There’s a chill. A cold wet dampness to the air. Not crispy and nose tingly like the winter air at those unfriendly temperatures. But a chill nonetheless. There’s another chill. A breeze making the leaves jump around and run across the wet grass. Not enough to make a leaf tornado but enough to scatter them across this vast grassy area. It’s a breeze filled with the regrets of not wearing the right clothing. Bone chilling. Ice. Usually transparent as the windows we look out of in our homes and cars. But not this..this is clouded and frosted. Grey with specs of white. One irreversible look at Medusa turn you into stone grey. The skies are unforgiving to the spring sun and the clouds hover, swirling ever so slowly. The trees though are juicy and full of life. Swaying in the chilly breeze as natural as the sway you do when you hear your favorite old school song. They move side to side as if the breeze has them in a beautiful hypnotic trance and if trees could smile then they would resemble the Cheshire Cat in Alice In Wonderland. Glaring what seemed like an endless amount of teeth. But back to the matter at hand. For as chilly as the whether is….nothing is chillier than what’s taking place.
There’s a box of sorts. Its the deepest black you’ve ever seen. Blacker and shinier than a black Steinway piano. Like a black abyss…a dark portal to another world. It rests on a platform and it is adorned with gold etching and fixtures. A gold so pretty in color it seems to almost liquefy before your eyes. But it doesn’t sparkle like glitter… it shines and demands you to stare and lose yourself in its beauty, distracting you from what’s taking place. Touch it and feel it’s value. Touch it and feel it’s true purpose. But touching this gold solidifies the chill. There are beautiful colors on top the box. Reds and purples with splashes of green. And even a few white. They are centered on this box as centered as a crown would be on a Queens head. Standing tall and pretty in its right commanding everyone to just be. To just sit and wait for what’s taking place.
And it begins. The shuffle of feet and sounds of hushed voices. Small children inquiring about the colored stones evenly spaced. White square fluffy pieces of cloth held close. And it begins. All things are in place. The breeze slows down. The trees stop swaying. The clouds still. The sun absent all morning has decided to peek through just a bit. Just enough to make the box the center of attention for the rays have emboldened the black and gold. Emboldened so you must stare, you must look, you must gaze, you MUST get lost in the abyss and forget what’s taking place. But you don’t forget. No it’s a mere distraction.
Everything is ready and a sound so soft and commanding has arrived. It says things like “sorry” and “fear not”. And words strung together like “in a better place” and words that trigger water flows like none other. Little water drops that if you look closely you’ll find a world of memories. You’ll find joy and laughter. You’ll find love and happiness. And you’ll also find deep sorrows and pain. You’ll find “I miss you and I love you”.
The soft commanding sound stops and it’s silent. No sound of leaves scurrying across the wet grass. No sound of the green ornaments hanging from the trees. Just the platform….it moves. Ever so slowly. So slowly you can hear the mechanical parts working to remove this beautiful black shiny golden box from the sights of those hunched bodies with heads lowered. Faces wet and fluffy white squares dampened and crumpled in tightly closed fists. And it begins…. the descent. From life..to afterlife.