Tommy's dad tucked him in every night. He loved that part of the day. After mommy died, Tommy and his dad had learned how to be with each other. Sometimes they didn't like each other. And, sometimes they loved each other. Every night, when his dad tucked him in, and told his fantastical stories, Tommy knew they loved each other.
"Let me tell you a new story, little one...." Tommy closed his eyes, and sighed a deep sigh.
"When you go to sleep, there's a part of you that wakes up, but slowly. A place where your dreams are created, every night. And there are ways that you can wake up magical creatures that weave and craft your dreams. The Three Dream Rays..."
Tommy sits up quickly. He remembers these magical creatures, in a day dream, just last week.
Tommy was at school - a typical day in the classroom, bored and distracted while the teacher talked about something he already knew. Â Tommy found himself looking out the window, at the homes across the street from the school Â Across the dusty playground, with the broken swings, and the slide that had no slide. Â It was an ugly place...he had almost started to doze off when, all of a sudden, Tommy saw three manta rays flying through the sky - sweeping and twirling. He could have sworn one of the rays winked at him, and waved.
At first Tommy though he was seeing things - maybe they were just big birds, and he had imagined them turning into rays. He rubbed his eyes, and shook his head a little, to make sure he was awake. Â He focused hard on the rays, and realized that , yes, they were rays, flying in the sky, as if he was watching them swim in the reef of a beautiful ocean. They were real. He could see them. And one flew so close, he could almost touch him, if it were not for the glass in the window.
Just as Tommy reached out to touch the ray - the purple one (they were purple, orange and blue), Tommy's teacher yelled out, "Tommy, sir. What are you looking at? Are you daydreaming, again?" She said this with a smile. She knew that Tommy had been going through a hard time, and that some of the kids picked on him.
Tommy stammered, "no Miss Johnston" The other students started to giggle and point at Tommy. Â
"Ok, kids, that's enough. It's ok if you daydream - some of our smartest people are day dreamers. Thomas Edison and Einstein all day dreamed in class. But, are you ready to get back to what we were doing, Tommy. Everyone?"
"Yes, ma'am, said Tommy. But, Tommy couldn't focus - he kept glancing out the window, looking for a sign, any sign, that the rays were real, that he wasn't seeing things, that he wasn't crazy. He wondered in his head, Can everyone see those rays, or just me? Will I see them again? Who...what are they?"
"Tommy", Tommy's dad interrupted his thoughts. "Everything, ok? You kind of left me for a minute there," he laughed.
"Yes, Dad. I'm back" Tommy smiled. "Tell me about the rays, dad." He snuggled in closer, and his father continued telling him the story of the The Dream Rays.
"Adventure Ray was born in a volcano," Tommy's dad started.
Tommy sat up, "That's crazy, dad."
"I know," dad replied, "But it's true - there are three Rays. Adventure Ray, Relationship Ray and Success Ray. They're all related, but not the way you're related to your cousins, or aunts and uncles, or anything like that. They're related by Energy."
Tommy's dad continues to describe how the Energy in the Universe brings all life together. How the rays all work together, but they are linked by anything else besides the way that Energy brought them together. This all seemed so strange to Tommy, as he tried to understand.
"Don't worry, it will make sense. Maybe not now, when you're just a little boy, but, it will make sense to you some day."
He continued, "Adventure Ray, as you can imagine, was born from adventure. He was born to adventure. And, he has many stories to tell and to share. It all started in a volcano, far away from here, and a long, long time ago.
There was a burst, a gigantic eruption from this volcano, and many creatures were born. Creatures that you've never seen, and will never see. Some creatures walk on the earth, just as they were born. But, most of the creatures born that day are fantastical; dragons, unicorns, Dream Rays, magical animals that live only in our minds, but they are real, Tommy, very real.