We stood inside the cave in our robes, deep in meditation and prayer. The war raged outside and we didn’t know how long it would be until we were physically ravaged by the spears and swords of our own people.
We would not defend ourselves; it was not our way to pick up weapons and fight. We were peacekeepers, masters of the soul, keepers of the light.
The world had changed. The rulers did not desire peace, they wanted land. They wanted their people to live in fear of them. In reverence. To treat them as gods. The people just wanted food in their bellies and shelter over their heads.
We had long stood for peace, but as time went by we were forced to move further and further away from the people we were there to guide and comfort. Into the cold mountains we shrank, available only to those who could find us and make the trek. It was not our choice to live so far away, but it was survival.
And now we knelt around the fountain that held the fresh, clean water we drank daily. We chanted and rocked back and forth, praying for the warriors to have a change of heart. Our voices lifted to the heavens, we hoped we could be heard.
After a minute, he walked into our chamber, taller than any human could possibly be, but wearing the same robes we wore, his head as bald as our own. In every way he could be one of us, but we all knew he wasn’t.
“Is it time?” one of us asked.
He nodded his head, solemnly.
We all stood and gathered in front of him. He walked to the fountain and cupped some water. In his hands he brought the water to us, and we each drank a bit of it.
The moment I drank I could no longer hear the sounds of war outside. I could no longer hear the screaming of my brothers who died defenseless. I could only hear the voices of those in the cave with me.
He walked to the precipice that looked out upon the west. We followed along behind him, arms around each other, looking out at the reddening sky.
“Will we get another chance?” someone asked.
He nodded his head. “Yes. Many.”
“Will they ever understand?” my brother asked, sadness breaking his voice.
He nodded his head, “They will.”
“When will we… go?” my brother inquired.
He turned around to face us and pointed to the fountain behind us. We turned to see all of our bodies crumpled by the fountain, heads lying against the cold stone floor, hands touching in eternal brotherhood.
“You have already left your vessels,” he said.
I looked down at my body. It looked peaceful. I was sad to leave this life as there was much I wanted to do, to share, but that time was not given to me.
I turned back to him and said, “Why have we not moved on?”
He came and put his arm around me and turned me to look at the sky and said, “Because I know how much you love the sunset, and I wanted you to see it one more time.”
I sighed and looked upon the setting sun. I felt the love and power coming from his embrace and I felt strong and ready to release this life, knowing there would be many others.
We all stood on the precipice and shared one last sunset. Then we rose, together, and he led us back Home.