One night I had a dream. In my dream, I was running through a city, an ancient metropolis of stone, a thriving city, bursting to the seams, filled with people all busy with their projects, families, lives.
Then I noticed a strange thing. This city, meant to be the source of life, had no water. There was nothing at all to drink. It was as dry as a desert, but everyone kept pretending that it wasn’t, that they were satiated, that there was no need for water.
But I was thirsty. I could not hide it anymore. And I could not find Water.
I looked everywhere, in shops, down streets, running, running, and I would not stop, though it seemed no water was to be found. I knew I could not stop. Everything was beautiful, everything seemed filled with life, but nothing was what I was actually looking for. Thirsty, I ran.
Exhausting every road above ground, I eventually found myself following an old path, a little winding trail that no one bothered with anymore because it was so ancient (and so obviously led nowhere). I went down and down and down, into the underground subterranean of the city, running through paths that were like tunnels in a cave, searching, craving, needing.
Finally, the path came to an end in a large underground room. It was simple but beautiful. I felt like taking off my shoes. The air felt sacred. Empty, rarely visited because it was so hidden, but precious.
A carved out basin of flowing water was there, hidden away, deep underneath the many layers of buildings, roads and businesses. There was nothing but stillness, quiet, and the sweet tinkling music of a fountain. It was obvious that it was not meant to be hidden — rather, it was meant to be an oasis in a desert place. At one time, it had been an oasis…out, in the open, for all travelers to find.
Somehow, it was now buried far underneath a city that was raised up to celebrate its existence.
Water bubbled up gently in the center of this fountain basin, a dim hole above letting in the smallest ray of sunlight shining right onto the gurgling liquid of life.
I saw the Water and I buried my face in it. Fresh, sweet, alive, the Water filled me. I drank deep and knew I had finally come Home.
I woke up from the dream. It was just a dream, but yet I felt something changed inside of me. Never again have I felt guilty for not pretending that the swarming metropolis above the water IS the same thing as the Water. That city can say it has life…but its only claim to fame is that it is built above it, built in such a way that it is hiding it, burying it, obscuring it.
I love the Water. I have no love for what sprawls above it.
To the woman who I once shunned, I am sorry. I did not know. I lived in the city, but I had not tasted of the Water. Please forgive me.
Image credit: berkeleyside.com/2011/05/19/