Streets of Gold
It was a beautiful crisp day and light blue skies hung over the kingdom like a canopy. The wind blew above and caused large white clouds to tumble, roll and change shape as they broke apart. It was a picturesque scene in the heavens above. It was so beautiful that it made Jonathan Stone think of a master painter’s canvas portraying the image of the perfect day with clouds advancing into the sunset. The temperature was perfect, not too hot and not too cold, the type of day that could put a smile on any face. The weather was absolutely flawless, yet everyday was ideal for the entire time Jonathan Stone lived in this awesome kingdom.
As he walked down the street, the wind carried the fragrance of flowers. Occasionally, a hint of fresh cut grass drifted through the air, almost like the smell of spring. Jonathan felt the soft breeze fall upon his face as it continued its path through his hair then into the distance. He drank in the beauty and the fragrances that were all around him.
“How long have I been here?” he asked himself. “Has it been ten, twenty or perhaps fifty years, maybe more?”
He laughed quietly and a slight smile crossed his face. “It’s hard to keep track of time in eternity.”
As he walked along the Kingdom’s streets of pure gold, his eyes looked down and admired the patterns that the bricks made as they crisscrossed with each other. Some bricks were deep gold in color, while others had a much softer tint that caused the patterns to jump out. The city’s Main Street was massive in width, like the Mississippi River flowing down through St. Louis. The street also rolled to the left and bent to the right as it continued on endlessly into the horizon. As he walked, he noticed how many other streets joined in to the main street and yet the patterns the bricks made were never broken. It reminded him of puzzle pieces fitting perfectly together.
Walking was one of his daily routines. He always enjoyed the beauty of the kingdom, and he loved exploring the depths of the kingdom that seemed to expand endlessly in every direction. A deep sigh of contentment flowed from his mouth and a smile brightened even more of his face. He was thinking about how happy he was, how content and at peace. A deep satisfying joy began to fill him as he reflected on these things.
Jonathan walked for miles and miles, never growing tired or weary. His eyes were captivated by everything around him from the sky above to the streets below. On the left of him were thousands upon thousands of gorgeous houses and buildings of every color. The houses varied from one to another in amazing proportions, yet each one shined forth in its own uniqueness, beauty and splendor, never robbing but always complimenting its neighboring house. On the right of him flowed the greatest river in the Kingdom.
As Jonathan was walking, the street bent to the right ahead of him and a house caught his attention. It was not small or large, but moderate in size. It seemed to shine and sparkle and stand out among the other houses. As he got closer he noticed that the outside walls of the house were decorated with millions of different colored gems, from diamond, rubies, sapphires and other precious jewels. They sparkled and danced on the walls as the light of the city hit them. His eyes were mesmerized by the colors, which no human eye had ever seen or imagined, reflecting off this one home in particular.
Finally, he reached the house and stopped to look at it in greater detail. Walking forward he noticed a carved image above the door. It was a desert scene of an oasis, carved in great detail; even the blades of the grass could be made out among the palm trees, flowers and bushes that surround a desert pool. On the side of the door were inlays of pure gold showing similar images that captured the eye’s attention. He reached out and let his hand slide gently over the inlays and found it to be as smooth as glass. As he stepped back, something hit the back of his leg. Turning, he saw it was a decorated bench. He noticed that the back of the bench had the same carvings and inlays as the house in front of him. He decided to sit down, relax and drink in the beauty of the day.
Jonathan let out a long slow breath and said silently, “This place is so awesome! I still can’t believe that I’m here walking down these streets.”
A hint of excitement fell upon his face as he looked to his left and then right. He thought to himself, “There are so many places yet to see and explore. I could walk for the next ten thousand years and see but a small piece, a mere portion of this massive kingdom.”
His thoughts turned back to the days of his old life, and that old world in which he used to live so long ago. Images of his past life began to flood his mind. He remembered the street he grew up on and the house he lived in. It was a brown, three-family house with yellow trim. There were two small apartments downstairs and a larger three-bedroom apartment upstairs. He remembered the wood paneling in the living room, the square yellow and blue tiles in the kitchen and an enclosed porch looking down on the trees and street below. His house was one of many two and three family houses in the neighborhood.
His memory brought him to a river. It was the Connecticut River; he remembered it snaking its way down stream to a bridge, then over a dam and continued on until it reached the Atlantic Ocean. He also remembered the mountain that overlooked the river. He smiled and said to himself, “Mount Tom.”
He could still remember so many places, faces and even conversations he had. But it was all gone now, ancient history. The memories of his past life were still fresh and probably always would be. His memories reminded him of a dream, of some distant land in another time or some other life that was once lived a very, very long time ago.
Jonathan recalled how that old world disappeared; it vanished and was no more. I