There is a world that we create with our dreams and wishes where only we can go. It exists in a parallel realm with this world but when we go there no real time ever goes by. There time stands still, until we get back and resume our normal separate lives.
It was a sunny and warm summer afternoon in the park. I had decided to come see the labyrinth as I had never seen a labyrinth before. It wasn’t unusually large but it did look somewhat strange. Like all others, it was a “spiritual journey”, a narrow path to walk in faith. It asked that you trusted it to lead you to in to the center and back out again, without thinking or questioning. I started walking, following the narrow path where it lead. It’s not easy to trust when you can’t see where you’re going and at one stage I thought the path might be leading me astray, but I soon realized I just had to keep trusting and follow the path. I had read somewhere that when you get to the center, you should make a wish and not being the superstitious type I closed my eyes anyway and made a wish.
I followed the path back to the exit again, now much the wiser from what I had come to learn from a labyrinth. Sometimes you need to let go of your urge to control and just follow where life leads you. I went and sat on a little wooden bench under the trees next to the labyrinth. I sat for about a minute and noticed that there were suddenly no people in the park, except a man walking towards the labyrinth. I checked the time. It was 4 pm. As he came closer I recognized him and when he saw me I could see we were both surprised to see each other there, as though fate had somehow designed the meeting that afternoon. He smiled friendly and we greeted each other as he came and sat down next to me. “Where did all the people disappear to?” I asked. “I have no idea, the park was crowded a couple of minutes ago”, he said. “I know. It’s the strangest thing.” “How are you doing?” he asked. “I’m great, doing great.” Alone in the park with no people around, was like a dream come true I thought. You see, when love is forbidden, every private moment spent together alone becomes sacred. Not thinking about it more than that at that stage we continued talking. “I didn’t know you would be here today, but it’s good to see you”, I said. There was always much to talk about and never enough time, but that day time seemed to stand still.
“Remember that part in Midnight in Paris where that French girl and that guy dances the night away? I dream of doing that!” I said. I winked and when I opened my eyes, we were both standing in a room that looked like a replica from the 1930′s, just that it wasn’t a replica. It smelled of musk and cigar smoke and a very young Edith Piaf was standing alongside the piano singing, while people all around us danced slowly cheek to cheek. It took a while to come to the full realization of what had just happened to us and we didn’t want to attract too much attention and decided to join in and dance like the rest until the song was done. I couldn’t stop looking at Edith. She was pretty, just like in the pictures I saw of her and she sang beautifully. She seemed so passionate with every word she uttered and I could see that she was singing with her soul. She looked truly happy when she sang. When the song finished we moved away from the dance floor to a quieter corner. I knew we had to be in Paris somewhere in the 1930′s. I could see he was clueless as to what was going on and I myself wasn’t sure of what had just happened. I suddenly thought of the labyrinth and the wish I had made. It couldn’t be possible! It couldn’t actually be real.”I made a wish at the labyrinth this afternoon when I got to the center. I wished that we could go away together to another world where we could do all the things we dreamed of and always spoke of.” “I think your wish was granted”, he said with a nervous smile. “How do we get out of here again?” I asked. He was the clever one, a genius I believed, so he would know how to get us out of there. “I think it’s simple, I think you need to wish us back again”. I doubted him for a second, but knew of better, so I closed my eyes and wished we were back in the park on the bench.
When I opened my eyes, we were sitting in the park on the same bench. We were both very relieved but at the same time I was sad, after all, it had been what I wished for and now it was over. I checked my watch. It was still 4 pm. Time stood still when we were away. Strangely, the people were also back and the park was crowded again. Too crowded for forbidden lovers to be seen together…
Later that evening I was lying in bed thinking about the day’s events. Still a bit shocked I decided I would go back to the park the next day. Curiosity was getting the better of me as usual and I just had to see if I could try it one more time. That night I slept an uneasy dreamless sleep and awoke with first light the next morning. When I got to the park, I made my way to the labyrinth and the bench where we sat the previous day. I sat down on exactly the same spot. I was scared alright, but I knew I had to do this, so I closed my eyes and thought of one of the places where we still wanted to go. The museum! Yes, that would be a safe place to try this on. It wasn’t too far and at least not in another time era, so I shut my eyes even closer than they already were and whispered “I wish we were at the museum”. When I opened my eyes, I was sitting on the bench still in the park. I looked around me and people were walking past in the pathways and other people were riding their bicycles. Did I say it wrong? What did I say wrong? I closed my eyes again but this time I said it louder. “I WISH WE WERE AT THE MUSEUM!” When I opened my eyes, I was still sitting in the park on the bench. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong and then thought the wish might have expired. Greatly disappointed that it didn’t work and even more disappointed that we left the 1930′s in such a hurry, I left the park. I would tell him about this when I saw him again.
