Celebrating the wonders of all things natural!

Posts tagged ‘truth’

Return to Paradise, Part II: Chapter 10

10

“Come on Lexy. I’m finally done. I want to show you something,” bubbled Judd, bringing Lexy back to Earth. She had been absorbed reading the Bible her friend had given to her.

“Okay, what is it?” she asked eagerly as she grabbed his outstretched hand.

“Follow me to the garden,” he said.

“Okay,” Alexis laughed, pleased to be getting so much attention. Her thoughts went briefly to the last time she had seen Dan. She thought about the door being slammed in her face. It hurt. But it seemed like another world already, a different life.

Lexy marveled as they rounded the corner to a beautiful place where an abundance of green plants were growing out of the ground. She followed Judd up and down the rows as he told her the names of each one. On closer inspection, she noticed colorful objects growing from the plants.

“What are these?” she asked, pointing to a yellow curved thing.

Judd smiled. “It’s called a banana. Look.” He pulled one off the branch and peeled the yellow from around it. Then he took a bite. “Here, try it.”

She did. “It’s good,” she said. She tried to remember all the names of the different vegetables he pointed out. There were so many different kinds.

She recognized Kenny bending over pulling a plant out of the ground. “Have you met Gregg?” he asked her, wiping his forehead.

“Hi,” said Gregg.

“You sang that song,” Alexis told him.

“That would be me,” Gregg answered. “And I’m not too sure if this,” he motioned to the ground in front of him, “is right where I should be right now,” he said, smiling.

“We’re on weed patrol,” Kenny told her. “We’re supposed to pull out all the weeds around the plants,” he explained, “so the plant can grow and produce fruit, not choked by all of these weeds.” He reached down and plucked a clump of long green grass and tossed it to the side. “There.”

“It looks like a lot of work,” Lexy told him.

“Worth it,” he replied. “Taste this.” He gave her a small white bulb. She looked at Gregg, and then at Judd.

“Go ahead, take a bite; they’re a little peppery, that’s all,” urged Gregg.

She took the white round veggie, looking unconvinced. She bit into it with a loud crunch.

“Now chew it,” said Judd.

“Not bad,” announced Lexy. “What is it called?”

“Turnip,” the boys answered in unison.

“Wow! This grows out of the dirt?!”

“In about 19 days–that’s all it takes,” Judd explained.

“That’s neat,” said Lexy, finishing the turnip. She walked around the garden in awe tasting orange carrots, green cucumbers, green beans and purple lettuce and admiring the beautiful flowers’ colors. Beautiful, she thought. “Why don’t we have these everywhere?” She wanted to know.

“Some questions just don’t have answers,” said Kenny. Feeling the warm sun on her face, Lexy couldn’t remember ever feeling so free. She laughed at the possibility that some things couldn’t be explained.

She saw two girls hiking down the path toward the garden. It was Victoria Rose and Hannah. Lexy waved to them. “Hi Lexy!” Vicky called. Hannah returned her wave before picking an orange, oval-shaped fruit from a tall tree.

“Trya papaya?” Hannah asked her, grinning as she walked up to the group. “Hi Daddy,” she said, giving Ken a peck on the cheek.

“Sure,” said Alexis, accepting a slice of orangey-pink fruit Judd had cut. “Mmmm,” she said. It was sweet and delicious. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” said Hannah.

“What are you guys doing?” asked Vicky.

“Showing Lexy the garden’s treats. You girls hiking?” Judd asked his niece Vicky.

“Yeah, we’re going to the River Side Cafe,” she laughed. “You wanna come with us?” she asked Alexis.

“What’s that?” Alexis asked.

“Come on, you’ll see. It’s not too far from here,” Hannah told her.

“You should go; it’s great!” Judd told her.

“Okay then, I’ll go,” said Lexy, feeling adventurous. “Thanks for the tour!” she told the guys enthusiastically.

“Okay!” said Gregg.

“See you later!” Kenny yelled.

“Bye, have fun,” added Judd.

“Bye,” Hannah and Vicky said together. They waved and the girls started up a well-worn trail up a sloping hill alongside the right of the garden. They hiked through the shades of green that made up the jungle a short way to a little river overlooking the ocean. Beautiful blue pools alternated with rapidly running water streaming over stones leading to the ocean.

“This is unbelievable!” marveled Alexis, taking in the beauty.

“Isn’t it?” agreed Vicky. “Let’s get in; it’s great!” she encouraged, as she stripped naked and jumped in. Hannah followed, tossing her colorful wrap onto a boulder.

“Come on in!” she called to Alexis.

Alexis was a little more cautious, choosing to keep her clothes on and starting by testing the water with her toe. She was hot. She eased her way into the cool water, sitting in the shallow pool letting the water rise up to her neck.

“Ahhh, this is niiii-ccce.” She couldn’t believe where she was. Beautiful pink ginger grew along the edge of the ponds and mountains rose up in the distance around them. Everything was lush, with thousands of shades of green coloring the myriad fauna.

“I knew you’d like it Alexis,” Vicky said after a little while.

“Yeah, it’s just so peaceful; it almost lulls you to sleep,” said Alexis.

“Nature’s lullaby,” Hannah nodded, understanding exactly what Alexis meant. “I’ve often been put to sleep lying here listening to the waterfall. It amazes me how it seems to be telling me life’s secrets. It’s like, have you ever noticed how life itself is just like this river flowing toward the ocean?”

Alexis looked at Hannah. “What do you mean?”

