I once had a dream…
I was standing among rows of fruit trees in an orchard. The uniform rows were straight, neat and regimented, marching off in parallel lines into the distance. The grass between them was evenly manicured to perfection.
From each tree hung fruit – handsome, ready-to-eat, ripened, standard, all-the-same fruit, the sort you’d find in any good local supermarket.
As I stood there among the trees, admiring the scene, a friend from church appeared next to me.
“Lovely fruit,” I said.
“Yes, it is, isn’t it?” agreed my friend.
As I turned to my friend, I could see over his shoulder that at the end of the orchard row was a mysterious pall of mist, hanging like a lace curtain or gossamer veil. And yet it wasn’t solid.
I asked my friend, “What’s that down there?”
My friend turned towards the ‘veil’ and replied with a knowing smile, “Oh, the fruit’s much better in there!”
“Oh,” I said, “Well, can I go in there?”
My friend rubbed his hands together and leaned back slightly, still smiling. “Why, of course you may!’
I walked down through the soldiers-on-parade fruit trees and reached the ‘veil’, and stepped through.
I had entered an ancient forest.
Mature gnarled trunks with boughs covered in blossoms and leaves of all kinds and colours drooped down to greet the thick carpet of verdant undergrowth. Saplings sprang up through emerald bracken stretching towards the sunlight, beaming back in streaming shafts from the canopy, flecks of gold dust glistening and glinting as they meandered downwards slowly through the stillness.
And then I noticed the fruit.
It was huge. It was lush. It was pregnant-heavy, swinging low the aged fecund branches. The fruit’s much better in here!
And then I noticed the music. It had been there all along, an ambience of angelic voices, endlessly blended in an audible honey of subtle hang-in-the-air harmonies.
And with the sound, the feeling. The atmosphere was marinated with the feeling of joy. Deep, profound, utter joy. A joy beyond words. Joy unspeakable.
The joy of joys whose essence is wholly complete, is abundant life, is perfectly carefree, is peace-full, is ‘ever’, is being love.
And the feeling and the sound and the place and I were one-and-the-same, in union, inseparable, and always always.
I was in Papa’s Place.
The Kingdom of the King