(Dec. 30, 2022) — The Continuum Chamber
Father Time made his way, silently, his long robes gliding across the forest floor. Melodic hums and tinkling chimes mingled with the songs of small birds and the gentle babbles of a far-away brook, while fairy lights lit his way through the mist.
Suddenly, he saw a bright glow just ahead. The brilliance came from a flame resting in a large golden bowl. A beautiful young woman carefully attended the fire. Her hair, that hung in ripples down the length of her white-robed frame, shone like the light around her. Looking up, she greeted him with a smile. “Welcome, sir, and congratulations on the end of your journey! But why look ye so despondent?”
“I feel I have failed in my quest. I leave the world of man with them flinging curses at me. While others seem helpless, begging me, with tears, to stay.”
The keeper of the flame smiled as she gestured to a dark, beveled glass behind her. “Come. Proceed through, and you will see more clearly.”
With weary spirit, the elderly gentleman stepped through the doorway. He found himself inside a circular room, with an empty jeweled cradle at the center. Approaching, he found the cradle was slowly being filled with grains of sand falling from a hole above. As the sand gathered, it began to take the shape of a newborn child.
During this phenomenon, Father Time noticed himself slowly disintegrating, beginning at the hem of his robe. Before he had time to mourn, he became aware that his being was rising, like golden grains of sand, to meet the hanging crystal chandeliers. As the sand distributed to the candles around the room, he saw the flames flicker and heard kind voices proceeding from them.
“Have no fear, for you have not failed, and you will not cease to exist. Like us, who have gone on before, you will live to light the path of man with wisdom gained from memories made by your existence on earth.”
Father Time’s face lit up with a smile, to know that his life had not been wasted. He eagerly gazed at the baby before him. The last grains of sand were falling. The child now sat, looking up at him with a smile and wide, clear bright eyes. Oh, so much to tell him! So much wisdom and advice to give!
His predecessors responded to his thoughts. “He wouldn’t understand you. He needs to make it on his own. But he will live a full life. It is his nature to be good to man, whether or not they see it during his existence. He is made up of hope and perseverance. He will be joining us a year from hence. Until then, we shall light his way.”