My eyes take in the golden rays as they break through the canopy of leaves. I watch them dance in the crisp, clean air just before I close my eyes. The jarring transition from bright light to running shadows is beautiful every single time.
I breathe in so deeply I feel the sting. I want the cold to touch the tissues in my lungs. I want to taste the clean air in my bones. Somehow I do.
My feet feel steady on the rocky ground. They are planted on the only road they truly know, one that has existed for eternity.
My hair whips around me in flight, dances to a rhythm that will leave tangles for days. And I let it.
“This is heaven.” I whisper to my babies.
“No, mom. It isn’t.” He sounds so sure in his words as he continues with his voice I know like my own. His questions and thoughts never ending. My own child, he is.
"The Bible said the streets are made of GOLD in heaven. You know, like real gold.”
“Aah, son. Look around. Look at the trees. You see that sun peaking through those leaves? You see the golden color? You see them dancing and all the beauty they hold? Their color? That’s the golden, maybe. And to me? This is heaven. These are the streets of gold I hope I find in heaven.”
He looks. He considers.
We walk. Our feet move, step over step, and my fragile heart? Oh, how this heart is finally able to breathe in the only home she has ever known. How she is able to finally let her wings fly in the company of the beautiful light and sharp air and dance within the rise and fall of the hard ground among the swaying trees.
His voice cracks through the wind. “You know, mom. You really got me thinking, and I think you’re right.” His face. The smile of my son, the look in his eyes. I want to hold it forever. “I think maybe it isn’t actually GOLD. I think it IS this...It really is golden.”
"Yep. I think it is.”
And for one perfect moment I stand in the presence of the only real heaven my earthly body knows with the 3 small humans who constantly save me from the hell I also now know, and life moves on. One golden leaf over another.