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The Nada Chronicles, part 21
Beyond the River
By Hans Brockhuis
You are walking through a forest. Sometimes it’s hot; sometimes it’s cold. Your feet are bare and the ground is occasionally uneven. Stones lie on your path and now and again the trail seems to vanish. Yet there are also times along the path that everything seems fine and well; the trail is mossy with flowers here and there, and you can hear the birds singing their wonderful songs.
You carry a backpack. In it are three things. The first item is food, because you may not be able to find anything to eat. The second item is boots in case the road becomes too slippery or overgrown with thorns and bushes, so you will be able to protect your feet.
The third item, the heaviest burden you carry, is your past. Some of the things in your pack from the past you reflect upon with happiness. Yet there are other things that fill you with shame or worry, or even dismay, and you do not very much like remembering them. There are even items in the bag from the past that you seem to have forgotten, maybe they marked too much of an imprint on your soul, and therefore they appear to be hidden in the mists of forgetfulness.
The heaviest burdens, though, are those that have become one with your soul. Memories that come and go and hamper you when you least expect. Memories which you try to get rid of as soon as possible. When these memories come up, your road seems to twist and turn, journeying up and down murky slopes, and you feel as though you are lost and without any support. You feel so very alone and can hardly breathe. At this point along the trail it always feels as though your destination is forever blocked off from you
But that is not the case. You are never alone. You are never alone. There are always those around you that help, give guidance, and show a way through that is possible.
Then unexpectedly across your path you come upon this swiftly flowing river that seems to block your way. You can see a mossy bank on the other side, and many colored trees over laden with fruit. There are animals trotting about beneath a mild sun, with trees giving shadow to all the beings that are gathered there.
There is only one question that comes up in your mind: how to get there? The river is swollen, and too deep and fast to wade across. You look around and find a long broad branch of a nearby tree that has fallen upon the ground. A little further lie a few wooden planks someone has left behind and some rope, but no other tools are available.
You sit down on a small knoll near the shore and start thinking. With the planks and rope you could make a raft, but it would be too small to hold you. You could place the branch over the river, but with the weight of you and your backpack, the branch would not be strong enough to support you.
It becomes clear that there are choices to be made. The big question you already have answered. You have to go to the other side. You feel it is of the greatest importance. How to get there is another thing.
You look at lightening the load in your pack. The first choice to be made is: “do I need the food that I have with me, any more?” And your answer is no. The abundance of food on the other side makes the three crumps of bread that are left useless. So you decide to throw one scrap into the waters. You do so and see a fish catching it, and you know that the hungry fish is happy and thankful for this food. Then you throw the second titbit into the air, where it is caught by a seagull. You place the last bit of bread on the ground, where many happy ants take it away. You know that all this food has reached its goal and for that you are glowing with pleasure.
Now there is a second choice to be made. What to do with the boots? The other side is covered with a soft mossy soil, so you do not need them any more. You decide to leave the boots behind for anyone who may be in need of them. You know that you have made a good decision.
At last there is a final big decision to be made. You realize you can only reach the other shore if you let go of the burden of everything hidden in your bag: all the memories of the past that are still hampering you. Furthermore, you understand that you would not be in need of your past on the other side. That notion gives you a warm feeling inside. It is a feeling of love - light and liberating - full of peace and harmony.
The thought enters your mind. “I could make a little raft upon which I could place the knapsack.” So you make this little raft, and when it is ready, you put your bag upon it. You bless it, thanking all the actions of the past for what they have meant for you and you tell them that you are no longer in need of anything. You send your past out on the waves and watch as it goes further and further away, until finally it vanishes in the void.
You feel so very light, and peaceful. You feel so beautiful now, because you know that all the burdens of the past won’t hinder you any more. You thank the creator that you have been so lucky to experience this wonderful past. Indeed you are able to remember it, and yet it no longer obstructs you in any way. With joy you cry out with glee and happiness to be so free.
Now it is time to really cross the river. You place the branch over it, and suddenly at that moment the waters are not so swollen any more. The waves diminish and the surface becomes smooth. You smile as you realise that if you’d but try, you would be able to walk upon the waters to the other side of the river. But then you understand there still is a bit of the old you left in your system and you decide to walk upon your self-made bridge.
At the moment you reach the other shore you can see X, who hastens to greet you. He/she embraces you and says: “Welcome, welcome to these shores.” You look around and see many people there who have come to say hello. Many of them you recognize in a glance, others seem familiar but you are unable to remember their names. All of them are emanating love to you and you feel quite joyful and thankful.
Nevertheless, you are confused. “What lands are these?,” you ask. “Am I passed over? Is this heaven?” Because it feels so different here from anything else you have experienced during your life, this surely cannot be earth, where everything is so much heavier and less colourful.
“Oh no,” replies X. “This is merely another plane of existence, but because of the fact that you made your big decision just moments ago, you are now able to see everything literally in a different light. You are more able now to see the good within other people. You used to look at the so called negative side of the medal, but now you are more open-minded and able to live your life in a more relaxed way than before.”
“All of us here congratulate you that you have made it possible to make this move. You can be proud of yourself for making this great decision. Of course there have been a few tools that helped you and were needed to get you across, but these tools, and all the other equipment that has been handed to you during your life, has been just that, tools. Tools, which are useless without a hand capable to use them.”
“And now, my dear one, I ask you to enter your new life. Greet all these people gathered here, and tell them that from now on you are going to encounter them in your new way. The way of the place beyond the river…”