers.
He lay his head on the clouds and slept. He dreamed. He dreamed of someone to race with him across the firmaments. He dreamed of someone to share his feelings. He dreamed of someone to listen to the music of the universe with him.
When he woke, they were there. His brothers. With the first, he wrestled in the storms and ran with the wind. With the second, he raged and laughed and sat in silence. With the third, he composed the songs of the cosmos and shared his deepest thoughts.
He felt he was complete.
One day, the third brother looked down from their lofty mountain home and saw them. A man and a women working side by side. He saw them kiss and hold hands. He saw them share their lives and their thoughts and their bed. He heard their names. Husband and Wife.
He called his brothers and they looked together.
They lay their heads on the clouds and slept.
The one who used to be alone, dreamed. He dreamed of caramel-colored hair and an oval face. He dreamed of a soft spoken voice and kind eyes. He dreamed of loving arms, and a place called home. When he woke, she was there.
The first brother dreamed. He dreamed of long, blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He dreamed of long legs and swaying hips. He dreamed of fire and lightning. He dreamed of passionate heat, and a place called home. When he woke, she was there.
The second brother dreamed. He dreamed of tiny limbs and black hair. He dreamed of dark, playful eyes and loving smiles. He dreamed of sunlight and rainbows. He dreamed of waiting arms, and a place called home. When he woke, she was there.
The third brother dreamed. He dreamed of long, brown hair and big, brown eyes. He dreamed of quiet passion and fierce love. He dreamed of a kind heart and a generous spirit. He dreamed of laughter and moonlight, and a place called home. When he woke, she wasn’t there.
He watched his brothers with their wives. He saw them laugh, and play, and love. He knew their happiness and their pleasure, and he wept, for he was alone. So he decided to leave the lofty mountain, and roam the earth, away from his brothers, because he knew that his sorrow caused them pain.
His footsteps were light on the earth and his passing made no sound. He walked the earth in isolation. He knew the thoughts of every creature, and watched in anguish as they loved their wives and husbands, for he was alone.
The seasons changed, but he didn’t dance with them. The stars sang in circles around the night sky, but he did not join with them. The thunder crashed and the lightning flashed, but his heart was silent and his eyes dim. The rain fell and he wept, for he was alone.
He reached a glade that was far from the thoughts of man and beast, and he lay in the clearing among the wildflowers, closed his eyes and wished for endless nothingness to take him. For twenty turns of the seasons he lay as still as death. The creatures who inhabited the forest grew accustomed to his presence. His silence called to them and they sat with him in his grief. At night, they warmed him with their little bodies, and by day they brought him gifts of flowers, berries and leaves. In time, he was covered with their gifts and was at one with the land.
Perhaps it was the song that first claimed his attention. Perhaps it was the scent of freesias and strawberries that subtly called to him. Perhaps it was the rich, velvet voice that pricked his ears and penetrated his solitary existence. When he eventually opened his eyes once more, she was there.
She leaned against his side, her brown hair cascading across his chest, and a chain of flowers in her hands. She sang to the blue sky and the warm sun. She sang to the dancing leaves and the waving grass. She sang as the clouds sped across the sky until the darkness finally chased her away.
He moved. He stood. He breathed the night air and the scent of her filled him. He shook off the accumulation of the years, and turned his face this way and that, until he knew which way she had travelled. Then he ran.
In mere moments he was in front of a house, through a window and next to a bed where she slept. She dreamed, but he knew not what she saw. Joy swallowed him up as he gazed at her, and he realised that he had found his true love, his heart, his wife, his home. He watched as she tossed and turned, restless and searching in her nocturnal vision. She reached blindly towards him, and he gently stroked her face.
He was fire and ice, ethereal and alien. She cried out in agony as his touch seared her soul. She woke with a scream, and for one precious moment they stared into each others eyes. Then he ran from her.
What pain, what agony speared his heart! He flung himself from the earth with an anguished cry and drifted far away, his wails echoing in the deep chasm of space. Her face was before him, her song surrounded him, a mockery of the dream he had dreamed.
His brothers found him and wept with him.
Meanwhile, the wives looked down from their lofty mountain home and saw a woman alone. She lay in a glade of wildflowers with tears falling to the newly turned earth which, until recently, had hugged his form. They knew her name in their hearts and they raced to her side, but they did not touch her because they knew the pain it would cause.
She had dreamed. She had dreamed of sun bronzed hair and piercing green eyes. She had dreamed of enfolding arms and a heart of fire. She had dreamed of the voice of an angel. She had dreamed of sunlight and stardust, and a place called home, and the beauty of it had speared her heart with pain. When she woke, he had been there, but he had fled from her before she could utter her love. Now she was alone.
The wives called her Sister and wept with her. So great was their grief that the ground beneath them groaned and cracked. The skies grew dark and the sun hid its face. The people cried out in terror with one voice which pierced the measureless distance of space to where the brothers lamented together. Only then did the brothers return.
The husbands held their wives, but could not console them. They carried them back to their lofty mountain home, and sat with them as they mourned for the sister that was alone.
The third brother lay down next to his beloved and she turned her face to his. The world turned as they gazed at each other, knowing that they could never be together. He watched her as she cried and slept, as she wasted away before his eyes until the breath left her body, and the cold of the earth enveloped her. Only then did he pull her to his side and hold her in his arms. Only then could he stroke her face and whisper words of love and adoration to her. Only then could he kiss her lips and bury his face in her hair.
Time passed and her form melted from his aching arms. He lay on the ground, on the earth that had taken her and he mourned her in the emptiness of his soul. He ignored the wind that played with his hair, or the flowers that bloomed and kissed his arms. He ignored the warm, wet drops of rain that fell from the darkened sky. He ignored the leaves that blanketed his body, and the grass that touched his face. He ignored the singing of the birds in the trees. He lay as if dead, eternity‘s yawning emptiness consuming him.
His brothers, and their wives, looked down from their lofty mountain home, but could not see their sister’s spirit in the glade of wildflowers. They did not see that she rode the zephyrs, and trailed her fingers through his hair. They were unaware that she inhabited the flora, and kissed his arms and caressed his tormented face. They didn’t know that she cried above him and washed his precious form with her warm, wet tears, or that she lost herself in the falling leaves, and covered his body with her own. They couldn’t hear when she sang the secret in his undiscerning ears.
Dream of me.
Time passed. The third brother eventually slipped into sleep as the Earth pillowed his head. Still he had no relief from his torment, because she was there. He dreamed of long, brown hair and big, brown eyes. He dreamed of quiet passion and fierce love. He dreamed of a kind heart and a generous spirit. He dreamed of laughter and moonlight, and a place called home. When he woke, she was there.
Afraid to touch her, he stared into her eyes and drank his fill. He stayed motionless, not wanting the phantom to leave him alone once more. She moved to him, knelt down beside him, and touched his face.
“My one, true love,” she said, and kissed him.
As they raced hand in hand to their lofty mountain home, his joy was complete.