A world within a world. An alternate universe untouched. Memories connecting, breaking, falling. Coldness and warmth combined, yet there is no equilibrium, only two extremes. Thoughts run unrestrained through a mind. A mind with no limits. But this is only one mind. One mind in a billion. Yet it is the same as any other. Each landscape, full of the same animals.
Your mind is whatever you wish it to be.
Darkness. Sweet, precious darkness. Black that can hide anything. Sharks, dolphins, crabs and tiny fish. Especially tiny silver fish. Who are scared of other fish. And of the sun. The sun who brings with it large nets that kill.
So here, in the darkness so black that no one can see, there is a fish. A little silver one. And his coral. That is all he needs. That’s why he hides away in this cave of shadows. Too small for big fish, too dark for the others. But the fish loves it. It is completely his. His very own safe haven.
Sometimes he thinks that maybe he should leave. That maybe he should find a school to swim and eat with. And sometimes he nearly leaves.
But as soon as the light is visible, and reflections dance on his silver fins, he cannot. He cannot go any further. And he retreats, huddling back inside his cave. His cave where he knows no one goes. The little hollow hidden away in the reef. The reef he once explored with a fascination and joy. But those days are now gone.
And even though nothing new happens. Nothing ever changes and he never feels anything but secure. Because it is his home. And the fish will never want to leave. And yet, in his tiny heart, he feels a little boxed in.
Eyes are following every move the gazelle makes. Large paws creep forward, pressing silently into the ground. Ears flick as the wind changes direction. And ever so slowly, the beast gets closer. Before….
The small lion cub leaps out of the grass to land on her sister. Bites and claws to subdue her prey. But the prey is strong and fights back, viciously. But she will not be defeated, and it soon turns into a wrestling match. The cubs push and pull. Tumbling around, they scuff up both the ground and their fur.
A growl makes both of them freeze. The cub struggles as she is pulled away from her sister. Her mother huffs, and lies down between them. Sighing, she lies down. Lies down and stares at the sky. The blue sky that she wants to touch. Maybe it is soft and cushy.
Thinking of the birds, she wonders if maybe they live up in the sky. They always fly up when anyone gets near them. Then her mother shifts, and she is shaken out of it.
Sighing, she wonders if her mom dreams. Wonders if her mother would ever want to leave the plains. If her mom would want to fly, or see snow. The cub almost doesn’t want to ask. She doesn’t know if she would like the answer.
The sun glints off copper feathers. Feathers that catch and blow in the wind. And with her wings spread out next to her, she has the whole world under her.
Reveling in the freedom bestowed upon her, she stops flapping, simply gliding in the currents. She considers diving down, but decides not too. She doesn’t want to go back to earth just yet. The hawk wants to stay up here until she can’t. Until she is so exhausted she is forced to rest.
Gazing across the sky, she spots a flock of geese, flying in their trademark V pattern. And in a split-second she is racing across the blue. The geese don’t even flinch as the bird of prey comes rushing towards them. The hawk slows feet before them, flapping gently. And then she shifts. Fitting right in towards the front of the V.
The geese in front moves back, allowing her forward. She takes the front position. And as the hawk leads them through the currents, toward their southern destination, it’s almost as if they become one.
Because despite their differences, they somehow just work. Eventually the hawk leaves, and heads in her own direction. She breaks out of formation, falling back towards her eastern home. But for that period of time, everything works. For that period of time, they are all connected in a way that cannot be truly understood.
Like words in a sentence. None of them making sense by their lonesome. And the hawk can feel the satisfaction in her bones. She can touch the elation on her feathers. And she lives for those moments.
Padding ever so softly on the floor. Hooves stepping delicately on the leaves. Brown pelt blending into the shrubs. Nearly invisible. The sun is dappled on his fur. Sensing no danger, the deer steps out, and lowers it’s head to the ground.
The brightness of the plants shock the deer. Had they always been this color? He doesn’t think so. The deer is sure that he would have remembered that.
Straightening, the deer takes off, running full speed through the meadow. Now this he remembers. He loves the wind and scenery flying past. Then he stops. And for a second, it seems like the world does too. He can’t even tell if it is still moving. Everything seems so slow, and quiet. It reminds him of the seasons.
Summer of course, is loud. Loud and colorful and full of life. The forest is green and their leaves alive. Winter is the exact opposite. Cold and silent. And dangerous. Desperation from starvation is enough to drive any animal crazy.
The deer wonders for a moment if there is ever a balance. Where excitement and boredom fade into mild amusement. Where life is just interesting enough. Where the coldness and warmth are combined. Would he even like that equilibrium? But as soon as that moment comes, it passes. And he bends his head down to eat once more.
After all, summer and winter were all he really remembered. Why would anything else matter?
A haven found within a world. A separate world to dream in. Sentences made of connection, understanding and experience. A contrast of seasons, different as the strongest emotions. All of these found in landscapes. Landscapes within each mind, each one of those billion minds. Creatures of beauty and grace, of devastation and desperation. All surprisingly similar. If for simply the fact that they all are vital part of the souls and minds around us.