The cool water ran over his ears in a rush. He leaned into the gushing stream and felt it flowing over his face, massaging the corners of his mouth, drawing back his hair, and washing through his beard. It filled his ears with the sound of many waters. It sounded familiar. He felt he could almost hear what the water was saying... almost. But the words didn't matter, the voice was speaking Love.
He spread his arms as he planted his feet more firmly among the stones and pebbles, and let the river flow around him. It washed across his chest and over his whole body. He felt a cloud of unknowing washing away with the tide of the river. The questions and uncertainties that had remained for so long were already a hundred feet downstream. This was right. As the river surged on all around him, the path stretched on before his mind's eye. He couldn't see every turn, but he could see the destination. He turned out his hands and embraced all that was around him.
He rose again from the water, his hands outstretched, he closed his eyes. He opened his eyes and looked into the sky, and wondered at what he saw. Space and time unlaced like a parting curtain, like a veil lifted. His heart broke into a race as he gazed at something beyond physical sight. He seemed to see what lay behind all matter and time, into Love itself.
A moment later, to his surprise and delight, there was a bird on his arm. A turtle dove had landed there. He lifted his arm and the bird shifted its feet until it rested on his forefinger, cooing softly. He couldn't help but laugh. He looked up again, and the curtains of the whole sky were drawn back, revealing a sky that defined the colour blue. The tender bird looked up at him, it's brown feathers caught in the breeze, and cocked its head to one side. He felt its eyes and looked back, smiling. Did it nod?
A voice came from the open veil, and it sounded like a whisper, and like the waters rushing past his ears.
You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.
The curtain drew in once again. A breeze gently touched the tears on his cheeks. There was a sudden flurry of wings and a whistle, and the turtle dove was gone.
The words lingered in his ears as he stepped from the water onto the shore, and sat upon a rock.
You are my Son, whom I love. In you I am well pleased.