Paradise Island by Anneliese Garrison, RN
© written 8/5/90

One afternoon, feeling extremely weary from my long day's work, I lay down to rest my tired body. While sleeping, I dreamed of an island. An island all my own. I was an island from the very heavens above and it is for this reason that I will call it Paradise Island.

There I stood on my Paradise Island with it's deep asure ocean stretching endlessly before me. Nothing stood between the ocean and I except the sparkling white sand that glistened in the sunlight. Like diamonds that sparkle in the sun, the sand sparkled every color of the rainbow. I could see the swells of the ocean rising and falling ever so gracefully in the warm summer breeze. From a distance, the swells looked like dolphins springing forth from the water. They would come upon the sand and back into the ocean as if to entice me to draw closer, and so I did. I could feel the soft sea air of which I could taste of the salt upon my lips which it had lifted from the ocean where the ocean met the sand. I paused for a momment to enjoy this splendor of heavenly creation as I looked into the golden horizon that was over the vast azure ocean. Yes, I was truly in Paradise.

Behind me, stood human-like trees with their outstretched arms, though I knew they were just branches, calling me. I felt that the calling of these trees must have been the sweet, soft rustling sound of the leaves, therefore, I was not afraid, but rather, I was quite intrigued. More out of curiosity than anything else, I followed the beckoning of the magestic forest. Upon drawing closer, I found that they were indeed enchanted trees and I was in an enchanted forest. I followed a path through the forest for about a quarter of an hour. Looking all about me, I watched the bluebirds fly overhead, I saw a deer with it's fawn fast asleep in the afternoon sun, when sudeenly, I cam upon a open field. I saw the green grass which was taller by half than I. I could see the butterflies--yellow, white and red they be, gluttering cheerfully through the tall grass the color of Emeralds.

I sat down to enjoy this breathtaking view of this open, wonderous field and to enjoy the sweet smelling perfume of the flowers and feel the gentle wind blowing through my hair and whisper sweet nothings in my ear. A dove appeared white as snow and with an olive branch in it's mouth, and on the wings of it, the world "love" written therein. I rubbed my restful eyes and looked again. However the dove was no longer next to me but it seemed as though it wanted me to follow. Again, I set off down a path to just where, I did not know.

After a few minutes, I heard the sound of rushing waters. I t sounded as if it were a waterfall, and indeed, so it was. For without a moments notice, I found myself out of the field and onto a bridge. It was a large bridge not made of wood but of ivory. A tremendous rushing waterfall bellowed before me and hitting the rocks below it sounded like a thousand crystal glasses all toasting at once. I stood in awe and wonder.

A Heavenly Being appeared beside me on the bridge. His robe reached his feet with a golden girt around His waist. His eyes appeared to be as fire and his face was so bright I could not look directly at Him. Looking down at his feet, they were as fine polished brass and He said to me, "My child why have you come?" In a small still voice I answered, "I have come to do that which I can not do in my own world. To rest, relax, to be at peace with myself and the world around me." I was taken in by all the beauty that surrounded me and the peace of this Paradise Island. "My dear, sweet child of the earth, you may come here any time your heart so desires." He answered and then continued, "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. You may come here any time you wish for I am with you always. Go, drink of the Living Waters you see before you." I walked down off the bridge and went to the Waters edge and drank of it. It gave me new life. I felt peaceful, rested and revitalized. I turned to thank the Man, as I looked towards the bridge I could no longer see Him.

All at once, I found myself back in the open field, through the forest and onto the beach once more. It was just as I had left it. The sea was gently calling. I turned to answer the call of the sea-- I awoke. I found myself into another day and if I did not hurry, I would be late for yet another long days work. "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." came to my mind. It was then I realized, I had met my God. The world hurriedly surrounds me. I smile and close my eyes.

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by Anneliese Garrison, RN
© 2001 May be used only with permission by author