'Focus on your balance, on not tumbling over the icy walkway, and you'll soon forget about the cold.'
I immediately recognize the truth of her words. My dearest Betsy, what a splendid observation!
Betsy is the barn owl I met on my late fifteenth birthday. She had begun by insisting I call her Murray. I begged her not to make me follow this request; it's both of my parents' names! She huffed and puffed over it, before finally agreeing to take it on as a nickname.
'Someday,' she said to me, 'I'll meet a couple of Gregorahs, and it'll be you who is assigned a new name!'
I remember having laughed, then promising to comply if the day ever came. 'Gregorah' is the most popular name of 2032, after all. I could have argued it, claimed it wouldn't be the same unless these two Gregorahs were her parents.
I know for a fact her parents are named Jenny and Gilles. An easy checkmate! It wouldn't matter, she could call me absolutely anything at all; she is the best thing to ever befall me.
The Wooded Trail
'You really enjoy this path.'
Breathing deeply, I smell the cold fresh scent of pines. It's true, I love it!
We divert from the icy sidewalks for a short trail that cuts through the woods. An avalanche this week covered the school grounds beyond accessibility to the primary building, and we've been exploring the countryside to pass the time. I walk, Betsy flies from branch to branch, lounging and watching as I make my painstaking way across snowy paths and fields.
And she's right, this path greatly pleases me!
'Oh, I know.'
I love her. With this thought, I feel a soft warmth flaring up deep within me.
The trail is nothing short of beautiful. It's wide enough to be walked openly, to get lost in the surrounding sight of vivid green spruce trees, extended branches and needles dusted by glistening ice and snow, trunks reaching high into the embrace of a flawlessly bright and azure sky.
'Notice how once more you forget about the cold.'
It's entirely true. I'm incredibly grateful.
The Electric Book
I wonder what the book captured today.
It's the second gift I received for my birthday this year, the rare and widely coveted Electric Book by tech giants Retinas Unlimited! This groundbreaking contraption connects directly to the mind of the user to record and transcribe all matters of thought, perception and emotion. Our family being not so wealthy, I have no clue how we acquired it!
'It's not the most important thing.'
You're right. No matter what, it's pretty great!
I'm nearing once more the roadside, when I trip, momentarily spiking my heart rate. Regaining myself, I smile as I imagine how it will show up colourfully on today's page.
'Not to mention how it'll represent our imagination of its presentation.'
The sun begins to lower over the horizon, the feeling of cold returning to my attention. I quicken up the pace. If I get in on time, I can catch a fresh dinner hour.
Betsy is unconcerned for herself; she devoured some fine tree mice today.
The Final Page
Having arrived home, I pull the book off the charging pad, pleasantly activating the binding lights to pulse a dim silver glow. It feels wonderful to the touch; velvety soft, and sturdy. Gently, I lift the cover, my heart filled with apprehensive curiosity for the contents of today's entries.
My head is light. Betsy sits studiously outside my window, watching as I discover the truth of her contemplations for this day. I catch my breath, bewildered by the woeful and abrupt graphical display spread before me.
The owl, ever enchanting and picturesque against the natural backdrop of a setting sun, ruffles her feathers and twitches her head, sharply scratching an itch beneath her left wing.
'I sense you are upset.'
She looks back at me, an empathetic gaze in her eyes.
'Your sorrow is understood. Please, return and continue as you were, for this day is not strange to me. You are but a child, and understand not the necessary cycles of consciousness - and lack thereof. Please, allow me to enlighten you on this connection between existence, the universe, the Earth, and all life found upon the surface we may know.'
The page scribbles and glows as strict diagrams and colourful shapes appear to materialize from the centre of the page. An image of the cosmos melds into the hearty figure of a great oak tree, gradually self-populating by an absolute variety of known and mysterious forms of vegetation and wildlife.
In the upper left corner, I see the words being transcribed.
'All is composed of a singular matter, the source of all life and light, equally containing of death, and darkness. Each living perspective of existence runs simultaneously to the previous, as to the next, in every form known to the essence of possibility. Through these prospects of consciousness, we are given the sacred opportunity to direct our destiny, to find meaning within this greatness beyond ourselves.'
The tree takes numerous shapes, metamorphizing too swiftly to recognize anything in particular. Amid the flashes, I'm repeatedly convinced to see four faces: my own, that of the owl, that of God, and that of Death.
'I have lived a full life, another being born of my species could be no more appreciative. It is time for me to move on. By sharing with you my wisdom, I follow my purpose and shed the light. By my natural brokenness, I have doled out cosmic retribution upon lesser beings than I, as garden snakes and tree mice.'
An extensive table is drawn exhibiting the natural pecking order of conscious beings. Without time to process the information, I notice humanity more than halfway down the list, nothing above it striking me as familiar to life as it is known.
'None may deny the will to live, not while it is our time. For each, there is a role to be played. To attempt escape, to lower oneself in the singular eye of reality, to risk eternity without restitution.'
The tabled values begin to shift places, reshuffling for infinite possibilities, looping in on one another in every direction to form a filled, dark circle on the page.
'No, have no fear, none are forcefully tied to such a fate. Your beauty of spirit indubitably counts towards your progression as Fragment of the Greater Soul.'
The circle's outer edges begin to emit a glow of numerous textures, shades and colors. The shape takes form of a human heart bleeding into a scintillating pool of grateful beasts, alien life forms, and people alike. At the sketches, I feel an inkling of fear, but am comforted by the sense of omnipresence by my owl guide.
'Consciousness is a fickle aspect of reality, and normally disallows easy understanding of The Truth. If our union had not felt right, then these lines I would never recite to you. Be pleased for this gift, it means you are awaited by greatness. I am grateful to have met you, to pass on this wisdom for your journey. Tonight I will leave you, but these words won't be forgotten. I have been vivid behind my recounting, and so your book has captured more than I have communicated in the words you understand. Study it closely, to master the future for yourself and others, to make of this a final life.'
A tear is felt rolling down my cheek, I make no motion for it. I don't know why anyone or anything would expect me to be ready for any of this.
'Most importantly, be grateful for the opportunity you have. Appreciate life as it is, and for what it isn't. Love not only yourself, but all of living creation.'
I can do that. I promise.
'No. Make no promises, the pressure becomes too great. Live as you will, trust yourself to make the right decisions, accept than you make any mistakes. You have my confidence, and my love. For tonight, I won't be far; don't search for me, you're on your own now. Goodbye.'
🔍 Gustave Deresse (Lee Dupont) is a Métis-Canadian writer and musical artist whose primary themes of writing include, but aren’t limited to : spirituality, philosophy, relationships, humour, wellbeing, the weird, and — mandatorily — self development.
Thank you for reading, and take care. 🙏 🙏 🙏
About the Creator
Writer, cook, sudoku fiend, educated in computer science. Enjoys exploring
themes as spirituality, logic, love, life, philosophy, nature,
neurocognitive psychology, creativity,
writing, humour, inspiration, music, wellbeing —