The City of Crystals was a vibrant colorful world. It is perhaps the first thing that is noticed by all new comers who stand in awe of the resplendent building spirals that pierce the milky sunless sky. The turrets who structure resemble the gloomy castles of the earthbound catch the light in their facets, sparkling and dancing in warm hues of agate and amethyst.
The coldness and ancient lifelessness of its earth counterpart is in complete juxtaposition to their warmth and glow. Only the outline is the same, the moss and ivy worn stones of medieval castles were a mere hollow echo of the crystal counterparts of light and warmth that encompass this city.
The beauty of the city is only matched by the feel, the pulsating energy that the crystals provided. The rhythm of the buildings gently lulls the population maintaining a sense of everlasting peace and tranquility.
Azrael knew his way along the crystalline streets, his strides were always purposeful. Stares of admiration were lost on him. He had his mission, he knew his work, he was single minded in his deed. Many looked upon him, remembering their brief time with him, their transition from earthly life into this world of light, color, vibration and love. At first fearful, most grew to love Azrael, for the reward of transition into the light was that powerful.
He always brought the new arrivals to the same place, the Garden of Remembering. It was here that one would review the past life and choose the next step. The girl straggled behind him, her eyes wide with curiosity trying to absorb her new world. Her head craned backwards as she tried to look at what they had just passed, Azrael pulled her along. “Come now, little one, you will have time out of mind to explore later. Now you must meet your guide.” His voice was warm and soothing; she was not the first to be pulled by her thoughts. She would learn, as they all did, that thoughts were energy, and where her mind wandered her ethereal body would want to follow. First, The Garden of Remembering, that was the way it had always been.
Suddenly, they were upon the stone archway, it invited them into an arbor of blossoming trees, vibrant pink cherry, pure white pear and apple trees interlaced with delicate purple flowering wisteria that intertwined itself creating a cocoon effect. There was an aura of the sacred. The air was sweet with the mingling of the blossoms scents. The girl could taste the sweetness as she inhaled.
Azrael stood just inside and would go no further. He pointed to the far end of the arbor where a massive fountain carved from Jade gushed water through the trunks of three jade elephants arched upwards toward the muted sky. The cascade of water plumed into the air and fell back softly into the catching pool where carved carp and lotus pods adorned. Two stone benches wrapped themselves in crescent shape along its borders. “I will leave you now. Go sit and wait.” He was cryptic in his goodbye.
Confusion filled the child’s eyes, “No, you must come with me! Don’t leave me! Who will take care of me?” her panic began to bloom.
“Hush, little one! It is not for me to stay in this place. I have brought you here, I am only the messenger. Now, look! Your guide is already waiting for you!” He pointed at the benches and there a form had appeared. It shimmered and unraveled into a glowing being, a woman with blue eyes and a mane of silver hair tumbled down her bare shoulders. Her dress was Grecian in nature, cinched at the waist, flowing and billowing. She beckoned to the girl.
The girl bit her lip wistfully turning back to Azrael, “Will I see you again? I mean, you are my only friend here,” her voice quivered with emotion.
“We will see each other again, yes, but you must realize, you are amongst friends where ever you go. Do not fear, this is God’s country; no harm can come to you. Now, go, you have work to do as do I.” He smiled, his handsome face fluttered a fleeting emotion, something he was not accustomed to.
Somehow he felt a deeper connection with this child, he let it pass, he did not understand, there still remained mystery, even to this Angel. He made a small bow and he was gone.
The girl blinked and blinked some more, had she dreamt about this Angel of Death? Where did he go? She heard a name being called and turned back to the woman with silver hair and in an instant she was sitting beside her by the warm jade fountain.
She reached out for the woman’s hand and she felt calmed, safe and relaxed. The woman smiled at her, “We have not seen each other in a long while, do you remember me, Jannie?” The girl shook her head no as she danced in the depths of the silver haired woman’s eyes.
“I am your guide, Emma. It will come back to you; now let’s regard your very short but wonderful life.”
Jannie followed her gaze into the waters of the fountain, and before her, her entire life unfolded. The joy her birth had brought her family, her six birthdays, Christmases, summers all unfolded. She saw herself grow from baby to toddler to child. She watched her interactions with her family and her friends. She saw the pain in her mother when she was diagnosed with her illness, how the light of joy diminished and despair crept into her mother’s life.
“Why did I get sick? What did I do wrong?” she asked.
“You did nothing wrong. This was preordained before you left this place to join your mother, this is what you choose for both of you,” the silver haired woman explained gently.
“Why would I do that?” the confused girl asked.
“Because, it made you both grow in love and soul, and that my dear is the entire purpose of life,” she winked at the girl.
“Oh, yes, I remember that! But why does it hurt so much?”
“Growth sometimes feels that way when we are stretching and expanding. But do you feel pain now?”
“No, I feel wonderful, but I know my Mommy is hurting. I can still feel her tears from here.”
“Yes, it is true, you may still feel her, but one day she will be here with us, and she will understand. It is part of the process,” she said.
“God’s creation needs to grow and expand; it is the nature of love.”
“But why does it have to hurt?”
“It doesn’t always hurt does it? You remember times when you were in human form and it felt wonderful, yes?”
“Yes, but still being sick hurt me and my Mommy.”
“I will not argue that, but love holds the heart and the soul. It never leaves it, love takes many forms but always returns here,” she gestured to the garden and beyond its stone walls. “This is the place of peace and understanding. This is God’s country. Earth is a mirror image made flesh,” she stopped realizing the girl probably wouldn’t fully understand her explanation.
Jannie looked around at the lovely arbor and then back to Emma. “Earth is really pretty too, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like God lives there at all. It always feels like He is somewhere far away,” she bowed her head, “well, it did when I was sick.”
“God is never far away, He lives here in your heart. You just have to open your heart up to feel him. Sometimes when we are in human form we feel alone, but we are never alone. I promise you that,” she smiled. “Come, I have so much to show you! And there are many who are waiting to see you again,” Emma stood and extended her hand, Jannie held it and in an instant they were somewhere else.