“Well, think of where this river begins, probably somewhere at the back of the valley, at the very top of these mountains, way up in the sky, water from a huge lake falls off the side of the cliff and spills into another lake thousands of feet below. The Fall.”

“O—kay,” said Alexis slowly.

“The water moves around in this pool for awhile, and then it starts flowing downstream toward the ocean, where it’ll pass through other pools like this one, still and cool, and then flow out of the pool and fall over rocks, like mini waterfalls a bunch of times on its way downstream,” she paused for a breath. “Do I still have you?” she asked them.

“I think so,” Alexis answered.

“Go on, I need to hear more to see if I get your point,” said Vicky.

“Okay, now look at that still, stagnant pool over there,” Hannah pointed down river toward a small pool at the river’s edge. “That water’s been sitting there for a long time and is almost stuck there in the little pool. It’ll take a big rainstorm to wash it all back into the mainstream. In the end, after it’s gone down many waterfalls, sat in lots of pools and maybe even gotten stuck in a few marshes, the water ends up in the ocean where it mixes with a huge body of a substance just like itself, only salty, and then after who knows how long with that body, it’s evaporated up into the atmosphere to live in the clouds and fall like rain, quenching the thirst of all these trees and plants, and people, nourishing life. It sort of reminds me of the Bible passage in Ephesians:

‘There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.’

It’s like the Lord calling us home and all the journeys we go through to get there. That’s what the water is like, rushing downstream toward the big ocean–it’s being pulled by the ocean as we are called by God. ‘Join me,’ it says.” She was quiet for a few seconds. When neither Alexis nor Vicky responded, Hannah asked, “Do you follow me or do you think I’m crazy?”

“I think it really makes sense, Hannah,” said Vicky with a smile.

“Me too,” Alexis said. “But what about this Bible? All of you keep talking about it.”

“God’s word,” Vicky told her. “Romans 1:16 tells us that God’s word, which is the Bible, is the ‘power of God unto salvation to every one that believes,'” she looked at Alexis.

“And what are we supposed to believe?” Alexis asked her, sounding doubtful.

“Well, you read the Bible and believe it, and you are saved from the evil of this world. You’re guaranteed eternal life when you leave this world,” explained Vicky.

“‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,'” Hannah said. “That’s from Acts, Chapter 16, I’m pretty sure,” she added.

“And who is Jesus?” Alexis asked them, more interested now, as she always wondered about life after death, and people had always told her it wasn’t something they should think about because nobody knew until they died. These girls seemed to know, and they had this book from which they seemed to be getting answers to her questions. Could it be true? Lexy wondered.

Vicky turned the pages in her Bible. “Okay, here it is. Jesus is the ‘way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by him,'” she read from John 14:6.

“And it also says ‘the son of man, who is Jesus, has come to seek and to save the lost.’ It’s in Luke, Chapter 19, Verse 11,” said Hannah.

“But how do you know that for sure?” Alexis pressed.

“Well, it says ‘the just shall live by faith,'” Hannah told her. “So you just believe it. Try reading the Bible. I have one I can give you.”

“Juli gave me one,” said Alexis. “I guess I’ll have to read it more,” she said, grateful again to Wynn for teaching her how to read.

“And if you read Romans 10:9, it will tell you that you should ‘confess with your mouth the love of Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead, and you shall be saved,'” said Vicky.

“Okay, I’ll look at it,” said Alexis. “I just wonder why I never heard about it before.”

“Well, people used to read the Bible, but it says many times in the Bible that man will turn from God and that people will hear, but not understand, they will see, and not perceive, because their hearts are cold, their ears dull, and their eyes closed, ‘lest they should be converted, and I’, meaning Jesus, ‘should heal them,'” said Vicky.

“In Romans Chapter 1, Verse 25, it explains, ‘they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised,” Hannah told her.

“So they did know God before?” asked Alexis.

“I know people used to have Bibles and go to church–my mom told me,” said Vicky. “But then it became a bad thing because many of the people who believed in God would not accept the microchip implant because they believed it was the mark of the beast that is talked about in the Bible.”

“I remember J.J. reading about that,” said Alexis.

“So Jesus was sent from God, his Father, and our Father, to set us free from our sins and to reunite us with God,” Vicky went on. “‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die,'” she read. “This is John, Chapter 11, Verse 25.”

“So I just have to choose to believe in Jesus?” asked Alexis.

“‘You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you’ is what Jesus has told us in John, Chapter 15, Verse 16,” Hannah told her.

“That’s hard for me to believe,” said Alexis. “But I’ll read it.”

“Good,” said Hannah, climbing out of the pool and stretching out on the short green grass. “Just one more thing, in Matthew, it says to ‘ask and you shall find, for everyone that asks, receives,'” Hannah said.

“Okay, I’ll ask, Jesus, um, God, to help me,” agreed Alexis, joining her. “Ahh, that felt so good.” The girls were quiet, enjoying the sunshine.

“I’m going to head back now,” said Hannah after a few minutes. “I told my brother I’d help him harvest some flowers for mom’s birthday tomorrow.”

“Okay, ” said Vicky. “I feel like resting a little here. What about you, Alexis?”

“I’ll stay too,” she said.

“Alright, I’ll see you two soon,” called Hannah as she walked down the trail.

