Deep beneath the umbrella of dark leaves that hang from great boughs which illuminate grass and flowers at their root. An earthen path wide enough for three winds idly. One man has a mane of dark hair and an authoritative beard, medium height, bright eyed and confident paces in pleasant conversation. Next to him in blue dungarees and a white long-sleeved shirt, the man’s characteristic nose carries round spectacles. He jokes, laughs encouraging the others to join his merriment. At his side, a shorter man wrapped in a Chivara of orange, brown and gold, his scalp reflects the moonlight illumination around him, his feet bare. On occasions they see the reflection of tiny eyes of small animals that inhabit the undergrowth which elicits moisture and cools the silver wraith forest in which birds delight in song.
They turn a corner. Across the path lays a bright gold band treasure chest big enough to swallow them. They surround and gaze upon its wonder. Slowly, the lid rises to reveal jewels bound in gold and silver that dazzle the eye. Rings, pearls, coins, wealth deep enough to wade in, radiance upon their faces.
‘Do not bother yourself with the riches on offer my friends,’ Declares Siddhartha the Buddha. ‘I descended from royalty, a family of wealth and great influence yet, it was in poverty under a Bodhi tree that I found the truth that leads to enlightenment.’
The forefinger of John Lennon adjusts his spectacles to add, ‘You can only acquire so much wealth before it becomes greed. Come on, you know it will be alright.’
Down the path they follow the colour of flowers as they change in a kaleidoscope of blooms. Some hours later the sun penetrates the ceiling above to reveal a clear stream. With a bounty of fish and vegetation its mountain water flows freely under a rough hewn timber bridge that leads to a rustic old tavern with signs of food abundant, generous with ales and spirits and the promise of dutiful female company who display their wares in lead bound glass windows.
The three men willingly stare at the richness of the invitation on offer. ‘I abstained from food for a long period to seek the truth yet, now my stomach rumbles.’
‘Resist now the temptation of alcohol,’ States Muhammad. ‘One or two maybe enjoyable. Though experience has taught me, man is a lusty creature who devours more than his need, or what is good for him, and then desires more. Hence our denunciation of the drink of demons.’
‘True. The only welcoming factor from the Prohibition period in the United States was the drop of domestic violence,’ Quips John Lennon.
Further through the forest they meander. Bees as big as hummingbirds dart for sweet nectar, their legs heavy with pollen. Several species of small furry animals scurry amongst leaf to find nut on bluegrass. Butterfly wings waft colour as they flutter by.
Their eyes adjust to the bright sunlight that welcomes them at forests end. Onward a large assembly of people, some wearing bakers’ aprons, others are cleaners of streets, nurses, public servants, mechanics, broom handle makers while police wait amiably with motley ex-convicts in neat rows. All have made the difficult climb from the hidden vale of Midgard. They wait peaceful facing two men who hold the entrance of a hemp rope, suspended footbridge cast over a sheer drop of no end that leads to its mirror image opposite. Across the divide lays the land of light where shimmering households know no disease, pleasure to be found in the array of arts and lyrical music fills the air. Faces of happiness dance in unison within the multitude there. Laughter reigns like Tinkerbell’s dust carried on air within the aroma of Jasmine. Labour has relent and the tolerant rest in peace and wait for their next passage.
The three men walk to chasms edge to find cloud below. Up and down, across and back they do seek. Muhammad notions, ‘Look upon bare rock lies a flying carpet. Come we shall avail in the style of my people’s magic.’
Strong the voice of John Lennon holds his companions. ‘No, you are the messenger of God; that is not the way. We have propagated the minds of the people to find the narrow way. We called out the madness that blinds the senses of men. We have suffered and were rewarded, for our voices helped ordinary people find love, devotion, and common ground for all to exist. We encouraged the many to leave their sins and follow us to the path of light. How could we ride high when our path is entwined in theirs?’
Muhammad nods his head and states, ‘I see your truth and it is mine.’
Buddha exclaims, ‘If we are not all with one, then we are nothing.’
In the silence their attention is drawn by a solemn man who waits head bowed, his hands joined. ‘Please your Honours, it would please those who wait to cross for you to proceed them.’
‘Why?’ Asks Muhammad.
‘They wish to revere you for wakening their minds to the truth and opening their eyes to the narrow way.’
John Lennon smiles to his companions, ‘A working class hero is something to be.’
Humbled by the request, the three follow the man to the waiting crowd of meet and greet with shakes of hands, smiles and salutations. Finding equals in those who have found themselves.