Paradise is often seen as a tropical island, yet I have never felt close to that vision.
For me, paradise is Northern spring.
The time when snow has melted, mud and snow-water gone. The green has returned and winds are kind, not icy any more but pleasantly cool. It is warm but not yet hot.
The air fresh and pure.
Everything, everyone is in bloom.
It is an ecstatic relief after the long darkness and cold. A sense of rebirth or rather of being born for the very first time, like no one has ever been born before. Alive in a world that is newborn too, where no one has ever lived before. And yet you recognize it . . .
There is a promise of something beyond, something above experience.
That promise leaves no doubt, there is no possibility of disappointment in it.
True innocence the power reigning.
Yet in a sense the promise is betrayed every time. Life does not rise with spring's promise. The blossoms fall. Summer comes, the air becomes heavy with smells and sounds. The green grows so rich that it is less the colour of new life and more that of suffocation. The sun is hot, the afternoons are lazy.
Time stands still. It is not alive, like we had heard spring whisper it would be.
My vision of paradise would be the permanence of that ecstatic aliveness of northern spring, the time out of time, the fulfillment of its promise.
The sky never falling on us like a heavy burden.
The light forever young, dawnlight never turning to dust.
Yet no standing still, the constant movement of aliveness palpable in all.
That permanence is impossible in this world. And yet the promise of spring speaks of a reality more real than the slowing down, the dying of light.
The peace of spring that knows no boundaries, that has none.
The promise of constant birth, out of pain into spring.
There are moments when I feel it is possible to inhabit that sense of paradise, to keep it alive, to become it. To carry springlight in one's veins.
No matter what outside.