Once upon a time, inside a small swell of land dotted with lush ferns, lived a warren of rabbits. One of the kits of this warren was Captain, a buck with a gray pelt and a swirl of black fur over his left eye that looked very much like the eye patch of a sea-fairing pirate.
But Cap, as he was called, had never seen the sea, in fact, because of happenstance; he only knew the outside world by a round window at one end of his room. A window that was far too high for him to look out and far too small to allow anything but light to pass through.
This window, however, meant a great deal to him; and, as he lay in bed, he would often count the moments until its light would march across the floor and move up to touch his pelt and warm his body. Its touch seemed to draw away his pain. Its warmth bringing comfort; and, during the dark hours of night, the thought of its return gladdening his heart.
Cap was, by nature, gentle and content, but once, his mother asked if there wasn’t something she could do to make his life happier.
He had answered by asking, “What lies beyond the window; that place were all the light comes from?”
His mother was an artist and smile crossed her face. “I can draw it for you,” she replied. And, working with chalk and pastels, easel and paper, she began to draw the outside world for her son.
Her lines were linear and had vanishing points to make things appear either near or far away. Her chalk covered the paper with beautiful subtle colors, and her artistic strokes soon brought life to the flat canvas.
With clever hand, she sketched trees, mountains and a path next to a river that ran down to a sparkling sea. At the end of the path, she drew a clipper ship and had it anchored off a sandy shore. She even drew a sun with yellow rays shooting out from its golden sphere.
Studying the drawing, Cap then asked about the lesser light of night and so his mother sketched another canvas just as beautiful, but in place of the sun, she painted a moon whose white iridescence glowed like a giant pearl in a black velvet sky.
She went on to tell her son about the seasons, spring, summer, winter and fall; and how each held its own beauty.
“Can you draw those, too?
Nodding, she drew pictures of the seasons as well, each with its own sun, each with its own moon each with its own unique splendor.
When finished, she had eight drawings, and hung them around his room. And, although he had never been outside to see the seasons, Cap somehow understood them in a way that told him they were true. The same way he knew that he also, was changing inside, like the seasons now hanging on his wall.
One particular night, not long after the pictures were drawn, a strange and miraculous thing happened. A dove appeared at Cap’s window. Silently, she flew in, perched beside his head, and softly cooed into his sleeping ear. “Cap, Follow me.”
Cap opened his eyes and for the first time since he could remember, he was free of pain. Like a true kit, he jumped from his bed and hopped across the floor to follow the phosphorescent trail of the dove who had called his name.
The dove led him to a doorway to the outside world. To his joy, the world was as beautiful as his mother had drawn, but the new colors appeared more vibrant and the linear lines had been replaced with true edges, depths he could not help but follow and a nearness he could not stop from touching.
The dove beckoned him to follow her down the path that led to the sea; and he ran, freer than he had ever dreamed until at the end of the path, on the sandy shore, he found an oarsman waiting in a white boat.
The dove flew off and the oarsman said, “This way.”
Cap looked out over the ocean to see a Light greater even the sun. He knew as he had known the truth about the changing season, what it was; and, what he must do. Joyously he jumped into the boat to be carried to a happiness his new heart could barely contain.
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