Dreamland: Part 1//Rainforest Villa
A note from the author:
Reading and writing create alternate realities for me in very vivid and realistic ways. I think that we all need these other realities sometimes. It is why we watch mind-numbing television, go on purposeless drives, get lost in the presence of music. We want to take a step back from our world, and focus our inner selves on something other than our troubles- even if only for a little while.
This short story series involves imagery-filled accounts of alternate realities that I needed in the moment that I wrote them. I hope they create a world in your mind that you can escape to momentarily, and feel the peace and tranquility that I felt when writing them.
I awake slowly, in a fog.
I breathe deeply. In…out…where am I?
My mind clears enough for me to realize that this is just a dream. But how can it be? I can feel everything. It is surreal and yet tangible.
I am on a linen and bamboo cot, and the air is chilly. I swing my legs around and my toes meet the soft, dirt earth. I look around and see that I am in a small thatched hut, minimally furnished with only the cot and a small table that looks as if it functions as a writing desk.
I walk slowly, gently through the hut; as though it is only a place I stopped to rest in, and the owner may come back any moment. My mind reels at the thought that in this reality, this must be my home— not my small, urban apartment adjacent to a busy, cacophonous highway. This quiet, airy space couldn’t be more opposite.
I step outside and I am immediately breathless.
As high as I can see, massive wide-trunked trees stretch to the sky.
Never in my life have I seen so much green, I think to myself.
My feet sink into the cool, damp earth and in amazement, I graze my fingers over the velvety Elephant Ears that grow from the ground in thick, endless clusters. My eyes linger on the fat drops of water that remain there, dazzling in the thin beams of light that shine through the dense canopy of the rainforest.
The air is so fresh. I’m sure I’ve never breathed air this pure.
I hear larks cooing…birds chittering… and the vague sound of rain falling calmly, steadily, in the distance.
I don’t know if I am alive or dead. Or dreaming. I don’t care. I have never seen anything so magnificent. So tranquil.
I continue walking through the greenery, stepping tenderly over tree roots and deeply inhaling the cool, refreshing air. I am invigorated and also incredibly at peace. It is as if my soul is floating freely in this rainforest. I am completely unburdened in every way.
The trees are covered in a thick, bright green layer of moss, and hearty vines twist gracefully around the countless limbs. Bright flowers bloom from so much of the surrounding foliage that I imagine I am seeing more colors than I knew existed.
The dark and pleasant, earthy smell of the rainforest intoxicates me, and I sit for a moment on a fallen log and ponder the never-ending stretch of green in front of me.
How beautiful. How impossible.
My mind can hardly comprehend so much beauty. So much serenity.
I look up and see the branches intermingling. A light breeze blows the leaves in the treetops and I get a faint feeling of nostalgia. Except for instead of longing or sadness, I feel immense gratitude for my other life. The reality in which I must have made this memory that is coming back to me. It was familiar— like the feeling I get any time there is a quiet, sunny day, and I remember others like it. Days where you just feel free…and unfettered.
I continue walking again and begin to hear loud, rushing water. I race hurriedly to its source.
A vast flood of water, tucked between the dense growth, falls obliviously down into a dark green pond. I am struck by both the loveliness of the waterfall and the mystery of it.
It is ageless. Or is it ancient?
I lay down to rest beside the water, the mist from the waterfall falling lightly on my face and my shoulders. The sun creates a brilliant rainbow sheen around the base of the waterfall, right where the white torrent plummets into the still, green water. Large, algae-covered rocks create a comfortable alcove, and this is where I stay.
My awestruck, pounding heart begins to steady. I am alone, but I feel complete, content; I lack nothing at all.
I breathe slowly, my arms crossed behind my head. Sunbeams illuminate particles in the air. Thunder rumbles softly in the distance. I close my eyes and listen to the perpetual water falling, obeying gravity and nothing else. It creates a background of white noise, and all of the birds and animals and rain and thunder fade away.
It is just me and the waterfall. It is the life of the rainforest. The breath. Constant, unbroken.
My eyes grow heavier and my breathing slows down as I drift off into an ethereal sleep…