The Senior Ladies Group carefully made their way down the woodland trail. They had chosen the “easy trail to accomodate everyone’s abilities and each and every one was thoroughly enjoying the deep woods setting and sparkling little steam that their trail was following with a promise of a small waterfall and photo opportunities at the trails end.
Laughter and conversation could be heard from a small wedding party that strode up from behind them and quickly passed through.. The bride, in full regalia had hiked her gown up around her waist, veil a flying , and wearing a pair of scruffy hiking boots. She was in the lead, with her attendants in short dresses and similar boots hurried to keep up eith her each carrying their “Photo shoes ” Groom, and groomsmen with tails and pants tucked in their boots Bringing up the rear was the “Preacher” carrying his Bible and smiling at the Ladies Group who looked stunned and amused by the unusual parade.
Leah and Janice were lingering behind, taking in all the wildflowers and dancing denizens in the little stream. At a fork in the trail, Leah notice a cave opeining and stared toward it while Janice halted on the fork to wait for her. “Be Careful, she called it looks dark in there, maybe a bear’s home” she urged nervously.
Leah peered into the mouth of the cave pitch black and about 5 foot tall and wide, She thought she saw a small light in the depths of the darkness and stepped carefully inside to get a better look when her ankle collapsed and she felt herself falling….some distance down into the pitch black hole. With a hard THUD she painfully landed on a dirt covered surface.. Breaths coming painfully and hard, she looked about, seeing nothing in the darkness and lost consiousness.
She opened her eyes to bright sunlight streaming in through the window of her bedroom, and for just a moment had a few seconds of confusion before rationalizing, “Wow, that was a weird dream.”.Padding down the hallway to. her coffee pot already sending out delightful aromas of automatically brewed coffee her day had begun..
Saturday, today and a “Welcome to the Fold” Brunch scheduled at the College campus where she taught Ancient History for a new Professor…..Political Science guy ….Rumor had it in the faculty lounge that he was quite handsome, mature and personable….Leah dressed and made up with care…A petite woman, she had let her hair remain long and wore it in a reverse braid with soft curls around her face and covering her ears, a treasured jade hair comb from ancient Japan decorated the top side of her braid and jiggled saucily when she walked or moved her head. No longer a “Young” woman, she still had a good figure and the ability to “turn herself out” as her mother used to say…
At their introduction Professor, Gregory Walker, looked straight into Leah’s eyes for what seemed like a long while, though it was only seconds. An odd feeling of “familiarity” along with the attraction she felt for him at once came over her and as she moved away from him toward some colleagues she felt his eys boring into her back, and smiled to herself.
Coffee dates, became luncheon dates, became dinner dates became passionate interludes on his “boat” and her apartment. Love blossomed….
In the cave Leah opened her eyes to pain., and the sounds of rescuers with searchlights and a litter making their way down to her.
In her hospital bed, and under pain relief, she tried to heal from a broken arm and concussion. along with numerous cuts ,abrasions, and bruises some of which were alarmingingly large. black blue and green.
Michio Kaku was lecturing on the Science Channel on “Parallel Universes” and some part of her attention span was listening to him and mulling that premise over in her cloudy thought processes.
She thought of Gregory Walker, her now defunct internet romance. She had over a period of months fallen deeply in love with Gregory, across the miles through the most passionate emails that came morning noon and night. It had seemed to her that they were destined, and she loved him with every cell of her body it seemed. And then came the last email, the one where he gently, oh so gently explained that he had reconciled with a former lover and would be leaving the site and wishing her well. Empliness, and a constant ache of the heart along with the pain of the accident enveloped her. “When you are older, it seems that you are not as able to recover as well as in youth from physical or mental anguish” she told herself…
Weeks later, still not quite healed, she drove back to the park, and taking a small collapsable camp stool from her car set out for the cave. Almost at a state of collapse, she reached it at last and saw that the park maintenance had installed a metal barrior across the mouth of the cave. She opened her stool and heavily sat down leaning up against the wall painfully, her breath coming in short spurts.
When she could function again, she gazed into the vortex of the cave was sure she could see that light once again, numbness began to move across her face and an ache began deep within her arm and back, and then it subsided and a peaceful warmth came over her, a feeling of well being, and she thought she saw herself sitting there at on her small stool, very still, from INSIDE the cave. A force swept her along through the long and dark tube toward a pin point of light that seemed miles away….
Leah opened her eyes, to bright sunlight streaming in through the window of her bedroom and shivered at the momentary mental glimpse of a woman looking very much like herself sitting lifeless while two hikers examined her and hurried off to make the sad report to the park ranger….The “Dream” faded almost instantly from her minds eye and memory and she was aware of Gregory’s hand caressing her hip as she leaned into his warm morning embrace…