Chapter Twelve: Life in Paradise (part 1)
Tobey was thinking of the quickest route to get him to Seventh Heaven Cliff. He didn’t want to be late to meet his friends. He decided to make use of the high reaching, orange-coloured trees, which were embedded all over the paradise like luminescent pins across a naval map.
As Tobey gracefully sprung from one tree to another, it was almost like flying to him. He soared over shimmering pathways, grasslands and streams; to gently land on the nearest orange tree that came within his sights. It seemed he had cleared about seven to eight miles in a matter of minutes.
On one of the trees Tobey bumped into Bright-Night, a huge, resplendent, white eagle owl. The majestic bird was twice the size of Tobey and appeared to have been taking a nap in the shade.
“Hello Tobey” The owl called out in excitement. “Are you staying with us for long? Or just dropping by?”
Tobey laughed. “Oh, hello Bright-Night. I didn’t see you there,” Tobey always remembered the names of everyone he had met in this world - it was no burden to him at all. Unlike when he was back on earth where he still struggled to recall the name of the helper who frequently changed his sheets.
‘Oh… What was her name again…? I’ve heard it so many times before…’
Tobey shook his head and then proceeded to answer Bright-Night’s question. “No. I’m only here for a short while,” he replied with mixed feelings. He gazed off into the distance. “I’m actually on my way to Seventh Heaven Cliff.” He began to prepare himself for the next leap.
“Seventh Heaven Cliff?” Bright-Night repeated. “Why. I’m going that way myself. I’ll come along with you if you don’t mind.”
Bright-Night’s dazzling white wings began to unfurl like a ginormous, exotic flower. All Tobey could do was stare at the exquisiteness that was perched before him.
“You think I look amazing?” the owl said catching Tobey’s facial expression. “But it’s you, dear boy, who is in fact the wonder here,” she laughed. “On the way, I want you to tell me all about your travels to earth.”
In unison, they sprung from one orange tree to the next, as Tobey relayed as much as he could about his experiences on earth.
“Tobey. Look around you,” the owl remarked. “You are very special indeed. It is rare to see someone as mature as you in this realm.”
Tobey nodded. “I know Bright-Night. But for some reason I keep coming back here. I don’t know how it must look to the others, but I really do want to stay in the other realm and take part in the journey. However when I get there, the pain that I’m under is so excruciating. I don’t know why this is happening to me,” he turned to Bright-Night, “And I don’t know how much more of it I can take…”
As the pair flew over glittering terrain and musical waterfalls Tobey began to list all his concerns to his feathered friend. The owl didn’t say anything, she only nodded intermittently as she took in Tobey’s woes.
After a brief moment of silence Bright-Night cleared her throat. “Tobey. Did anyone tell you about the natural order of things?”
“What? As in how the world is arranged?”
“Yes. But most especially how this world is arranged,” the owl asserted. She turned her head around to get a better look at Tobey.
“No.” Tobey sounded a little dejected when he answered her. “But I do know that when babies get to earth, they don’t come back here.”
Bright-Night chuckled. “Yes. You’re quite right in saying so.” The owl’s feathers began to bristle. “But Tobey, there’s more….Approximately two months before you’re all due to enter the world, all you little ones begin to pop up all over this paradise like flowers in spring,” she laughed. “It’s a lovely sight to see – even better than roses in full bloom. And it’s an even greater joy that we get to know you all, before you set off on your magnificent journeys to earth.” Bright-Night exhaled and embraced her little companion. “But,” the owl added coyly, “you may love it here, sweet Tobey, but this is by far not the best part of your journey.”
Tobey’s eyes widened. “It isn’t?”
“No. it isn’t. For you will find that some babies lose their lives shortly after arriving on earth. And these babies are referred to as the ‘wee ones’ and do you know what happens to these wee ones?” She said looking closely at Tobey, “They go onto the most beautiful paradise ever known to us all. It’s called the Island of Lights. I don’t know how to describe it to you, only than to say that it is the best place I’ve ever seen, and the best place ever created.” “You’ve actually been there?” Tobey was shocked. He didn’t know there were other places in the Spirit Realm.
