She saw herself standing on the steps of the little wooden church in front of the cherry orchard; it was spring. She was wearing a yellow dress and a white flower in her long, red hair. It was the most vivid and most painful memory that she retained from that life that had now come to pass. An ordinary life filled with ordinary victories and ordinary hardships save for that fateful day when he had chosen wealth and power over his love for her.
It had not been the first time, nor would it be the last. They had lived through countless lives, most together, some not, some as friends, most as lovers; always as soul mates.
She now stood in the Perfect Place where spirits rest between lives. The place where fruit tastes of sunshine and trees and flowers shimmer with droplets of joy. Where colors are vivid, vibrant and radiant and the sweet scent of happiness envelops all. Spirits are always reluctant, sometimes fearful to leave the Perfect Place, because as its name implies it is simply perfect.
Perfection, however, negates growth and invites complacency to settle into the soul.
And so she stood in the Perfect Place holding his hand, eager, and enthusiastic; fearful and apprehensive.
They were both beings made by the Creator, beings as old as time, and as all beings they were as beautiful as they were flawed... Perhaps by design or perhaps because the Creator too was flawed. However it was not something that concerned her for it did not detract from her, and every spirit’s built-in desire for growth, the yearning to experience all joy, all suffering and love that was possible.
The spirits did this in a breathtaking and deeply flawed world called Earth, it too was made by the Creator, though every spirit knew that this world was flawed by design.
It was their training ground, their battlefield.
It was where they learned through pain and through love to tame their unhealthy and selfish desires, where the near-eternal quest to attain perfection took place.
She stood waiting with him, he would go first this time, she would follow a few years after; less than the blink of an eye in the eternal life of a spirit.
“Are you afraid?” She asked as she gently stroked his shimmering face.
“Eager.” He responded taking her hand and giving her fingertips the softest of kisses.
She knew that he would say that, he was always eager, often impatient, it was something that he had worked diligently to overcome throughout many lives. He was improving and so patience was not the focus of this life.
“Why did you choose Japan?” She asked.
“I know how much you love cherry blossoms.”
The cherry trees had been in full bloom on the day that he left her waiting at the church. It was true, she did love cherry blossoms, that was why she had chosen the date of their wedding to be in the spring in that particular church, it was the only one nestled in a cherry orchard.
Without requiring further explanation from him she knew that it was his way of telling her that he would do better, that he would do his best not to hurt her again.
“It will be a difficult life, more than most we have experienced.” She said it not as a warning or an admonishment, it was simply a statement. “We will both be tested in ways that we never have before.”
“But think of all the knowledge we will gain, of how far we will advance...”
There would be suffering for both and temptation for him. The lure of power. Whenever it beckoned him he heeded the call and let himself get lost in it, he abused it and misused it; it was his greatest challenge to overcome.
He knew that and she knew that.
He had tried in life after life to rise above that challenge with little success thus far; but he never failed because spirits do not fail. They simply try again until they triumph.
She too had her challenges to overcome. Though in her human lives she was more attuned with her spirit than most she had the tendency to feel that this meant she was above others.
In her spirit form, her true form, she knew that every being had gifts as well as shortcomings, but the human body and mind tended to cloud this knowledge or erase it altogether. She was slowly conquering it, that feeling of pride, of arrogance, but still had many lives to live before she could accomplish success.
In many ways she was more advanced than he was, in her human form she was usually more kind, more forgiving and more willing to sacrifice herself for the good of others.
He too, was not without his gifts. In his human form he tended to be tenacious, resilient and goal oriented.
It was this tenacity that had enabled him make what progress he had over the allure that power held over his human form. He was willing to work through rigorous and difficult lives that many spirits would not dare take all because he was willing to improve.
And because he had her, waiting for him, guiding him in any way she could.
Patience was her virtue and resilience was his.
They would need both for this life.
Their probability of success was low and they both knew it. But they had to test themselves once in a while, push their human bodies and minds to their limits to see how much they had improved and to see in which areas they faltered the most.
“I wish you could come with me.” He confessed as he put his arms around her in warm embrace.
“I will be there shortly.” She laid her head on his shoulder and tightened the embrace knowing that soon he would be leaving and would forget the feel of her body against his, the warmth and security that her love provided.
“How will I know you when I see you?” He asked, his human insecurities were beginning to surface.
It was time.
“I will be wearing a white dress.” She said pressing her fingertips to his forehead. “And when you look into my eyes you will know that we belong together.”
Her words and her touch seemed to calm him.
They did not say ‘I love you’ for it was not necessary. Love was in them, around them, it kept them happy and warm.
He began to fade...
It meant that a tiny, helpless, human infant was being born on the world called Earth, in the country of Japan.
His battlefield, his training ground.
She began to miss him immediately, her soul mate.
Their probability of success was low in this life, she reminded herself, but again, it did not matter because they had thousands of lives to live. They would both succeed eventually, no matter how many obstacles their shortcomings set before them.
He would make her suffer in this life as well.
It was his lust for power; she felt it surrounding his human form, slowly corrupting him from childhood.
But in her spirit form she again reminded herself that they would succeed because power is fleeting...
But love is patient, love is forgiveness, love is eternal.