I am compelled to describe that which I just witnessed, though it be far beyond the power of words to carry you to that place.

We ascended from the gloaming of pre-dawn through the silky curtains of darkness suspended over the waters, swiftly emerging to the higher world, a layer of clarity sandwiched beneath yet a higher cover of heaven's bed sheets. Eventually we would penetrate those as well, but for the time being: beneath us, an ocean of fluorescent cotton waves; above, an ice-crystal ceiling that closely mirrored the floor below.

This was an ocean with which I am already familiar, although it never ceases to strike me with wonder. It is not like that of the earth, closer to chaos, but in semi-frozen animation; a tempest of enormous cliffs suspended at battle, foam and mist hanging in mid-crash over the rolling soft waves. This morning, however, the Divine Artist provided an unexpected enhancement. At a distance, piercing through the vaporous carpet below as islands of the sky, rose several snow-capped peaks, the edge of this misty ocean cast in a slow motion spray against their slopes, running as so many quiet inlets, rivers and streams through their valleys. As we veered ever closer, more such peaks rolled over the horizon, soon dotting the cloudscape with their majesty in the dim morning light.

Our flight had begun in eerie semi-darkness, the eastern rays slowly revealing yet more and more of this mystery as if not to overwhelm us too suddenly, to prime our suspense for the climax yet to come. It was then that a small orange ball arose, peeking between the bed sheets of heaven, gradually glowing in greater intensity, reaching outward with its rays, casting a golden glimmer upon the hundreds of glistening heavenly islands.

Before my weary, glazed eyes lay thousands of square miles of this otherly, island-dotted, golden ocean, created, I supposed, for the view of the angels above, yet now served along with bagels and scrambled eggs to a planeload of oblivious human travelers hurtling in their metal ship over the Georgia Strait.

"No," I thought, "the angels have no tickets to this drama. Without knowing what is below, how could they appreciate the mystery of that which is above? Without ever attempting to create beauty with the mud and sticks of earthly fare, how could they be humbled by the unfathomable masterpiece of heaven and earth? For this, you must descend to earth, find its beauty, and then rise up again to discover that which lies beyond. Perhaps all of life, simply because the Master Artist desires an audience to appreciate His awesome works."

"Baruch atta...," my lips uttered the Talmudic blessing, "Blessed are You, Is-Was-and-Will-Be, our G‑d, Author of the Universe, Who at every moment performs the act of creation from its very beginning."

And then, from the heart of a puny creature forced to confess that he did not make this world of endless beauty and majesty, yet permitted to gaze upon it in awe and humbled joy, "How great are Your works, oh G‑d, all of them You did with wisdom...