“With special permission, we, who reside here, can visit all the realms in this universe.” The owl replied. “But only for a short while. For indeed, there are other realms in this Spiritual Kingdom. In fact, there are realms which you humans go to, once you have completed your life’s work on earth. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this but earth is just another stage of your journey. It is the penultimate plane. What happens there, determines where you go to next.”
Tobey looked astounded, and then confused. “Wait a minute. If we’re going someplace else after this journey shouldn’t we be more concerned about where we’ll end up?”
“Good question,” the owl nodded. “And I see where you’re going, but I can tell you first hand there are no worries in the end realm. I suppose, it’s because there is nowhere else to go. You are, where you are, and wherever that is - it’s final.” Bright-Night said blinking her fiery eyes back at him. “So, it appears all those anxieties and concerns you humans have only take place during your time on earth.” She paused. “But, in spite of all of the worries and concerns, earth, is still the only place in the whole wide universe where the inhabitants have been given their full independence.” Bright-Night’s eyes began to blaze like bits of burning sulphur. “Do you know what that means Tobey?” she said in a voice ringing with delight. “All of you have been given complete autonomy. Whatever you create on earth, or whatever takes place in that sphere, will have a direct impact - not only on yourselves - but on the whole human race.” She breathed out, “Do you know how amazing that is? I honestly cannot begin to fathom that amount of power and responsibility and why it was given to you humans. What on earth did you do right - or wrong…” she said with smiling eyes, “…to be charged with such an almighty undertaking? Wow…Love…really does love you...” She was quiet for a moment. “Although Tobey, your journey to earth could prove to be a little…problematic...” she added pensively fixing her luminous stare back on him again. “It appears you have all been gifted with an exquisite double-edged sword: You have privilege and opportunity, which, is both a blessing and a curse.” She said robustly bobbing her huge snow-white, head. “But never let it be forgotten, little one, you wield a mighty weapon.” The owl shuddered, “And I look at you all – all itching to get your hands on them.”
Tobey laughed. “Yes. I guess we are all raring to go!” he said with a contrite look on his face, “But we can’t help it Bright-Night! We just want to get on with the journey. It’s so fun, and so exciting, and…luckily some of us can…” he said in a low voice.
Tobey’s hurt did not go unnoticed by Bright-Night. “Earth is truly an amazing place,” the owl said with reservation. “It really is, and I can see why you’re all in a rush to get there. The world is home to both man and beast. However, the beasts are of little worry to you humans, as the power bestowed on you, allows you to live in peace with them. It is living with man which will prove to be the real challenge,” she said shaking her head. “For you humans can choose to love each other, or hate each other, but in that sphere you are immutably stuck with each other - thus, making earth the most electrifying place in the whole universe.” With eyes swathed in pity she slowly looked him over. “I hear you all have the temperament of a pudica plant; easily shaken, caving in at the slightest touch.” Bright-Night sighed. “Lightning is a thrill to look at, little one,” she said with a chill in her voice. “But you do not want to get burned...”
“No. I do not want to get burned,” Tobey replied, understanding the owl’s veiled caution. “But I want to live Bright-Night - I want to live!” His heart began to race as he said this. “And I want my chance. That’s all! I just want my chance.”
“I know it’s hard for you now,” the owl sympathized. “But I’m sure there’s a good reason why you keep coming back here. And do you know what’s even better?” she asked, rapidly twitching her enormous ear tufts. “There’s nothing that pushes determination further than experiencing a few set-backs in the beginning. It’s the stuff that builds character, and believe me little one, you’ll need plenty of that where you’re going.” She gave Tobey a friendly nudge. “And when you finally begin to make your mark on the earth, you’re going to be a real contender in every sense of the word - truly unstoppable!” she beamed.
“I hope so,” he allowed himself to relax at the owl’s assurances, “I really hope so. That’s all I want to do. Have my turn, take part, and be a great light on my Ancestral Tree.”
At that moment they both looked ahead. They could see enormous white mountains emerging from the clouds.
“Fear not Tobey. At least there’s some consolation,” the owl said. “You’re not going to go to The Fears for I believe you’ve safely passed that timeline.” The owl could not conceal her reservations for the place everyone in the paradise referred to as The Fears. “Today I saw five more babies making their way towards…that place…” she said somberly.
“Really?” Tobey replied also trying to conceal his apprehension. “That’s…quite a high number don’t you think?”