“Bye!” called Vicky and Lexy. Vicky stretched out and fell asleep. Alexis sat next to her thinking about Jesus and the river. It is the river of life, thought Lexy. She tried to decide where she was in her own journey. Probably just got washed out of a stagnant pool by a huge storm, she decided. Her thoughts drifted to the garden. She was still amazed that a tiny seed could be put into the ground and watered and would grow into something people could eat. Life was such a mystery. She realized that to her, a person’s life could also be compared to a garden. You need to be planted first, to grow, like a seed is planted in the ground and like a man’s seed is planted in a woman’s body or in a test tube, then you and the seed need to be nourished, fed and watered if you are to be kept alive. Your life, and the garden, can be full of rocks and weeds and a lot of thorny, dead stuff, or it can be well-tended and have fruits of all types to enjoy. Then what? Are you harvested? Lexy contemplated that thought and decided to talk to Victoria about it later. Her eyes closed and she slept, her soul soothed by the river’s sweet song.

Return to Paradise: Part II: Chapter 6

6

“I remember when the shift became obvious, because everything turned computer-dependent,” a guy about 45, with brown hair was explaining. Alexis heard someone call him Drew.

“You couldn’t operate without them,” added Adam, brushing a long strand of blond hair off his face. Alexis was fascinated by everybody’s hair. She touched her own smooth head. She suddenly felt self-conscious, but nobody seemed to notice that she didn’t have hair. She turned her attention to a woman with long streaming blonde hair who was talking.

“Yes, government programs like food stamps that used to use paper coupons started using plastic cards that subtracted the food purchase from the total food stamps they were given. This allowed everything to be traced, because it was all recorded somewhere on the computer cash register and also on the card. Theoretically, someone could push a button and find out exactly what you were eating,” the pretty woman called Cathy was saying.

“And what certain types of people ate,” Drew threw in.

“No anonymity,” Cathy said, pursing her lips.

“And if the system was down, the cards wouldn’t work, and there was nothing anybody could do about it,” added Allan, a tall handsome man who sat down next to his wife, Cathy, as he joined the group. ‘You just wouldn’t be buying food that day. It was all electronic, so if it malfunctioned, people didn’t eat.” Alexis nodded politely, having never experienced the growing pains of phasing out currency that led up to the microchip system.

“It also cut out the small farmers who were previously selling their produce for food stamps because now they needed to buy a scanning device,” remembered Ronnie with a laugh.

“And all the grocery chains started issuing plastic club cards that gave you discounts when you used it. People laughed at me when I told them I didn’t like someone having a record of how much I spent on groceries and what I bought. All very strange,” said a woman who looked about 40 or so named Colette.

“Mmhmmm,” several people agreed with her.

“Get people slowly used to an idea until the cards totally replace cash–wouldn’t it be nice to just bring your card? Can’t lose it like cash because it has a pin number,” Colette continued, obviously bothered by the situation.

“And no check books!” Judd said gleefully.

“Those annoying check-writers!” Karen, a dark-haired woman with exotic features joked.

“Talking about the card’s convenience made it hard for consumers to refuse,” Judd explained, getting serious.

“All they needed was just their card that would automatically subtract the discounts, too,” said Cathy.

“Exactly,” Allan agreed. “The stores made it hard not to use the technology. Pretty soon, they just had you walking into the store, getting your groceries and walking out without waiting in line for a cashier. The card, and then the CHIP just automatically scanned when you left the store!”

“I know, that’s the way…” Lexy started to say, but nobody heard her over Alivea Malia’s louder voice.

“And people thought this was great. So convenient!” Alivea Malia, a pretty young woman, about 45 or so remembered, her eyes flashing at the notion.

“And around the same time, the microchip in pets idea really caught on. Nobody wanted to lose their pets, so inserting a finder was the perfect solution. And now look, first it was a choice, today, it’s mandatory,” said Drew.

“My friend even had a Teletrack alarm system that he paid hundreds of dollars for in case someone stole his Ford Explorer, the alarm company could easily track it through the system,” Gregg recalled.

“Yeah, if the crook didn’t unhook it first,” Allan teased.

“Yeah,” Jennifer said. “The main idea is the same–prey on their fears–sales work that way. People fear they’re getting old, and they’re getting gray hair, so they use color to hide it.” Alexis wanted to ask about gray hair, but was too shy to speak up, not wanting to draw attention to her own bare head. Someone apparently read her mind. A blond guy looked at her. She thought she remembered him saying he was Wynn’s son.

“In the city, people just shave their heads–nobody has hair–it takes away your individuality,” Simon explained to her.

“Mine just never grew,” Alexis softly told them, touching her head.

“It’s the frequency of the CHIP–it causes the hair not to grow,” explained Drew. “Yours will probably grow soon.” She smiled.

“It’s unnatural–the CHIP,” Colette proclaimed. “And so were face lifts, boob jobs and liposuction.”

“But people could make a lot of money if we thought we needed such things. It’s a mega-millionaire industry,” explained Judd, looking at her.

“Selling people on what they don’t really need by subtly convincing them that they do,” Cathy said.

“Like the CHIP, you started hearing talk like, ‘if you can protect your pet, why not your kids?’ Microchips in the kids would certainly cut out kidnapping–any parents’ worst fear,” Judd said, looking reflective.

Will chimed in. “People believed they needed it to protect their families…”

“And if it could be used for other things too,” Juli picked up the thought.

“Like shopping,” said Karen, massaging Drew’s shoulders.

“Yeah, and anything and everything else. No more paperwork, which was good because there were no trees left to make paper from. Now, just store all the information on the CHIP,” said Judd.

“A perfect solution to the extinction of trees,” joked Juli.

