I leaned back in my chair under the shade of an oak tree and I fixated my eyes to a point off in the distance and slowly my eyes became tired and droopy. My breaths grew deeper and soon my head nodded off and I slipped into a hypnotic trance.
My mind wandered through the infinite special plane of my subconscious and slowly like sediment in a river it settled to the bottom in a relaxing fashion. I had not consciously chosen my suggestion. This time I let my subconscious be the arbitrary selector. Like a slot machine my mind seemed to spin with lighting speed through millions of combinations until my mind chose the suggestion of men shoveling the earth.
The sun was just setting and a man appeared through a side gate with a shovel. He walked towards me as I sat under the tree. The man was in a trenchcoat and was wearing a top hat. He had sharp facial features with a pointed nose and jagged cheekbones; he resembled someone I had known long ago. I could not see his eyes as they were shadowed over by the brim of his hat. He nodded to me and started to dig. As he dug he started to talk about God, heaven and hell, life and death, and the meaning of existence. I listened with great interest and curiosity as the man was of great intelligence and wisdom. The sun continued to set and the shoveler no longer had discernable features, he appeared as a human figure that looked paper thin, lacking any three dimensional qualities.
He continued to talk about time and space and how when we die we are suspended in the time continuum. And when Jesus returns we will return to the earth and the time that we had been dead before he returned, whether it be 10 years or ten thousand years will feel like merely a second in our state of suspended intermission.
The sun had fully set and he kept talking. He was no longer visible as he had merged into the blackness of the night. His voice echoed out from the darkness as he changed the topic of discussion. As he talked his voice grew more and more distant, soon he was merely whispering, shortly after he could no longer be heard. I called out to him and he did not answer. I stood up from my chair and picked up my flashlight and played it over the garden. There was no one there. I wondered if there ever was anyone. I walked into the garden with an uneasy feeling calling out, "Hello, hello. Is there anybody there?
I opened my eyes and exited the trance.
And realized that it was in that garden, years ago, only minutes before his death by heart attack that I last spoke to my grandfather about life and death.
Years later the shovel still stood in the earth of the garden, the place where he had last stood.