Today the background soundtrack is a scintillating jazz groove — so infectious that you can’t help bobbing along in rhythm as you make your way from the parking lot to the office.
Standing in the elevator on the way up, you sport a sly smile, and those who silently accompany you can’t help but feel slightly elevated themselves, as if winter was nearly over, and a gorgeous spring was massing along the seasonal borders, preparing to invade with floral blossoms and mating bird songs.
Once at your desk, you notice that a number of messages are awaiting your reply — the usual company business — but today you are feeling serendipitous, a bit of devil-may-care.
You push the clutter aside, and as you slowly sip your latte, you slide into a dreamy reverie without the slightest resistance.
Now you are a patron at the restaurant of a world-renowned chef, and as you sit transfixed, admiring scenes of elegant cuisine, some inexplicable emotional opening suddenly rends your heart so profoundly that you burst out into tears of utter joy and gratitude!
You gladly reach to lift your glass of wine, but now you are holding a plastic bottle of dirty water instead, and as you gaze around, you realize to your shock and horror that you are surrounded by a crowd of destitute refugees, camped along a muddy stream in the midst of intermittent bombing and machine gun fire.
You blink your eyes in disbelief, and on the white linen tablecloth you see a plate of chilled apple pie with raisins, just the way you like it, and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream studded with tiny particles of real vanilla sits atop the pastry, waiting for your indulgence.
You breathe a great sigh of relief, but before you can lift your fork an explosion to your immediate left has all but obliterated two of your family members who had fled the carnage of invasion, only to be caught here in a cross-fire between the rebels and the army.
You shriek in pain as you realize that your left arm is dangling by a thread of sinew from its socket, and you are on the verge of fainting when the waiter approaches your table to insure that you are satisfied, and then drops off the check with a slight bow, smiling all the time.
Conveniently, the bill slip has calculated an appropriate gratuity, but as you reach for your credit card, a bit bewildered yet well-fed, your cell phone rings, and suddenly you find yourself in your office, the messages are waiting for answers, but your boss has sent a memo that you better read first, since that’s how things work around here.
You rub your eyes and begin to read it, although there is a lingering taste of apple pie mixed with gun powder in your mouth, and your left arm is throbbing in pain.
The memo is curious and even rather strange, so you find yourself reading it over and over again. It says:
“The birds all chirp at the light of day.
The insects dart in the mid-day sun.
The soft breeze toys with the fallen leaves,
whispering softly, have no fear.”