“All of a sudden we shifted from being identified by our social security numbers, then by the national ID card we all had to carry with us everywhere we went, or risk being arrested,” Will tiraded.

“To needing a microchip for ID!” Gregg finished for him. Several people nodded their heads.

“Talk about a computer-dependent society,” Will added. Lots of people nodded. Everybody was quiet for a few moments.

“I started questioning what could happen with this technology,” Judd remembered. “Side effects of having this foreign device implanted in your body. It ran on a lithium battery, which we found out could break down and cause quite a sore in your body.” He made a face.

“And it was too early to tell what other problems it could cause over time,” said Colette.

“And the potential for abuse. Things aren’t always what they seem. I decided I would never get a CHIP and neither would my kids,” said Jennifer, hugging Gabriel, who at 29 years old was still her baby. “I knew we had to move because I didn’t want to accept the CHIP.”

“Most people don’t realize it, but it’s all been prophesied,” said John Justus, his brown eyes sparkling. “Look at Revelations 13:16.” He turned in his Bible to the right page. His wife Kira, daughter Suraya and son Isaiah sat next to him, listening for the umpteenth time as he read:

“‘And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bound to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast…or the number of his name.'”

J.J. looked at Alexis.

 “Wow! I can’t believe it says that!” said Victoria, looking at her mother for confirmation. Alivea Malia nodded.

“That’s in the Bible?” Alexis asked.

“It’s pretty explicit, huh?” J.J. said, looking at her with a smile.

“I’ll say,” Hannah spoke up.

“And it was written way before computers, yet warning of this time,” said Isaiah. “Right Dad?” J.J. nodded at him.

“It had to be inspired by God,” Cathy thought aloud. They were quiet again, remembering the old times. Alexis was slightly shocked, feeling very surreal and thinking this couldn’t possibly be happening to her. She looked around at all of these people, with hair on their heads and above their eyes. They were all so different from herself, but she felt at peace with them. She had a warm, full feeling in her chest. She remembered feeling like this a few times as a little kid when her mother and her laughed together as they ran around playing. She really liked it, but she felt like she should be doing something, and here, there was no school, no job–just beauty and rest. Judd Michael’s voice brought her out of her reverie. She looked at the dark-haired, gentle man. At 47, he was still very youthful and nice-looking.

“Microchips were supposed to save time, but they didn’t really speed things up like they said it would,” remembered Judd.

“Yeah, we just waited for different things. After people were scanned, it sometimes took a long time to get approvals,” said Will.

“You’d wait until the computer said it was okay to go,” David recalled.

“And how about when the computers went down?” Jennifer asked, leaning back against David’s lap.

“A mess!” Karen remembered.

“Nobody could buy anything. We just waited for the computer to come back,” David said. Allan nodded, as did others.

“And if you think that was a hassle, what about when the CHIPs malfunctioned? It took about a week to get a new one. If you weren’t stocked up on food, you’d be begging and borrowing groceries from everybody,” said Ken, a tall guy with a sweet smile.

“Unless you had a garden,” John V. said with conviction. He had been silent up until now, lightly strumming on his guitar.

“Foresight,” Allan put in.

There was silence as everybody thought about their conversation. They had gardens? Lexy thought. Where? She wanted to ask so many questions, but decided to wait as it had gotten so quiet, and she felt uncomfortable breaking the silence. John strummed his guitar a little louder. Lexy listened to the pretty sounds. They seemed to lift her mood, elevating her to a happier plane. They started singing.

“Cause we’re livin’ on the land-Foodland!”

The song was obviously an old favorite because everybody joined in singing the chorus. Alexis found herself humming and then singing with the rest of them. The words were easy to learn, and it was actually fun to sing!

“That made me hungry,” declared Ronnie as the song ended. People laughed. Jovial and rotund, Ronnie had the face of a cherub. He held what Vicky had said was a flute in his hand. “What’s for dinner?” Ronnie asked no one in particular.

Everybody laughed. Alexis didn’t get the joke. Ronnie crossed the circle to talk to her. “You’ll get to know me,” he told Alexis. “Eating makes me tired and sleeping makes me hungry, and so does singing,” he said, grinning at Lexy.

“And just about everything else!” Ken poked his head over her shoulder and smiled. Lexy returned his smile and nodded, overwhelmed by this preparation going on just to eat.

As people scurried to get water and gather guava branches to stoke the fire, Alexis found herself sitting alone with Vicky. Although she had only spent a few hours with her, she felt a connection. Victoria Rose, what a pretty name, Alexis thought. Vicky had a way of making her feel like she’d known her for a long time. And instinctively, she trusted her. When they talked earlier, Alexis had learned that she and Vicky were the same age, born just months apart. But Vicky had been born on the island because her mother, Alivea Malia, and uncle, Judd Michael, traveled there when her mother was pregnant. She had said something about her father being replaced by a clone. She had never known him, but her mother loved her enough for 10 fathers, Victoria Rose told Alexis.

Just then, Vicky looked up from her book, her light brown hair softly framing her face. She looked at Alexis expectantly as if she knew Alexis wanted to say something. She smiled. “How are you? I bet you’re exhausted, huh?”

Alexis nodded. “Yes, this is a big change. I haven’t ever really felt like this, but I’m somehow really awake. I was thinking about what someone said about damaged CHIPs. If they can get damaged and people couldn’t use them, maybe that’s what happened to my CHIP? When it wouldn’t fill up on the laser, or let me get food or get on the rail, maybe it’s broken?” she sort of pleaded.

