The Landscape of Hope

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Are people born wicked? Does love really exist in man? What if hope itself loosens its wings?

Archaeus y el paisaje de la Esperanza (The Landscape of Hope)

The world is in pain. People die everyday without being recognized even for their little good deeds. They are still busy pointing out each other’s wickedness. There’s nothing left to us, humans, but love. What if love is already gone? Can we still survive?

It was a cold Sunday morning. The wheat fields were golden, which fits to be compared to hair strands of same texture and color. At the last few hectares of the village, a high cliff could be seen, like tourists say, perfect for painting and star-gazing. A long river is situated just below the cliff, which provides natural irrigation and freshwater for people to drink. Low-steeped huts were built far away from each other, and at the middle of the village lies a church whose sacredness, they say, once attracted the finest angels of God.

At the cliff, Gaius sat and prepared his painting tools. Then, he quietly observed the silent surroundings.

“Dad, are the stars big?”

Gaius turned back and noticed someone was following him. And there, he saw his own reflection inside a little being. It was his son, Archaeus.

“Do you believe that they are big?” he replied.

“Yes, even though I only see them as little diamonds suspended in the sky.”

The northwest wind blew softly and touched the youth’s face, like those from sweet and caring hands of a mother.

“Do you believe that love exists?” Gaius asked him.

The child answered, “Yes, even though man often neglects it and it’s existence.”

He took a deep breath and sighed, “Then it must be faith.”

An hour had passed. Archaeus keenly watched his father as he draws the beautiful scenery that he sees and therefore named his masterpiece, Archaeus y el paisaje de la Esperanza.

Archaeus liked the piece so much and compared it to what his eyes can see from where he sits. He noticed that something is very different as if life is not present in such scenic painting.

“Dad, why is this painting different? The open fields are not golden; they are gray like the lonely nimbus clouds. The river overflows, and the riverbanks are siltated. The village church is burned to ashes and trees are cut. There’s a big change.” the child asked curiously.

“It’s because that’s what I see in the hearts of every human on Earth.” he sighed. After a few seconds, he continued, “The world was once a peaceful and beautiful place. People started planting seeds of envy and anger, and in return, the nature itself gave them weeds of despair and hatred for people to harvest.

“A man was not born wicked. But they grew up having the knowledge of good and evil, which God provided. But human still chose the wrong path.

“People change. But we all know that love can conquer the humanity’s wicked deeds. When love is gone, no one will even survive, because instead of eating healthy food, they ate the foul words that run their lips.”

“But Dad, is there still hope for humans?” Archaeus began wondering.

He smiled, “I know there is. But I’m worried that one day, hope itself will loosen its wings.”

“I believe that God will not let it happen. As long as love exists, I know that strong hope will accompany us to surpass this dark road.” his son uttered.

“Then it must be faith, and I know there’s still even a few in a large population of mortals who do good deeds, but they die unknown and unrecognized, where in fact, they should be awarded with more than silver, gold and other riches a man can buy.

“The good ones influenced the saints, and the evil, on the other hand, lives within even in the blood of the youngest man in the world.

“I had one wish before I die, to search for the highest cliff in the world and tell God that humanity continues to worsen.

“I know love can recolor the lonely fields, regulate the overflowing rivers and fix the destroyed riverbanks.”

The sun sets like a ship slowly vanishing beyond the horizon. And there stood, a father and his son, waiting for the stars to dominate the sky.


Originally posted at Facebook’s Notes last September 24, 2012 and served as my output short story in our campus journalism class. This hasn’t undergone much editing.


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