Once I was walking though the woods, the sunlight shining through the trees making everything come to life around me. As I neared a clearing, I saw a bridge spanning a shallow ravine with a small creek running through it. The water played a sweet tune as it drifted past, the gentle ripples highlighted by the sun’s rays that shone through the treetops. It was as though I was a distant observer in a game of tag between the elements – the water danced in and out of the shadows signing a song to the sun as it tried to catch a glimpse of the flowing surface. I began to feel slightly out of place, unsure I should enter the clearing where the two forces of nature played, when suddenly my gaze fell on two creatures already within the hollowed area of the forest.
I looked on, trying to identify what foolish beings would disrupt such a peaceful setting. Soon I was able to distinguish each as a small white dove, their companionship obvious by the close patterns they flew around one another. They were beautiful creatures, graceful movements outlined by the almost silent flutter of their wings. When they flew through one of the sacred rays cast by the sun their fragile bodies seemed to glow, completely oblivious to the interruption they caused to the beams of light shooting through the air. It was a simple example of two hearts that were free of cares and concerns – I took a seat, careful not to make a sound, and paused to enjoy such a magnificent sight.
As I sat watching the two birds fly around the wooden bridge, part of me took flight and soared around the clearing with them. My thoughts went to the mystery of how two beautiful creatures were content to exist in such a setting. Surely they were free to fly anywhere, to leave the area they now occupied, or at the least to cross the bridge and enter into previously unexplored territories. I found myself envying their lack of restraint, the way they discarded responsibility an unknown feeling for me. If they only knew of the events that surrounded them, the duties and tasks others performed while they roamed free. Surely they had to know of these things, and I found myself growing frustrated with each additional understanding. How could their willful refusal to conform continue, why did they not accept some manner of personal commitment?
All at once, I felt the forest itself closing in on me, the weight of silence binding me firmly to the rock where I sat. It was almost as though the trees themselves reached out to calm my unjust assumptions. Perhaps a feeling of freedom was why the two doves flew, their understanding of the blessing they possessed making them lighter than air. How could one not soar when given the chance? Could anyone truly refuse a gift once they recognized the shackles that were not placed on their feet? I felt horrible for having made the notion, and slowly the pressure from the forest around me lessened as I peered back into the clearing. The two doves had landed on the rail of the bridge, an unspoken agreement between them binding their actions. They sat near the half-way point on the structure, the ability to cross the obstacle known but not pursued.
I sat and watched for a few more moments, not wanting to leave. Finally I stood to continue through the forest – the doves watched me closely from the bridge, their blank expressions reflecting nothing of their true initiatives or feelings. As the darkness from the trees slowly enveloped me, I couldn’t help but wonder if those two doves would ever leave their sanctuary…