Vicky’s heart went out to her. The poor girl didn’t want to accept she had been all but erased by her family. Turning off the CHIP made it so people couldn’t operate in society since it controlled everything: access to food (what they called food), transportation and communication. And then the high frequency soundings.

Eventually, if she somehow did survive a little while, the vibrations would’ve killed her as the CHIP screens out the high frequencies, but without the CHIP, the human body could not survive the attack. Vicky had learned all about the CHIP from her mother, Alivea Malia, who brought her to the island to protect her from it. But Vicky didn’t know if tonight was the time to enlighten Alexis. There would be time. Instead, she put her arm around Alexis’ shoulder. “Maybe you’re right. Anything’s possible. But whatever is the truth will be revealed in time. You can be sure of that because the Bible says so. Now, let’s go get some food,” she suggested. “I’m starving!”

 

 

 

 

Return to Paradise: Part II: The Island

 

“Oh that I had wings like a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest.

Indeed I would wander far off

And remain in the wilderness.”

–Psalms 55: 6-7

 

Part II

The Island

Not wanting to waste any time, Wynn woke Alexis at daybreak. “We’ve got a big day ahead of us,” Wynn told her while they drank a strong, dark-colored liquid he said was coffee and ate little round balls full of sweet juice called grapes.

“I don’t want to scare you Alexis, but I think you should know the truth. I believe you have a major role to play in it.”

Eyes wide, Alexis gazed steadily at Wynn, feeling the depth of the moment and bracing herself to hear the words that would lead her to her destiny. She had been waiting for these words her entire life. “Okay, I’m ready,” she said, meaning it with all of her being.

“Alexis,” began Wynn. “Our world has changed immensely in the past 20 years.” Alexis shivered. I’m 20. “In the beginning, the signs were subtle to those who vigilantly watched for them. For most millions of others, programmed already by the TV, there was no seeing what was happening. While Americans focused on sensationalized news like O.J. Simpson, secret, classified experiments in DNA, genetics and cloning were being conducted. Who knew? Certainly not the taxpayers who paid for the experiments. We were engrossed by Rodney King’s trials, Bill Clinton’s affair and impeachment trial, not to mention the announcement and introduction of the New World Order, which seemed to happen suddenly without anybody really understanding anything about it. Also, increased terrorism led to toleration, and even welcoming of increased governmental protection and control. There was always some big news happening to focus the nation on, gluing millions of people to their televisions for day by day updates to these situations.

“I don’t really know how it came about, but out of the blue one day, all of our pets were required to harbor an electronic tracking device, the microchip. People understood the need, however, because pets needed to be protected, and what a good idea to be able to track down a lost pet! And why not protect the kids too? Prevent kidnappings. Fear motivation. And then convenience became the big reason to use the microchip.”

“Soon, people were voluntarily getting microchips implanted so they wouldn’t have to carry the required identification and so they could be located anywhere.” Wynn paused and looked hard at Alexis. She nodded, remembering having read such information in the book Wynn had given her. She didn’t try to interrupt him, as she was eagerly waiting to hear more.

He went on. “Having a microchip implant became even more attractive to the masses when currency transactions became microchip-friendly. Rather than carry cash–paper money–you could add and subtract your income and expenses on an internal monitor located on the microchip. Soon it became hard to use cash, and those of us labeled “paranoid” who didn’t want to use the internal device for currency transactions, had a hard time shopping, then driving, and even operating in society. It was the same way with the social security number, which used to be voluntary and now is mandatory.”

“Within 15 years, most people in the United States and some of the other NWO countries wore a microchip.” He took a breath. Alexis blinked. She’d grown up in the “Digital Generation” and felt no fear about it. She knew no other reality and, in fact, recalled what a hassle it had been when she couldn’t refuel her CHIP when she was leaving the city.

Still waiting to hear the big news, she raised her eyebrows at Wynn, feeling the adrenaline surging through her body. “What’s wrong with people using technology? It’s definitely made my life easier. And everybody else’s.”

“Technology, my dear, is the way it’s worded, but it is a tool for a much larger, evil plan. Control. C-O-N-T-R-O-L. First control the individual, then the family, then institutions like churches and states, and finally the whole country–and it doesn’t stop until it’s worldwide and maybe even global–and then it’s too late and too big for anybody but God to end it. Do you even realize what you have never experienced in this world? Well, how could you? You can’t really miss what you never knew existed. God Alexis, I don’t know, maybe it’s already too late. People are content, or complacent; they wouldn’t break their chains if eternity opened the door and rolled out the red carpet,” he despaired.

Alexis thought about her dream, and the overwhelming happiness that had flooded her body briefly touched her again, as if tapping her on the shoulder and saying, “Wake up and remember.”

“Wait!” she said to Wynn. “I know what you’re saying. I wake up some nights and I feel like something’s missing from my life, some meaning, and I used to think I’m crazy, but well, do you think maybe I am missing something?” Without waiting for his answer, she went on. “And then the other night, I had this incredible dream and I think I heard a voice telling me to ‘walk by faith,’ yes, that’s what it was… Can you please tell me what I’m missing Wynn?” begged Alexis.

“I think you’re about to discover that for yourself, Alexis. You’re a peculiar one, for sure. Growing up in your environment, and you still feel the spirit. I can tell you there is hope, and that is what I have for you. There is still a place in this world where people laugh, sing and dance. They grow healthy food in the ground and eat around a campfire.”

