PROLOGUE: Only Understood

I know a place where the trees keep secrets…

Where the mountains meet the sky in the harmony of whim to the sound of the precious wind. Where pure hope exists among the shroud of the fallen, and the somber pattern of hate is lifted and all its shadows…they wither at last under the glimmering light of such a place.

The stream shimmers a crystalline blue with bright diamonds of light dancing on the surface, bubbling, frothing over the edges. Young wildflowers scatter delicately and dance under the breeze, becoming the memories; becoming those tangling threads of utter truth that settle soothingly in your tired mind.

The elegant, protective trees remain your haven, never to hide you from the rancor of life but to shelter your fears and to comfort your bitter sorrow. Their untouched leaves sway with the pure song of the wind and rustle above in a shimmering slip of magic…an iridescent veil never to abandon your cry.

A soft and beautiful melody catches lightly in the air, resounding with a serene harmony onto the solid ground with warmth. The song weaves throughout your troubled thoughts, releasing all that you've unconsciously suppressed since the day you were reprimanded for your spirit.

Thoughts and dreams are woven like silk through the branches and entwined around everything. Even around the things you can't see…for those unseen things may not exist with the consent of your eyes, but they remain instead by some obstinate promise of your undamaged heart. Your beautiful eyes…they shall seek what can easily be known, but the rest must be understood somewhere within.

Not with sight, with vision.

This place becomes an ethereal reality where you long to remain forever, just to feel the gentle caresses of a magical splendor that doesn't take away your pain and sorrow, but turns it into something you can finally understand among the joy and the laughter that decorates your smile.

Touch your tears, for they shape sadness and joy the same, making tangible and liberating the feelings too powerful to be contained within your soul, to be dealt with inside and alone. And a burden is lifted.

For the soul is the deepest of all the most intangible mysteries. And with all the effort of life, the answers to it may never be discovered. Only understood.

You must understand why you are here, why you belong. Take your sheer fears, your sadness, your love…take everything…take it and finally understand your extraordinary soul and that of us all. For under the innocent and untouched magic of this secret place, the right to understand is yours. Just as it has always been.

Perhaps now you recognize the answers to all those questions that once formed a web of shadows in your fragile heart. The truth has been living in you all along; every time you took a step along the cobblestone path and the leaves skittered before your feet. Every time the wind caressed your face. Ever since you smiled, ever since you cried and you laughed for the first time. Ever since you put your hands into the air and tilted your head to the sky, spinning around and around with all the might of freedom, of innocence.

Ever since the day you took your very first breath and discovered life, the most precious gift we are given.

And then it was understood.

Promise me you will keep it until forever. Keep it, feel it. Promise me you will never forget this place where the trees keep secrets. You mustn't forget.

Remember. Remember for all of us.