Once upon a time…
Saber scuttled along the street, sidestepping the wreckage of building remains, broken cars, and shattered glass. The pads on the bottom of his six spiny legs meant that he could easily scale the debris, but he barely even had the energy to hold his antennae up after a long day of hunting.
A long, futile day – just more charred bodies and a few bits of cardboard scattered about the place. They weren’t terrible snacks, but Saber longed for the days when he would scratch through the kitchen walls, stealing cheese crumbs off the table. Once, he even had the pleasure of gulping up a layer of powdered sugar dusting the countertop.
Saber sighed and shook the ash off his body so that he once again resembled newly minted copper. His antennae quivered. No, he wasn’t imagining it; there was a sweetness in the air. He closed his eyes and inhaled. There! Snapping his head around, Saber’s vision zeroed in on a piece of a brick with a large crack running through it. There was something odd about that brick.
He glanced up at the world around him. Ash continued to rain from the heavens, covering everything in a layer of grey. Broken buildings, some of them still smoking, lined the street. Only one of them had bricks and a faded sign hanging on a single hinge. It read “Bakery.”
Bakery? Something tickled the back of Saber’s mind. There was a cookbook in the kitchen…
“Love At First Bite – Bakery Basics to Keep Life Sweet” His stomach rumbled. The days when the old woman opened the book were good days. Days of sugar and vanilla, and perhaps a sprinkle of nutmeg. Days when he almost floated from the intoxicating aroma of chocolate. Chocolate. Saber widened his eyes. He returned his gaze to the brick, crawled forward, and peeked inside the crack.
A crumb. A human food crumb tucked away safely inside the brick so that it remained untouched by the raining ash. It was the colour of sand with a darker brown around the edge and about half the size of his oval body. The smell, the colour, the consistency of the particles – Saber instantly recognised the morsel before him: a chocolate chip cookie crumb.
Saber almost cried. Chocolate chip cookies were his favourite snack before the bomb blast. He remembered clearly the last time he enjoyed one – in the kitchen when the old woman baked a batch for her Grandchildren. He didn’t need to eat for weeks after that feast.
He was sorry the old woman was gone now. He was sorry that all the people were gone.
“You’re so beautiful,” Saber whispered to the crumb, who said nothing back.
He took a step forward and caressed the crumb with his antenna. She really was beautiful; she shimmered as the light reflected the chocolate decorating her edges. Saber felt a twinge of self-consciousness at his ugly, burnt copper body.
“I’m Saber,” he said to the crumb, who said nothing back.
He inhaled her sweetness and shuddered; none of his friends would believe this.
His friends! Saber swiveled his head to the left and right, furious with himself for being so careless. He was so close to the Fort; any one of them could smell the crumb if the right angle of breeze swept through.
He turned back to the crumb – his crumb – and a fierce wave of protectiveness washed over him. “I’ll keep you safe,” he announced to the crumb, who said nothing back.
Saber scurried around the road until he found a suitable piece of crumpled cardboard, then hurried back to his crumb. He gingerly pulled her out of the crack and wrapped her in the cardboard before setting the bundle on his back. He gave it a shake. She didn’t budge.
Saber spared one last glance around before scuttling away in the opposite direction of the Fort.
His mind raced about where he could take her. The scorpions were to the North and the South was flooded. He couldn’t risk her being discovered, even if the scorpions were friends. He certainly couldn’t risk her getting soggy. He tucked the crumb more securely onto his back and began to scuttle west.
Saber traveled for weeks. On clear evenings, he plucked her out of her cardboard cocoon, gently set her next to him, wrapping his antennae around her. They watched the ever-darkening sun paint the sky in deep orange and purple hues as it sunk below the mountaintops.
On the days when it rained ash particularly hard, Saber covered her in dry twigs and stood guard – coughing and sneezing as he struggled to breathe.
He consumed pieces of hair and leftover sewage. She consumed nothing.
They passed broken houses and demolished skyscrapers that had once towered over the streets. Saber crawled around cars and charred bodies and struggled to climb the hills.
“Are you all good back there?” Saber asked the crumb, who said nothing back.
Once, she fell off of him and rolled down a steep slope. He screeched so loud he couldn’t speak for a week. The cardboard did its job spectacularly, though, and she remained in one beautiful piece. Twice, Saber smelled a wasp buzzing near him, and he burrowed straight underground to hide his prize.
Finally, a month into the journey, Saber sat inside a mountain cave with the crumb at his side. She leaned against him and together, they stared at the ashen valley sprawled out below them. Smoke curled from the ruins. The glow on the horizon told Saber that fires still roared in the distance.
“We made it,” he whispered to the crumb, who said nothing back.
He stared at her. The crust, the chocolate, the glow of dusk – he never could have imagined this.
“I love you,” Saber said to the crumb, who said nothing back.
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Moral of the Story:
There are two basic motivating forces in the universe: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We must learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of those who embrace life. Even after all this time, the Sun never said to the Earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.
Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves the most. Most people never get to experience the love they dream of because they are scared to take the risk to be the one who loves the most. It’s easy to play it safe and comfortable. It’s natural to surrender what you want in the long-term for what is so easily accessible now. It’s hard to risk hurting yourself or someone else for the chance of creating something incredible. Love is giving someone the power to destroy you but trusting them not to. Love doesn’t have a quota or a cap. What determines how much you give or receive is you. Love inspires action. Love is a verb. Love doesn’t wait. Love doesn’t think. Love doesn’t feel.
“We were together. I forget the rest.”
— Walt Whitman
Affirmation: Everything I do aligns with the vibration of love.
The love I am seeking is seeking me. I love myself. I am worthy of true love. I am attracting deep, earth-shattering, soul-inspiring love. I release all past hurts and I am ready to be vulnerable in love again. I surrender to love because I choose love over fear. I have so much love inside of me to share. I receive love in abundance from everyone I meet. The more love I give, the more I receive. I am open to receiving knock-my-socks-off love of a lifetime. There is so much love in my life. I am passionate, powerful, and full of affection. The door to lasting love and deep connections is open to me. My love is beautiful, intense, and passionate. I am irresistible and magnetic to healthy, deep connections. I radiate love and this healing warmth envelops everyone around me. I give love unconditionally. Loving everything comes naturally to me. The Universe is love. I am love. Love starts with me. My life is overflowing with love.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”