The Key To The Door

The tree is tall, dark, deep.  The branches sprint upward, higher and higher, spreading like fingers, like rivers:  covering the sky in a gothic fanned vaulting.

The blackness that shows between the leaves seems to go on forever.  Like tar it covers, like glass it distorts, like a book it dares the imagination.  A hundred small forests nestle within the noble tangle of white branches.  I felt that if I reached into those depths I would discover…anything!

I think about this tree often.  It's visually lovely and unusual – true – but it also reminds me of something.  It reminds me of a dream I had, long ago.  One of the first dreams I ever remember having, but I never forgot it.  Because it was perfect.

I was looking up into a sparkling canopy of leaves.  I saw the sun blinking through the branches.  Then, somehow, I was borne upwards; and when my flight was done, my senses of observation had changed.  I saw things, details, that were frankly quite marvelous.  The light I thought I saw did not come from a distant brilliant star, but from brilliant gems, all of them within my grasp:  citrine diamonds, dark jade, clear emeralds.  Delicately nestled within the leaves they sent out white star-like beams, forming a galaxy that hung all around me. 

The rustling I perceived while on the ground wasn't caused by a breeze, but by beautiful sprites and fairies.  They were clothed in rich, earthy colors – sometimes melting into the background and sometimes emerging from it like so many Cheshire cats. 

I never saw their faces; only a gleam of an eye or a glimpse of a smile - a wink, a dimple – but I had the clearest impression of the branches stirring as the little creatures moved to get a closer look at me. 

This dream – thankfully – reoccurred in different forms two or three more times.  Once, I was climbing a snow-covered mountain past flowers growing through a frozen chrystelline blanket, bearing hues not imagined yet; again, I was walking through a field, peering through the high, soft grass – and animals watched me as I passed.

At the time I was too young to see a lesson in these gifts my subconscious had decided to give me.  They were just lovely adventures.  But now, I know exactly what they were trying to tell me.  This was a lesson in perception and imagination:  the closer you look at something, the more wonderful it is very likely to be.

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13 responses to “The Key To The Door

  1. A lovely portal into an alternate reality. It is really there but you can only get to it through this tree. Like your dreams. Beyond what we see, it's what we could see if we looked a little deeper. You always look deeper Aubrey. And, when you do, you do it vividly.

  2. I love that there are sprites and fairies winking at you from beneath the leaves. I'd like to cup one in my hand as a reminder of magical possibilities.

  3. Gorgeous, thanks for posting.

  4. Possibly these were 3 visions, not dreams?The expression, "can't see the forest for the trees" means one who can't see the obvious but I disagree. It is good to look closely, at the details, to see the speck on the bug on the leaf on the branch on the tree in the stand in the forest. Or, even closer, as you have. You have seen so much! They must really trust you.

  5. your writing style is like cake for my mind! YUM!

  6. DB: Sometimes my mind just slips on a banana peel and finds itself in a new reality. I once had a boss who after I spoke, would look at me as if I just stepped off a spaceship. I never knew why.
    Renee: I always believe in six magical possibilities before breakfast.
    pyrit: Does a vision straddle imagination and reality…does it get its nourishment from real life? Is a dream a product of one's own personal whimsey? Or is it the other way around?

  7. Oh I say it's not as complicated as all that. Is this a trick question? 0-oIf you have a vision, you know it. Dreams. Dreams straddle imagination and reality, getting nourished by one's own whimsey, and a pinch of vision.

  8. [this is magical] I think trees hold the secrets to this world, and others. If only we could earn their trust, the value of their untold treasures would be incapable of estimation. Of course, and however, the secrets are theirs to hold for an eternity and it's only us lucky ones who get the slightest of glimpses every so oft.
    Beautiful post, dear Aubrey.

  9. So beautiful. The darkness certainly dares the imagination..you could reach out and touch the fairy world within.

  10. pyrit: Yes! Dreams feed off of reality; visions invade it, fully formed.
    Riss: They are the best kinds of confidants, firmly rooted, yet staring at the stars.
    purplesque: The first time I saw that tree, with its endless shadows, I thought, "What must be going on in there?"

  11. Incredible. Thank you.

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