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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: Is It Not So?
By Timothy Oesch


A veil of mist clung to the cool morning air as Michael Easton tromped lustily through the towering evergreens and gurgling brooks of the Canadian Rockies. Streams of light burst forth over the horizon as the earth continued its perilous circuit about the sun, casting nature’s glory anew in a translucent layer of bronze and gold. The graceful form of an eagle raced across the sky as its harsh cry pierced the air, a joyful proclamation of the unfettered freedom of sailing the heavens. What delight! What splendor! “If any man could but for a moment experience such ecstasy would he not give his very life away?” Michael wondered to himself as he gazed out upon miles of rolling hills and tranquil valleys.

Though a mild mannered teacher by day, he preferred the untamed majesty of the wilder lands to even the most luxurious accommodations society had to offer. Castles, dining halls, and butlers were all very nice, but he’d trade any of them in a second for a day in the company of noble trees, towering mountains, majestic valleys, vivacious springs, and secluded dells where the mind could wander free from the trappings of the mundane. He was headed for a nearby fishing hole that he often visited on the weekends when his ear caught hold of a strange voice riding on the wind.

It was the most wonderful thing he had ever heard; as if the unspeakable beauty of the stars had been harnessed in song. The next half hour was spent ambling dazedly through the woods in search of the Siren’s call, each time it grew louder his heart jumped with delight. After what felt like ages he pushed aside the arm of an endearing spruce to reveal a pool of gently rippling water fed by a high falls. Smooth white stones sat at the bottom of a creek that flowed forth from the pool and covered the nearby shores, but none of this concerned him, for on the far bank stood a woman of unsurpassable beauty.

“Were you the one that was singing?” he asked in a mystified voice. .

“I was,” the lady replied, her words issuing forth like water from a highland spring.

“What is your name?” The trout would have to catch themselves today.

“My name is Beauty.”

“Forgive my being so forward, but what must I do to have you?” he asked, cringing after realizing what he’d just said (he’d meant to say please you.)

“You cannot have me,” she replied, “for I was created not so that you may know me, but that you may know my Maker, from Whose beauty my own has sprung forth, though it is but a shadow of His.”

“Will you take me to Him?” he pleaded.

“The Maker is neither here nor there, but rather occupies all places at once; He is here now,” she replied.

“Why do you taunt a starving soul?” Michael asked as he wondered if this were no angel but a witch whose trap had ensnared him so that he would be doomed to seek what could not be found; to hope for that which was never to come to pass.

“You need but drink of the Living Water and your thirst will be quenched for all eternity,” the lady replied.

“The living water? The falls, do you mean that I need do naught but drink a draught from this pool and the joy which your voice brings will never pass away? Have I found the fountain of youth?” he asked in wonder.

“No, nothing in this world can cure you. It is by the blood of Christ that you are to be healed and it is faith in His Person that will bring you everlasting life,” Beauty answered.

“Religion! Religion! You hurl lifeless doctrine in my face when I am standing before the very picture of glory?”

“Does the sun not rise in the east? Nor the flower bloom in the spring? And yet before morning is night, and before spring is winter. Death doth come before life; suffering before joy; but in Christ you shall suffer no more, neither shall you taste the sting of death, for He has done what you could not and conquered sin itself upon the cross. And yet even as the sun doth rise in the east so did the Son of God rise bodily from the grave, ushering in the age of eternal life for all those who believe. Is it not so?”

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Jacqueline Zerres02/08/07
Interesting fresh take on "Gone Fishing". I especially liked the line:
(“Why do you taunt a starving soul?” Michael asked as he wondered if this were no angel but a witch whose trap had ensnared him so that he would be doomed to seek what could not be found; to hope for that which was never to come to pass.) It speaks of the longing in our souls.
Nice work.
Julie Arduini02/08/07
Such crisp descriptions, a wonderful take on the theme, and I too loved that line. Excellent.
Venice Kichura02/10/07
Wow but you are a real communicator & paint such vivid word pictures with your descriptions. Great job!
Sheri Gordon02/10/07
I loved your vivid descriptions of the scenery. I could see and feel all of it, and it was beautiful.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/11/07
Wow, a beautiful fairy tale of the vision of Beauty. Fascinating read, and quite unique I must say - but enjoyed the piece immensely. Well done.