A dark indigo sky, inhabited by granite clouds, blown by gusting winds and torrential rain. The water cascades down the hills, together with my tears of sorrow and joy. The valley is flooded, the forces of the elements wash everything down to the sea.
Stuck behind a tree trunk, I open my eyes and look around. An eerie silence. Behind me, the pine tree covered hills. Before me, the beach and the sea. Everything seems familiar, yet unfamiliar. Nothing manmade is left in sight. Only nature, as it was created. The vast waters resemble a lake, not a single ripple disturbing its surface. As though time has stopped.
The clouds have disappeared and a golden ball of light dominates the azure sky. Sunrays touch my skin. I am naked, the way I was born. Vulnerable and lonely. Do I remember that moment? My memories of that instant are not clear, but I feel the solitude and the despair deep down in my heart. The pain of that first breath, a cry in the void. I am frightened in these alien surroundings.
I have no belongings now. The memories, the only baggage I am allowed to take with me.
Am I the last person on the Blue Planet or the first one in a new world?
What about civilization, everything we have built and done? Have they all been washed to the sea? The heritage we wanted to leave behind, the traces of our existence, to make a difference, to be remembered by and recognized. The untamed part of the human ego. As if the universe cares whether we make a difference or not.
Progress, heaven and hell at the same time. Creation and destruction. Yet, nothing manmade is more powerful than the forces of nature, orchestrating life and death simultaneously, and recreating life from death, through the eternal cycle.
I hear the lullaby of waves. The water starts to move. A warm breeze sweeps across my face. A flock of birds appears in the sky and flies towards the horizon in a perfect V. The perpetual motion begins. The earth beneath me stirs, then rocks and continues, vibrating in sporadic tremors. The breeze turns into a wind, then an angry storm. The branches of trees bend and bow to the ground at the whim of the great force. Lava gushes out from the centre of Gaia, red-hot. It flows like a river down the mountains and across the plains, melting everything on its path, destroying and creating at the same time. I try to hold onto the tree, with all my might, but I’m weak. My fingers give in, and I go with the flow.
Faint voices in the background travel through the air. Then the most delightful sound in the universe. Children’s laughter. I open my eyes and scan my surroundings. I’m stretched out on a deckchair, under a parasol on the golden sand of the beach. My half-read book, lying on my chest.
A little boy and a girl are playing at the edge of the sea. They fill their tin buckets with water and empty them, giving each other generous showers. They giggle and yell, the wonder of life vibrant on their faces. No illusions or disillusionments. They have not yet been injected with fear and doubt. I pray for them to hold onto that childhood curiosity forever.
Then I remember my dream, that moment stolen from time. Was it a dream or reality? Life, as it seems, is painted before me, reflected in its three dimensional ingredients. Sound, light and depth. Is this an illusion I have created?
I pick up my belongings and head towards home. The laughter of children still in my ears.
I have no answers.