by Jae Blakney 10/07/2011 / Short Stories
A soft and summery hum was the bumblebee's song of praise. The iris worshiped in blue and yellow silence. Together they danced before the Light.
And they were not the only dancers. The whole meadow was alive with other bees on other blooms, with waving grass and laughing brook, with bluebirds and rabbits and lambs and little children. Together they danced a tribute of joyful thanks before the Light.
No sun shone on that meadow, nor was any moon to be seen. So bright was the Light that the sun would have looked feeble and cold beside him. And everywhere the Light shone, life grew and praised him.
At the edge of the meadow, and all around it, stood alabaster pillars, and joining the pillars were alabaster arches. There were no gates in the arches, for the arches were always open to all who would enter to worship the Light.
Some of the children carried bags of precious seed, and as these children danced, they left the meadow through the arches. Other children returned with their bags empty, but they did not return alone. They brought other children, skipping and playing and joining the dance. They brought grown men and women, counting aloud as they struggled to keep in step. They brought white-haired elders, walking stiffly and carrying many books of rules for how to dance before the Light.
Some of the men and women picked up bags of precious seed, and others did not. Those who did not soon grew weary of dancing. Their hair became white and their bodies old. But those who picked up the seed began to dance without counting, began to skip and began to play. And as they played, they grew younger. When they had fully grown into children, they danced out between the alabaster pillars to sow and to reap for the Light.
Dotting the meadow were many small huts. In the walls of the huts were no windows. Inside the huts no bees hummed and no flowers bloomed, no birds sang and no children skipped. Each hut had one door, and it was tightly shut. To these huts the elders marched with their heavy books, entering as quickly as their feeble bodies would let them and shutting out the joyful meadow of the Light.
In every hut the elders huddled in the dark. And from every hut came the same tired and tuneless singing, as the elders intoned, "What mercy is given to us, that of all the huts, we have been drawn to the one hut where shines the Light."