Tobey suddenly fell silent as his thoughts quickly flew to another part of this magical habitat. An area, which seemed a little out of place in this blissfully, peace-filled, paradise. It was the territory in which The Fears resided…
The Fears…What can anyone say about The Fears? Other than to say, it is a huge dark, gaping hole situated at the furthest part of the paradise. Although, this hole was monumental in size, it was neither frightening nor dangerous. In fact, for the babies, it was a place which held much wonder and intrigue. Secretly, all the babies wanted to venture towards the dark hole. But what halted their tracks were the guardians of the hole. And these guardians were what everyone referred to as The Fears.
There were three of them: One was a hefty looking beast of some sorts with large, sharp, gnarled teeth. Its mouth was smeared with saliva and it snarled, spat and growled at anyone who looked at it. But that was as far as its aggression went...
The second was a brilliant white human skull, which was 10 times the size of a person’s head. It hovered roughly around six feet above the ground and faded and reappeared like a hologram. Tobey was mesmerized by the skull’s empty sockets and fleshless frame. This particular fear disturbed him the most. It was a shameful reminder that underneath his majestic form, was a heap of brittle bones; a pitiful indication of his own mortality...
And the last fear appeared to be a person. It could have been a man or a woman but nobody could tell as it wore a cloak of many colours. But the cloak, itself, was drab and void of radiance, which wasn’t, exactly, menacing, but the mask it wore - was. In fact, it was gruesome! And that was not all. A loud and sinister noise could be heard coming from the masked being. It could have been quite musical, except, the chords were broken, which made all the babies shudder whenever they heard it.
It was apparent to see that all of the babies held a universal distrust and revulsion for the guardians. And quite tellingly when babies finally made their way to earth many of the little ones carried these eerie reservations with them still…
As it so happened, every so often, a baby would leave the colony of babies and head towards the place where The Fears resided. The baby would then approach The Fears and as if some implicit conversation had taken place prior to anyone’s knowledge The Fears would step aside and let the baby go into the dark hole. No one knew why that baby was permitted to go in, or how The Fears knew which baby to let in. Only that the baby that went in no longer had their special glow…
Bright-Night must have read Tobey’s thoughts for she said, “I don’t think anyone actually knows where those babies go to.” She slowly shook her head.
“But why?” Tobey persisted. “Why are some babies selected to go there?”
“I don’t know,” the owl replied. “Although, my concern is that The Birth Trail - the realm you are currently in at the moment - is the last stop before you make your grand entrance into the world.” Bright-Night stopped talking. Tobey realized the owl wasn’t contemplating what she was going to say next, but rather how she was going to say it. “How can one win a race if they don’t take part?” she sadly questioned. “Those babies never got the chance to light up their Ancestral Tree, or shape the destinies of their descendants. To see this opportunity snatched so close to the starting line…” The owl’s short pause said it all, “I think it would have been better if they had not arrived here at all.”
Tobey’s mind raced to the baby boy he once saw disappear into the black hole, after The Fears had let him through.
Bright-Night cleared her throat. “I can only presume those babies have gone to a good place,” but the owl looked doubtful. “I guess it just happens to be a place that none of us, and I mean, none of us, has any knowledge of…”
The owl looked at Tobey, “What we do know for certain is that those babies are never seen again.”
Tobey and Bright-Night prepared themselves for another landing. They gently settled on the orange tree, which was surrounded by sweeping green meadows.
“Thank you for travelling with me,” Tobey said, as he made his move to climb downwards.
Bright-Night eye’s twinkled. “There’s no need to thank me. To be honest it is I, who should be thanking you, and apologizing.”
“Apologizing?” Tobey frowned.
“Yes. Apologizing. For Tobey, I know you have many questions and I’m sorry I couldn’t answer them all. I sense you’re experiencing a great deal of pain on your trips to earth. I’m so sorry little one. Like you, we are all watching and waiting. We truly believe all this is happening for a good reason, and it will become clearer to you soon enough. I just pray that Love will continue to light up your path and keep you out of harms’ way.”
Bright-Night then prepared herself for take-off. “I do hope I get to see you again little one,” she said spreading her enormous, white wings. “I really enjoy hearing about your time on earth and the interesting people in your life. However, I know this can’t go on forever. One day your journey will have to begin and end like everyone else’s.” She turned to go. “But until then Tobey, take courage and remember everything happens for a reason. It could be a good reason but only you can make it so...”
