“To say that you are a dream, my dream, is my highest compliment,” said Jordan.

“I don’t think of dreams as especially valuable. Does not everyone dream? Even the serf, the commoner, the field worker? Would that you truly loved me you would devise higher compliments.” Diana was accustomed to being courted by the highest of nobles, by gentlemen scholars, by men of great prestige.

“But, dearest, if I might persuade you to consider the nature of the dream, the quiet solace of a world created wholly of the elements at our very core, of—”

“Elements? How unromantic a term! Am I as the rolling hills, a thing made of earth, or as the air, so abundant that all breathe of it ceaselessly?”

“Sweet Diana, I beg you let me continue.”

She nodded.

“When I speak of elements I refer not to earth nor air nor water nor fire, but of the ingredients of all these, and more, the essential ingredients of heaven itself.”

“So you see me as death? Is that it? For where, pray tell, is heaven? Do I see it in these trees, in the bright blue sky, in your heart or mine? No. Heaven is a place none can know until after the longest dream, the unending dream, the relentless dream that is death itself.”

“I beg you consider that this is where we differ. I see heaven as the home of God, as I am sure you will agree, but I see not a God abstract, dwelling behind dazzling gates, high above the highest horizon. God is here. God is your eyes. God is your every sweet word.

Would a Father send his children out into a wilderness alone, unprotected, or would that Father remain nearby, to watch, to guide to prompt?”

Dianne did not respond but with a subtle nod.

“And if God is here, then here is heaven. And if death--the lasting and true dream--is where we fully reconcile with God, in heaven, is not death the sweetest peace, the wonder of providence?

“And thus, if a dream is a subtle and short death, the dream is nearest heaven. And that is how I see you, my dearest Diana, as heaven, as a peaceful respite, as perfection on earth.”