“What’s a campfire?” she innocently asked.

“A magical, warm, friend-maker, family gatherer, Alexis. You’ll see. A spirit like yours will thrive learning about beauty, love and friendship. The world you’ve grown up in is in a dangerous time. This microchip ‘technology’ is also a receiver for information sent via computers and airwaves–it’s programming–what used to be called brainwashing, but scientists found computer programming is more reliable and permanent than brainwashing because with the computer chip in control, one’s own mind, feelings and thoughts can’t influence his actions. People are virtually run by computers. Computers, rather than their hearts, minds and souls virtually run their lives. You may not see it everyday, but if you looked, you’d see the atrocities being committed today. People used to travel around the world, meet new people, visit with friends, go to the beach and swim, climb mountains and hike… now all they do is work, and, even scarier–they like it! They’re consumed by the daily routine day in and day out in the same place. Today, people take virtual reality trips to take a “break.” Family? Food? Pop a capsule, who’s got time to chew? There’s work to be done. And still with all their hard work, just about everybody is pretty poor–who are they working for and why? Nobody knows!! What’s in it for them? Money, in a limited amount, but it can be cut off at a moment’s notice. What is the point of a life like this? Where is the joy? People don’t know, and what’s even sadder is they don’t care. They’ve forgotten there’s another reality, and that they have the choice to make decisions and change, or they used to. It’s gotten fairly dangerous in today’s times. But Alexis, don’t give up, because there is a place where people have escaped ‘technology’. They’ve maintained a more natural way of living. It’s been a battle, but it’s one worth living for. Alexis, your CHIP must’ve been turned off. You’ve been cut off from your society. That’s why you couldn’t get money and why nobody looked at or talked to you. They didn’t feel the computerized frequencies–which is how people maintain their connection–everyone else is as good as gone.”

“You’ve actually been blessed, ‘chosen’ to go back to the garden. You can live life, rather than exist in an ignorant hell of robots.”

Alexis blinked. She felt sick. Everything she had ever known was a lie. Her beliefs had been shattered in a few hours of insight. Her head was spinning with information and questions, but she also felt a slight weight lift because she knew it was time to break free from her burdens. A burning, anxious wave came over her, and then the world went black.

 

 

 

 

Return to Paradise: Chapter 12

12

The sun rising in the sky almost blinded Alexis as it shocked her awake with its brilliance. She felt natural in the sun, and unlike what she had been told, the heat felt nice and her skin was not burning or melting. She was the only soul around. She got on her feet and headed toward where she remembered Wynn to be. We walk by faith, she heard herself thinking. She tried to recall the details of a powerful dream she’d had, though it wasn’t quite clear right now, and she tried to focus on her thoughts as she walked along. It had been years since she’d been to Wynn’s and she had always gone by tram or car to his house, still she was somehow guided in the right direction. She was hungry, but she put the thought aside and kept walking. Her thoughts were wild today. She wished she could write them down. She wondered if her parents knew where she was. She passed a man dressed in black and said hello. He didn’t answer her. Am I still being ignored? Did they all know about her betrayal to society’s rules of order–her secret writings? She really couldn’t understand why it was so bad–but then, nobody did was was forbidden, and she had, so yes, she was bad. But somehow she was not sorry.

She walked along beside piles of junked computers, stacked about 4,000 feet high. She seemed to walk next to the heap for a long time. She guessed the computer graveyard must have stretched on for almost 10 miles. She’d never seen anything like it. The strange thing was, she recognized the letters on a flat piece of equipment–they looked like buttons. This stuff must be really old, she thought. Her jumbled mind seemed to slowly form into clear thoughts and as she walked, she felt lighter and in awe of the mystery called life that the world was living.

Gallery

Return to Paradise: Chapter 3

3

The clock on the computer glowed 3:33. Alexis lay on her back, eyes wide open and thought about the book and the words it contained. She wondered about people being upset about a microchip. Society needed it. It made doors open when you walked through, worked as an ID when scanned and even added to and subtracted your value automatically as you bought and sold or were paid. So why did people in the book say they weren’t told about a microchip in a flu shot? Why would it matter? She wished she could ask her mother; she must have known what was going on–she was alive then. What would she think about this book? Alexis sighed. She just couldn’t ask her. She would get too suspicious and start asking Lexy a lot of questions she didn’t want to answer. She’d have to lie and say she didn’t know what made her ask about a time before a microchip. Instead, she said nothing. She leaned over the side of the bed and found her pencil and notebook under the bed and began to write. It somehow made her feel better to write out her thoughts and feelings. It helped with her confusion. She thought it would be a good thing for everyone to do, really, but there was no time, or reason, most people felt.

Alexis wrote about Isabella. I shared the book with Isa. I would have died trying to keep it from her. I wish Wynn were around. I can’t talk to Dan. He hates wasting time and I know he’d tell Mom and Dad, because he’d think it was helping me by ensuring I don’t spend my time on such things–I’m really curious about the people in the book. It said they escaped. I wonder what that means. Where did they go? Are they still there? I’d love to go there. I feel a strange need to be with them. VR is the only way I’ve ever seen places that are different than here. The trip always ends and I take off the headphones and I’m back in my world. Could life be better than this? Am I the only one who asks these kinds of questions? All people want to do is work. Well, not me. Maybe I will go and try to talk to Dan, at least about my feelings. 

Alexis was so into her writing she didn’t hear the tapping on the door.