And like a stupendous puffy cloud of white smoke, Bright-Night took to the skies. She soared past the swaying multi-coloured trees, the melodic waterfalls, and beyond the tiny jewels in the sky, that twinkled like stars at night. Higher and higher she went until she was only a speck in Tobey’s eye.
As Tobey settled on the glade he could see babies playing by the multitude. It seemed there were millions of them, shining in a wonderful array of colours. All, were oblivious to his presence, and quite rightly so. For he was just another fun-loving baby playing in their midst. They all continued in their merry-making. All, except nine of them.
As Tobey slowly approached, with no prior instructions, nine beings - who were scattered in and amongst the crowd - instinctively pulled away from the masses, and quickly made their way towards him. This manoeuvre was as fluid and as natural as breathing. This is because the nine, making their way to where Tobey stood, didn’t have to be called. They were all Toby’s’ soul mates.
Now, you’re probably wondering what exactly is a soul mate? There’s no need to ponder on this, I’ll quickly answer that for you.
Soul mates are people born into the world, and could end up living anywhere in the world. Sometimes you find them. Sometimes you don’t. Hey! What can you do? That’s life! But when you do happen to find each other the affinity is magical and everlasting… Plain and simple: a soul mate is a kindred spirit, a forceful spirit. Someone who has such an incredibly positive impact on your life path - they literally light up your world! They are your teacher, your friend, someone you understand like no other and who you periodically yearn to be around, and vice-versa. When you do come across such a being, the chances are, they probably stem from the same soul group as yourself…
Before we go any further with Christine’s story, let me quickly introduce you to this sprightly bunch of babies, who also all happen to be members of Tobey’s’ soul group.
First up is Victoria Shine: ‘Tori’ as she’ll be affectionately called by her loved ones, will be born in the largest suburb in Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, Australia. Victoria has no idea that one of her English Ancestors actually discovered the very place her family now calls home. And like her famous globetrotting Ancestor she too will explore new territories; fend off gruesome predators (of the human kind) and finally set up home, in a remote province somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula…
Thabo Mokhonoana, is Tobey’s second soul mate. Thabo comes from a long line of fighters. His Ancestors fought for freedom, they fought for possessions, and at one time, they even fought as a form of entertainment. Whether he’ll continue to fight is anyone’s guess, as Thabo is destined for a life of unmeasurable privilege. He is set to be born in a private hospital in North America to extremely wealthy parents. As it turns out, sometime in the future, he will have to fight to save his showbiz career and no guessing where the ability to fight would have come from…
Number three is Husna Begum: In terms of appearance, Husna is a real stunner which is not surprising, as she hails from a long line of exceedingly beautiful women. She also possesses a gentle spirit and a kind heart. Husna still has some time to go, but when her time does arrive, she will be born in a well-known hospital in London’s East End…
Number four is Francisco O’Neil: Now, here’s a story that didn’t quite make the history books. Francisco’s great, great, great, great grandfather fell in love - and later lost - the love of his life - Flora Macdonald, who also happened to be a Scottish heroine of the Jacobite Era. Melancholy is the melody that tinges O’Neil’s descendants to this very day. And for that, over the centuries, many of the offspring have produced stunning works of arts including; award winning literature and impressionist paintings. If life had its own way, the O’Neil clan would gladly live and die in Scotland. But, unfortunately, life does not have the monopoly on such matters. And so to, their progeny, Francisco O’Neil, is almost due to make an appearance in sunny Venezuela, in a shanty town by the sea.
Soul mate number five is Sidi Rachid whose Ancestors hail from Siberia in deepest Russia. Sidi loves playing in snow. So much so, even in this realm, he’s often seen taking to the skies or jumping off the largest mountains the paradise has to offer. He absolutely adores the smell of the alpines and the gentle caress of snowflakes on his face. Which is pretty unfortunate really, as Sidi is due to be born in the sweltering climes of Casablanca; the industrial centre of Morocco. The place where his family migrated to over 100 years before…
Then there’s Nnenna Ochuko, the sixth soul mate: Her skin is the colour of terracotta and her hair will grow long, thick and unruly, like the trees that surround her village. Her family had never left their beloved Anambra State. And what’s more, Nnenna’s lineage was one of the longest standing pure bloods on the planet. Very rare indeed. But alas, a tribe of giants from the Levant eventually made their way to the South East of modern day Nigeria. And what was once beautifully untainted, became wonderfully diluted. Whereas Nnenna’s Ancestors’ may have stayed put - her parents certainly did not. Although they didn’t travel too far, as it goes. Miss Nnenna Amaka Ochuko will be born some 400 kilometres away in a booming, leafy suburb in Lagos, Nigeria.
