When a child, I often sat with my eyes closed in stillness on the bank of Dismal Creek waiting for God to call me back to my real home. Occasionally, my brother would stumble across me sitting there optimistic our Creator would be yanking me back any second. Nothing happened, except on occasion I would be given a peek of the ethereal realms where bright colors appeared beyond my eyeballs and reminded me I belonged somewhere else, a place filled with beauty and flowers showered in gold dust among the elephant ears so large a family of frogs sunned themselves on their leaves.

I longed to live in my real home instead of the redneck-infested world of cruel words and drunken fights. When I sighed, my brother knew my mind had come back to Dismal Creek. He sat next to me and put an arm around my tiny shoulders for comfort. “When life gets too harsh, step outside yer body and be lifted from yer troubles.” He said this with authority like he visited the higher realms not far from where I passed by on a cloud crowded with monkeys laughing at the easiness of living without the constraints of time. Even I knew time was nothing but an illusion confined by a calendar.

“You leave here, too?” I asked one day.

“Helps me survive the meanness.” He sounded sad like he was carrying around a heart so heavy, he needed a wheel barrel to help.

“I never seed yer there.” I looked at him in awe.

“It’s a big place. Mostly, I spend my time with an old man who tells me to love all beings and I will see God in them.” He hugs me tighter and suddenly I no longer feel alienated from my real Self. I also wondered if I would ever meet the old man and sit at his feet waiting patiently for wise words to drift in my direction. It comforted me to know my brother kept company with the saints. Maybe someday, I would meet one and hear a melodious voice telling me ‘Love and you will be loved’ and then I realize I’m sitting right next to a brother showing me that very thing.

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