Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sightseeing (08/08/05)
TITLE: Sights Unseen
By eileen rife
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"I could drink this in forever!" Celeste exclaimed, her eyes flitting here and there, trying to absorb all the varied sights. Peonies, roses, dogwood, crepe myrtles--all in season at the same time. How could this be? she mused.
The garden rang with bird song. Celeste felt young and beautiful. Her once withered skin was now smooth, silky, and soft. Looking into a crystal clear pool, she gazed at her reflection. Mirrored back was a young girl with long chestnut brown hair and deep dark eyes. Her skin glowed and her lips were full and rosy.
The sights before her left her in wonder--thunderous waterfalls spiraling down into swirling pools of sparkling water illuminated by a light so brilliant the sun could not equal its intensity. Lush greenery peppered with exotic birds and wildlife. The heady fragrance of gardenias, plumeria, orchids, roses--all sharing the same rich, humus soil. A timeless feeling swept over Celeste.
Nothing could come close to the sights before her, wherever she was, except perhaps her favorite sights encompassing a lifetime. The people and events she had truly cherished. The chubby-cheeked smile of her firstborn. The tears of her husband after the loss of their child. Her family on Christmas morning. Her daughter in her wedding gown.
"Where are they all, anyway?" Celeste uttered out loud, as she ambled along the garden path.
"We're here, grandma." A faint, yet urgent voice spoke. Celeste felt a tug on her hand, yet the feel of weightlessness overpowered her. She rubbed her blurry eyes and caught sight of the ones she cherished. Her precious daughters! How tired and worried they all looked! Her grandchildren, still so young and innocent. But where is my husband? Where is he?
Celeste struggled to see the one with whom she had shared a lifetime. Deep in contemplation, Celeste sensed a fellow pilgrim take her by the hand and lead her to a soft patch of grass. It was he! The one she loved. The one God had given her to share a lifetime.
"Come, Celeste, sit with me. I've been waiting for you. Oh, so long, I've been waiting. Can it be true that you are finally here? He told me you'd be along soon, but I've been so impatient. The sight I've longed to see--my beloved! Sit with me; walk with me; drink in what "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived--what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor. 2:9, NIV).
The buzz of the heart monitor indicated she was gone. The faces of her family--her favorite sight on earth--were filled with sorrow, yet laced with the hope of future sights unseen.
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