Mònica Cortés is the seventh soul mate: On one side of her family there are traces of: Italy, Sardinia, Spain, Denmark, France and Portugal. But Mònica will be born to Catalonian parents. And she, too, will dwell in Barcelona, the towering city where her great grandparents lived, fought and died. The lovely Ms Cortés will grow to be tall, lean, and interesting-looking and have a fierce love for all things pertaining to Bolshevism, which, is, a complete contrast from the strong capitalistic leanings of her Andalusian grand-parents. But hey! Who says one cannot change sides?
Then we move onto soul mate number eight, who goes by the name of Albert Simon: Albert’s Ancestors are extremely well travelled. They’ve been all over the world including; the Middle East, west and central Europe, and North Africa. However their plight was not spurred by good events - it was one of persecution. But moving forward, growing up in the poverty stricken district of London - where Albert’s family eventually settled - his grandfather was often referred to as a ‘good egg’ by his fellow workers. The family had a good name and a great standing with the local people which they never traded in, even when their finances began to improve. Albert’s family still live in London’s East End and are still practicing Ashkenazi Jews. And just like some of his soul mates, Albert, too, will, coincidentally - or not so coincidentally - be born in a large hospital somewhere near where Tobey’s parents lives…
Then there’s Li Wei who is the ninth soul mate: Li’s lineage is quite the opposite of Albert Simon for his Ancestral pedigree is not as stellar. In fact, his genealogy is punctured with so many acts of violence and bloodshed Genghis Khan would either be glaringly proud of, or openly disgusted by. But fortunately the past does not have a bigger bearing than the future. It is our choices that alter many outcomes. And luckily for Li Wei, many of his nearest kin had made some wonderful ones, and has thus, overturned many disastrous repercussions that were due to fall on the House of Wei. Although Li’s family hail from mainland China, he will be born in Hong Kong in the same hospital as his father, and grandfather before him. Likewise, Li Wei will be born a twin, but his brother does not reside in this particular soul group which is quite often the case with twins.
And last of all there’s Tobey Daley the tenth and final soul mate.
Not many know this fact, but there are only ten unique beings which make up a soul group. And soul mates are a tremendous benefit to the human race.
For each of the soul mates, possessing these symbiotic connections is like having nine, invisible, energy-enhancing cords being attached to one’s essence. And these cords intermittently release a hearty dose of good cheer. Or, in other words, they supply an organic ‘feel-good’ factor to the soul. Albeit, the members do not have to physically meet each other in order to experience this warm bond of well-being, as quite simply, their existence is a light, which lights up the lives of the others. And moreover, when the group remains intact, the more fortified and rewarding that member’s experience of life will be.
There are only ten members in each soul group, but not everyone on earth will finish up with as many. Sadly, in the world, the loss of a soul mate is a frequent occurrence, and it is every bit like losing a limb. For although there are many types of prosthetics, a prosthetic will never take the place of a natural limb. And the same is said for a soul group member...
The loss of a soul mate is another one of life’s many great misfortunes but at the same time, it doesn’t necessarily spell the end of things…Life still goes on…
As you can probably see, soul groups are made up of members from all over the world. And although they are formed in the same bubble, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will all be born at the same time. Some, will make their entrance many years before, or after, their mates. However, as fate would have it, a significantly high proportion of Tobey’s soul group will be born - not only on the same small island referred to as the United Kingdom - but also in the same part of the city as well. My friends this is by no means an accident. Nothing ever is…This is unique, and has occurred for a reason. And the reason, is of course, why this story is being told to you in the first place. But lest we forget, I am still in the middle of telling it and so I continue...
Tobey is an extremely lucky boy, for he has 10 wonderful soul mates, and the soul group all has each other…For now I believe…