The Next Place
By Warren Hanson 
The next place that I go will be as peaceful and familiar as a sleepy summer
Sunday and a sweet, untroubled mind. And yet…it won’t be anything like any place
I’ve ever been…or seen…or even dreamed of in the place I leave behind. I won’t know
where I’m going, and I won’t know where I’ve been as I tumble through the always and
look back towards the when. I’ll glide beyond the rainbows. I’ll drift above the sky. I’ll fly
into the wonder, without ever wondering why. I won’t remember getting there.
Somehow I’ll just arrive. But I’ll know that I belong there and feel much more alive than
I have ever felt before. I will be absolutely free of the things that I held onto that were
holding onto me. The next place that I go will be so quiet and still, that the whispered
song of sweet belonging will rise up to fill the listening sky with joyful silence, and with
unheard harmonies of music made by no one playing, like a hush upon a breeze.
There will be no room for darkness in that place of living light, where an ever-dawning
morning pushes back the dying night. The very air will fill with brilliance, as the brightly
shining sun and the moon and half a million stars are married into one. The next place
that I go won’t really be a place at all. There won’t be any seasons – winter, summer,
spring or fall – nor a Monday, nor a Friday, nor a December, nor July. And the seconds
will be standing still…while the hours hurry by. I will not be a boy or girl, a woman or a
man. I’ll simply be just, simply me. No worse or better than. My skin will not be dark or
light. I won’t be fat or tall. The body I once lived in won’t be part of me at all. I will finally
be perfect. I will be without a flaw. I will never make one more mistake, or break the
smallest law. And the me that was impatient, or was angry or unkind, will simply be a
memory. The me I left behind. I will travel empty-handed. There is not a single thing I
have collected in my life that I would ever want to bring except…the love of those who
loved me, and the warmth of those who cared. The happiness and memories and
magic that we shared. Though I will know the joy of solitude…I’ll never be alone. I’ll be
embraced by all the family and friends I’ve ever known. Although I might not see their
faces, all our hearts will beat as one, and the circle of our spirits will shine brighter than
the sun. I will cherish all the friendship I was fortunate to find, all the love and all the
laughter in the place I leave behind. All these good things will go with me. They will
make my spirit glow. And that light will shine forever in the next place that I go.