“Honey, are you awake?” her father whispered, opening her bedroom door a crack. Alexis gasped.

“No Dad!” she called, shoving the book under the covers. “I just turned on the light for a second.” Her dad peeked in the room.

“I saw your light on. I wanted to check on you. Go to sleep.”

“Okay, Dad.” The door clicked shut. Another close one! thought Alexis, now totally wide awake with the adrenaline rush of the scare. She clicked off her light and returned her notebook to its hiding place stuffed way down between some blankets in a box in her closet. Flopping back into bed, her mind wandered to Wynn.

His warm, loving eyes and thick, shaggy beard lit up the movie in her mind. She had met him one day when she was 10. Her parents had told her to wait in the car during one of their classified meetings. “You can get out of the car, but don’t get out of its sight,” her dad had instructed her. Bored of waiting for a particularly long meeting to end, Alexis had gotten out of the car to take a little walk. Her curiosity led her to a colorful yellow thing on what her parents had called a tree. She had not seen anything like it in the city where she lived, but out here in the country, there were lots of them. She successively wandered around to every different color she saw, walking farther and farther from the car in search of the next splash of color. Reaching out to pick a curious red flower, Alexis detected some movement in the bushes. She looked behind her and saw she had walked far from the car. As she turned back around, she met his wide, clear blue eyes. He walked out from behind the bush and she saw his huge stature and long, white beard. She must have been staring. “Hello,” he said gently. “Don’t be afraid,” he told her, needlessly.

She was not scared of this strange-looking man with unusual hair streaming down his back and hanging from his chin. His warm, wrinkle-lined eyes gleamed with magnetic delight, drawing her to him. “Hello,” she’d said. “Who are you?”

“I’m Wynn Elias,” he’s said. “Nice hibiscus.” He pointed to the flower in her hand.

“This?” She held up the flower. “A hi–what?”

“Hi-bis-kiss. It’s very high in nutrients. Did you know that one hibiscus gives enough vitamin C for a week? Tastes good too.” He popped a big red hibiscus flower and then an orange nasturtium into his mouth and started chewing. Alexis stared at him. He swallowed the flowers.

“You ate that?” Alexis couldn’t believe her eyes. This man was very interesting.

“You can eat all of these flowers. That’s why I planted them,” he explained.

“You made these?” she asked in disbelief.

“Well, I planted them. A force higher than myself actually makes them grow,” he said. “Here, try one,” he offered, handing her a small orange flower.

“I don’t know. I eat pellets. You don’t have to plant them. Just swallow them.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small plastic bottle filled with multi-colored pellets. “Here,” she held it out to Wynn. He regarded her with a wistful expression.

“Okay, I’ll try yours if you try mine,” he agreed, giving her a nasturtium and taking the pill. “This is a nasturtium,” he told her. She hesitated, then nibbled on the flower.

“Hmm, strange. I might like it.” Alexis decided. He nodded. For the next half hour, Wynn showed her around the gardens, letting her sample hibiscus, gotu kola, watercress, basil and other herbs that she couldn’t remember the names of.

“You’re different than most people living in the city,” he had said. “Stay that way, Alexis. Please don’t tell anybody you met me here.”

“I won’t,” she’d said when a loud yelling in the distance startled them.

“A–lexxxx–isssss!!!” her father called.

“I’ve gotta go, that’s my Dad! Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody about you. Bye!” She ran off toward her parents. “Over here, Dad!” she called, waving her hand at her father. “Here I am.” She remembered the relieved looks on her parents’ faces when they’d seen her. Relief exploded into anger.

“I told you to stay near the car, Alexis!” her father yelled at her. “Where were you? What were you possibly doing?!”

“Nothing, Dad. I just got bored sitting in the car and went for a walk, that’s all,” she answered, trying to sound convincing.

“Alexis–we were worried about you! Don’t wander off like that anymore. Next time stay in the car and use the computer while you wait for us,” Cynthia told her. “Now come on, let’s go!” Her mom’s take-charge attitude silenced her father. On the ride home, Lexy was glad her parents’ minds were elsewhere. She shut her eyes and tuned out their conversation as she pondered the man she’d just met. She was intrigued and instinctively understood the need for secrecy. From then on, she looked forward to those long, boring rides to the country. Had her parents not been so involved in their own affairs, they may have thought it strange the way their daughter seemed to light up when they mentioned a trip to Central Headquarters and how she stopped complaining about the long trip.

While her parents went into their meeting, she would sneak over to Wynn’s underground house. She knew not to stay for more than an hour. She remembered the day Wynn gave her a thin, round stick with a sharp gray point at one end. She’d looked at it wondering what it was and then watched with fascination as Wynn held it in his hand and moved it over paper, making symbols called letters. “This is the written word, Alexis. And I’m writing with a pencil. Writing and reading used to be required learning in school and now, people don’t even know what it is. It’s become obsolete and outlawed, replaced by high tech devices that communicate for you.”

Wide-eyed at this new discovery, Alexis determined to learn how to write. She soon found herself creating letters. The fact that she had to keep it a secret made it even more fun for her.

“Writing helps you discover who you are,” Wynn had explained to her when she asked him why people should write. Whenever she found time to be alone, she found joy in pushing the pencil along and watching the lines. She remembered Wynn telling her that by writing, she was keeping an ancient ritual alive. Whenever she felt confused or upset, she wrote, and when she was finished, she somehow felt better–clear and less muddled. Why did it need to be a secret? she wondered. What’s so bad about it? she questioned. She couldn’t understand the harm. Wynn had told her stories about a time when everybody had to write as a part of life. Today, it would be considered a waste of time–the slow, old way. Authorities cared so much about peoples’ time that they outlawed handwriting and writing instruments and required citizens to communicate using the more efficient methods of voice recognition programs and video via the World Wide Web. Wynn called it the spider web. “They’ll never catch me in their web,” Wynn had declared to her.