The following week we arranged to meet in the park again, but at a time when the park wasn’t too crowded. We went and sat on the same bench again. We liked that bench. “I came back the next day. I wanted to try it and see if it worked again.” I told him how disappointed I was that it didn’t work and how I was even more disappointed at leaving the 1930′s so soon. There was still so much to see and we could meet at the wonderful writers and musicians we had heard about. I sounded much like a nagging child. “What exactly did you say?” “I whispered it and said it out aloud and neither worked.” “But what did you say?” “Well, I thought the museum would be a good place to try it on, so I said: “I wish we were at the museum”.
I blinked and when I opened my eyes, we were both standing at the entrance to the museum. Again, no people were in sight. I couldn’t believe it! Why didn’t this work the previous week but now it worked! I said the exact words I had said the previous time, but why didn’t it work then? We stood there for a moment and then I realized why it hadn’t worked the previous week. I had wished that we could go away “together”. It suddenly made all the sense in the world. The wish would only be granted if we were together when I made the wish. I told him this. We still didn’t exactly know how it worked. All we knew was that time stood still when we were there. It looked exactly like the real world, only that there were no people this time, as in the park the other day. Why were there people around when we were in the 1930′s but in the park and now there were none? We were not going to return to the real world as quickly as we did the last time. We knew a little about this world and decided to at least enjoy the experience at the museum without worrying too much and seeing that time stood still in this world, we could relax and take our time to go through the whole museum.
It looked eerie and a bit creepy without any people moving around in it, but its old familiar smell soon comforted our senses. It was lovely as ever. We strolled through the world’s history sections and admired the Indian Tribe exhibits. They were an amazing culture and we both agreed that it was sad that their culture was fading away and we had wished it had been preserved better for the future generations. Who would teach their young ones to hunt and keep up the traditions? We continued strolling through the museum and admired all the different amazing sea life and other great animal exhibits and many more wonderful things. The Dinosaurs were always fascinating. What we were really curious to know was what was actually hidden away from public view. They obviously only exhibited things that they thought were relevant to the public. What about the great archaeological finds that were never shown to the public. With much effort and almost getting lost, we got to their archives and storage area. It was magnificent. The area was large enough to house many findings collected over the years. The low light and dust made it appear nostalgic and romantically appealing. I was astonished by what I saw and we went through each box on each shelve and each container standing around. Some of the findings were true collector’s items, but we knew we could never take anything back from this world to the real world. This world was not to be owned. It was to be respected and admired only. It felt like we were there for a life time, yet the time on my watch stood still. It was really nice to spend proper care free time appreciating the things we saw and experienced. We knew it was time to get going again, for we had seen everything we wanted to see and had been everywhere we had wanted to be in the museum.
As we reached the outside steps in front of the museum we took some time to hold each other close for a while and kissed softly, like two lovers that knew it was time to say goodbye again. My wish was granted. We had a world where we could go together and be together for as long as we needed. We knew it was sacred time, because we also knew the real world still existed. In that world our love was forbidden and forbidden love could hurt many innocent people. We would love each other freely, but only in this world.
When we said our goodbyes, I closed my eyes and wished us back to the real world. And so our day at the museum of which we had spoken of and wanted to see many times, but knew was never possible in reality, came to an end. When we left the park we both went back to our own separate lives, filled with family and responsibilities… until the next time we could meet again at the park on the bench.
Time passed and years went by and as our love and friendship grew, so did our dreams and wishes and we went on many wonderful adventures together, exploring them in OUR world.