Standing on the bridge grandfather and granddaughter spoke not a word. Slowly, quietly, relentlessly Hyneria’s three moons rose into the night. A slight breeze from north-west-north sent an involuntary shiver down Kyra’s back. Papa moved closer, wrapping his left arm around her shoulders.

“Papa, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?” said Kyra, thankful for Papa’s intuition. Her grandfather, advanced in age, embodied wisdom beyond her comprehension. Chosen in his early twenties by Ji as his successor, the only Hynerian to ever reach the ninth order of the Zing Tao’s special Blue Onyx division, Papa treated Kyra as if she was the only thing that mattered, the only thing that existed.

Papa smiled. “My dear child, I have traveled the galaxy, seen wonders beyond description. My eyes have cried tears of delight and my heart has danced with love. But believe me when I say this, I have never know a beauty to equal what I see–”

“Oh Papa, I agree,” excited interjected Kyra, her eyes transfixed on the horizon.

Papa smiled again. “What I see before me, I was going to say,” Papa hesitated for effect, “on this bridge.” Kyra turned to face Papa, her eyes locking on his. “My dear child, do you know the wonder that is you?”

Kyra felt her heart in her chest. Papa’s hand was still on her shoulder and she could have swore it felt different. She couldn’t explain it; the feeling was unlike anything she had ever felt before. Her mind raced, her eyes watered. Papa glanced into her reflective deep blue eyes and marveled at the near perfect tri-moon reflection in them.

“Kyra, I have known kings and queens, I have known masters of the universe and beings capable of things most would struggle to even imagine. I have seen gifts, I have seen skill, and I have seen mastery. But I have never seen one as blessed as you.”

“Papa,” Kyra spoke in halting diction, “I don’t know what to say.”

“My child, I have waited many, many years to have this discussion with you. I’ve known from your earliest years that you were somehow different, somehow blessed with gifts few can comprehend. And tonight, well tonight is going to be a night you will never forget.”

Kyra’s eyes widen as if half her face were the reflective liquid of her soul as Papa liked to say. She felt a little dizzy, almost intoxicated with Papa’s words echoing in her mind. Her whole life, Papa had taught her lesson after lesson, skill after skill and then here he was saying there was more, that there was more because of who she was.

“Kyra, tonight I am going to take you on a journey of discovery. You have been so close before, and I have been so tempted to show you so many times, but tonight you are ready.”

“Oh Papa, where could we possibly be going this late in the evening?” Kyra teased, knowing full well the journey Papa spoke of did not involve going anywhere.

“You know me too well,” laughed Papa. “The fact of the matter is you are already there, have been for quite some time. Yet, like a jewel just under the surface of the water, the reflections of your mind have hidden this great gift from you. Let me ask you a question.”

“Oh Papa, please no more questions. For once, can you just tell me, or just show me?” begged Kyra.

“I have my dear.”

“You have?” asked Kyra, somewhat taken aback.

“I have,” smiled Papa.

“And I missed it,” said Kyra.

“For the last time my dear, for the last time. Tonight marks a turning point in your life. Few times in life can we say there was that and now there is this. Tonight is one of those rare nights. Are you ready?” asked Papa.

“I’m ready Papa.”

“Give me your hands. Tell me what you feel?”

Kyra didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. Papa’s hands were strong and warm but then they always were. “I’m afraid I don’t feel anything,” said Kyra.

Good, thought Papa. He hadn’t done anything yet and needed to know she wouldn’t try to feel something that wasn’t there. He needed to know her mind would not form shapes in the fog.

“Kyra, relax your mind. Step outside the flow of thought. Open your heart. I want you to concentrate on my hands, feel them melt into yours.”

Kyra closed her eyes. And then, there it was. A small sensation, almost like an itch, no, more like a tingle, perhaps a small electric shock. Was this some trick Papa was performing she thought. But the sensation grew. Papa’s hands grew warmer. The feeling of warmth flooded her body. She had the sensation of weightlessness although her feet were firmly planted on the bridge. What was the sensation? She couldn’t label it, couldn’t categorize it. The feeling or sensation was something more than just a feeling. A feeling wrapped in emotion. Yet the predominant sense was one of clarity. A warm crystal clear pool. She felt like she was floating in a warm crystal clear pool on a cloudless summer day. She felt a sense of peace, a sense of satisfaction, a sense of needing nothing, of wanting nothing, a sense of completeness, a sense of truth, a sense of now.

And then Papa let go and Kyra stumbled backwards against the rail.

“Whoa,” said Kyra, unable to utter anything more profound.

Papa looked on saying nothing, just looking.

Kyra looked back. Her face flush, her cheeks red. Papa noticed she stood, however so subtle, differently–straighter, perhaps, with a touch of relaxed confidence educated with dignity and compassion.

“What just happened,” Kyra finally muttered, clearly astonished.

“We took a little journey, like I promised,” said Papa.

“Where? Where did you take me?”

“Home, Kyra. I took you home. How did it feel?”

Her head was spinning. The experience she just had defied her ability to wrap her mind around it. Like a deck of cards being shuffled, concept after concept, image after image, label after label, flew in front of her mind only to be rejected. She simply couldn’t make it fit anything she knew.

“I felt like I’ve never felt before. I can’t begin to describe it. I could give you a list of adjectives but even the sum of them would fall short,” said Kyra.

Papa laughed, “My dear, the wisest of beings I know cannot take what you felt and conceptualize it because it is greater than conceptualization. Besides, the more you think about it, the more it slips away. Stop thinking, just intuit, just feel, just relax into now, into this with no resistance, no judgment, and no expectation. Just be. Float without effect and trust you will be caught.”

“But—”

“No buts, Kyra,” intoned Papa. “The thought is never the thing—always two, never the same. As soon as you think you create separation. Your mind is a tool. Good for some things and not good for others. The mind works at one level, the heart another. Most live in their minds; prisoners of their own making, never realizing they hold the key. They live between the walls of their own making and forever feeling lost, forever searching for this or that only to find once they have this then they want that and once they have that then they want this. No one tortures one more than one’s own mind. You must learn to see it for what it is—a tool of the lower order. We need it to function in this world, but it will never take us home and it will never take us to truth, which is to say it will never take us to love.”

Kyra had never heard Papa talk quite like this. She felt as if he were lifting her to a higher duty, a higher level of being and with it a higher level of responsibility.

“Papa, what did you do to me with your hands?”

“I opened a door that only few can open. You, my dear, are one of those few. We started our evening with the question of then what. But I ask you a more profound question. What is love?”

“Love is truth and truth is love, you have always said that Papa.”

“That is true, but tell me child, is love and truth just words, just concepts, just more ideas?”

“What I felt a few minutes ago had nothing to do with words, or concepts or ideas,” said Kyra.

“What do you think you felt?”

“I don’t know Papa, other than to say it was good, good in a way beyond good, beyond my ability to give words to it.”

“Let me break my cardinal rule. Listen with your heart, not your mind, because your mind will resist all that I am about to say.”

Reading Part 1:

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Reading Part 2:

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