***

Alexis figured it had been about eight years since she’d seen Wynn Elias. I was 12 years old when Dad decided not to take me with them anymore. There was nothing I could say. A lot of things changed during that year, remembered Alexis. My parents began arguing all the time and my father was gone most of the time. We hardly ever talked like a family anymore. What happens to communication? We grow up and forget how to relate to each other.

“The world’s changing,” Wynn had said to Alexis the last time she saw him. He’d given her a blank book he called a journal. It was almost as if he’d known they wouldn’t be seeing each other anymore. He’d hugged her and kissed her head and told her to “Keep the faith. ‘Stay together, go light and know the flowers,'” he’d said, quoting one of his favorite sayings he said was from something he called a book named Turtle Island. “God bless you, Lexy!” She wasn’t sure what he had meant, but she often remembered those words when she felt sad and alone, which was usually when she opened her journal to write. By now she had added her own pages because she had long run out of room. She used whatever she could find to write on. Old pieces of thin cardboard and labels peeled from pellet bottles. It was when she was adding more pages to the journal that she ripped off the torn paper from the back cover.

She was astonished when an envelope slipped out. What’s this? She opened the envelope carefully. Inside were pages of writing. These must’ve been written by Wynn’s friend, Lexy thought to herself as she sat down to read the pages. It was that writing she was re-reading when Isabella came over. That same writing was keeping her awake now. She felt she had to see Wynn. She had to know the answers to her questions, even though he told her not to come. Had he meant for her to find the pages?

She looked at the computer clock for the tenth time that night: 6:00 a.m. Somehow, she didn’t feel tired, even after not sleeping all night. Overwhelmed by the letter and filled with questions, Lexy reluctantly climbed out of her bed and put on her school uniform–a white shirt and black pants. A loud ringing made her jump. It was her dad’s alarm, announcing the beginning of a new day.

Cosmic Rainbow Connections & Grateful Miracles

Sometimes plans don’t turn out the way you expected, and sometimes miracles happen, and we’re surprised.

Such was the case on last weekend’s trip to take my kids to the Fare Thee Well Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary concerts in Santa Clara. First change was kids turned to kid as my son announced he couldn’t go b/c of work, and b/c he didn’t want to listen to a bunch of old people playing music. Since he’s 17, I obliged and left him home.

My 14-year-old daughter and I made it to the concert with time to spare, after a grueling drive and battling with parking and coordination issues. On the drive up I felt so much excitement about the idea that popped into my mind to give someone a “miracle” with my extra ticket that I’d bought for my son. Selling the ticket didn’t fill me with the joy thinking about giving a miracle did. So we stood outside the entrance as people milled around and I looked for someone who needed a ticket. For anyone who doesn’t know, at every Grateful Dead show, people walk around holding one finger in the air saying, “I need a miracle,” which translates to a free ticket into the show.

A couple walked by me pushing a stroller with two young kids, and, oh my G! “Trinity?” I said to the guy with the long beard and soulful eyes. How amazed was I to see my old friend from Kauai, with his wife, Mary Martha, and 2 kids! I hadn’t seen him in probably 15 years, and there he was, beard, family and all! Talk about cosmic connections…

Soon after, a cute young girl with dark hair walked up with her finger in the air. I made eye contact with her and handed her the ticket. Perfect timing. We walked in to the tune of Uncle John’s Band. “Wo, oh, what I want to know, is are you kind?”

Hundreds of roses were set inside the entrance, so we gathered some. Wending our way to our section through the dancing crowds, a girl said to me, “My name is Rose.” Of course, I gave her a rose.

As my daughter and I made it to our seats and sat down at long last, we listened to the music, which I realized the next night, seemed more of a warm up jam to the familiar songs we know and love. I was run down, sick with a bad cold and just basically exhausted. My daughter had a headache, said the guitar was too loud and was giving her a headache and there was too much smoke. Feeling a little low about the scene, all of a sudden, I looked toward the sky. A beautiful, brilliant and vibrantly colored rainbow arched across the sky above the stadium. rainbow

As more and more people began to notice it, the cheering reached a crescendo and the spirit and energy I remember from that crowd rekindled.

What a feeling of joy and elation that filled the air, and all of our hearts, as that rainbow, amazingly, surprisingly appeared to grace our gathering of almost 65,000 loving souls. Miracles abound, and in the words of my favorite band, “I need a miracle everyday!”

It was the epic beauty of nature that evening that stole the show and won our hearts, uniting us with nature’s awe-inspiring spirit, through the rainbow connection and a light-filled sunset. This is truth, beauty and love.

On the drive home, a patch of rainbow appeared in the wide open sky above us. “Mom,” said my daughter, abruptly and a little too loudly, as she was listening to her own music with her headphones on. “Is it just me seeing it, or is that a little rainbow?” I joyfully saw it too, and it seemed to expand as I drove along the open road. It stayed above us for a couple hours, to my joy and amazement, giving me comfort and connecting me to the cosmic mystery in a colorful, peaceful and miraculous way that I could not have planned if I tried. So Grateful.

sunsetroses