I see the bend in the narrow, dark, tree-lined path and I know it’s coming up. It’s my favorite place on the path. A circular patch of open space, it is surrounded by tall trees and bushes. The grass is just asking to be laid on. There are breaks in the foliage, paths made by dirt bikes which lead into the woods. When there’s a breeze, the tall trees sway and the leaves flick back&forth, back&forth, as if waving me on. Go, go, they say. The sun’s bright rays unexpectedly hit your face and burn your shoulders as they fill the sky. It’s like the sun exists only to shine in on that one place on earth. It’s a circular, little, space in the middle of Pawtucket, but it feels like I am worlds away. Nothing else and no one else exists. I absolutely love it. The first time I walked into its splendor, my sneakers pitter pattering on the cement, I was left in awe of its majesty and simplicity. I was having a low day, and it was immediately lifted. I smiled to myself, and I continue to do so every time I am there.
When I die, if my body isn’t turned to mere dust and my soul isn’t destroyed into a million little floating particles, I want to go there. That is where I want to spend the rest of my existence. No other entity will be sending me to a Heaven or Hell or Purgatory; I’ve decided all on my own where I want to go. Sitting cross-legged, alone, book in hand, hair blowing into the gentle breeze and leaves waving stay, stay, stay, I want to spend my afterlife in the serenity of that space. Time will continue and halt all at once. There will have been no past, there will be no notion of a future. Not a single thought will be in my mind, not one pang of sadness. No stress, no worry. There will be no religion, no rhetoric, nothing. There will be nothing but my surroundings, and that will mean everything. It’ll be just me, the grass and the trees and the beautiful sun. Just me.