Then ~ suddenly it dawned on them. It was really themselves who could no longer stand. They had botched things up so badly there simply was no longer any use, they had met the enemy, and it them. They had a choice, either or change or live in another dark age. So they changed . . . It was hard, especially at first, but they were determined and persevered and learning restraint, proper order and balance they knew they'd made the right choice. Slowly things began to improve and gradually get better, and in time Ashland again prospered becoming even a nicer place in which to live.

Other communities followed and began to prosper as well. They too became happy and healthy. And people did indeed live! . . . Long and meaningful lives which they passed onto their children, and children's children ... for all time, for they had finally learned the meaning of enough and the value of what they already had.

And so that is the Legend of Ashland . . . or perhaps "back to the future."?

And now to return to where I left off at the beginning. Let's see . . . I think I would like to call the rest of the story "Look NO Hands," if that's wouldn't be too confusing to the reader.

As I was saying, Lifelong was a magical place, and where we met. I hadn't known you long, yet it seemed we'd grown up together, as if we'd known each other for a long time. There was a deep sense of trust and openness, almost innocence, a sense of being kindred spirits or simply best buddies. We both shared what seemed an intuitive keenness that somehow guided us away from worldly entrapment. Like many others of the community there was a healthy glow, a youthful vitality about us. A golden brown bathed our hair and skin with the warmth of the season of summer. We worked at the same place, so to speak. In fact, that's where we met. You were a coordinator for community groups often using the retreat where I lived and worked. We were trying to create a holistic community where people could live in greater harmony with one another and nature, kind of an oasis, an example which others could follow. We felt each doing their part could somehow make things better, although challenged we were happy. We could be creative and constructive in our work. In fact most folks in the community took time to be active positively in some way.

The town of Lifelong as a whole was relatively of enlightened character emphasizing human growth, offering lectures, workshops and classes in various disciplines in the art of life. In seemed we were always enrolled in something ... there was just so much to learn!

Larger gatherings called "Celebrations of Life" would take place from time to time in natural settings outside of town. Sometimes the "forest dwellers" would join in, for man was now their friend.

Our favorite time was evening when everyone would form circles holding hands, gaily dancing around the firelight under the stars to exotic, seemingly magical rhythms. People spontaneously hugging gazed compassionately into each others eyes permeated with a heightened sense of wonder ... of oneness. Later, walking home we often experienced an incredible lightness of being . . . as if having cast into a mid-Summer's Night's Dream.


From the Harbors of Light Collection: Inspirational writings, short stories, literature,
poetry and prose from Brad Kalita, founder of Gathering Light ... a retreat.


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