‘What a wonderful day it is,’ Agatha thought as she woke up that morning. ‘We voted for local council members in the evening and the results were announced in the news before we went to bed. There were two changes this year, in the nine, because Mr. Renfrow had resigned due to ill health and Megan and her family had moved away from town just last month. I don’t know the new members, but I’ll get to know them.’

‘Today would be 21 April 2320, but I don’t like using those dates, at least not in my journal. It’s the fourteenth day of the month of Glory of the year 477. That’s much better,’ she thought as she saw the beginning of the entry: 14 Glory 477.

“This will be a very full day for the First Day of Paradise,” She wrote. “We had the election this evening, starting before sunset, so the votes could be counted before we went to bed. There were fireworks all over town when the balloting was completed. That was an exciting surprise. The Council had planned it all and announced that, the more people who voted, the more fireworks there would be. There were a LOT of fireworks, so I guess that means a lot of people voted!

“This morning the children will come over to have our family party, which will end with lunch. That will give us plenty of time to get to the park before 3:00 when the community Holy Day Observance will start,” she wrote.

“Last year the Council surprised us all with a parade. I don’t know how they managed to keep it a secret, but it was a surprise when the band began to play as they entered the park. The dragon was AWESOME!!! It was made of balloons and held high on sticks carried by several young people. I’m sure they must have been young, they carried it all the way through the park to the House of Worship.”

“Streamers came from the sides of the dragon that named actions we are to conquer: back biting, gossip, anger, arguing, contention, etc. It was an entertaining way to remind us. Behind the dragon came a group of young people holding banners proclaiming virtues we are to develop: kindness, truthfulness, generosity, fairness, honesty, sincerity, etc. They were singing these words to the music the band was playing. A few of them had instruments and were playing along too.

“Behind them came a group of clowns juggling and being silly, some running into the crowd to tease someone. Then came a girl peddling a bubble maker with bubbles streaming out behind her! The children loved that. When bubbles floated low, they tried to catch them!”

“Behind the bubbles came a group of people wearing their ethnic costumes. I could recognize a few of them: African, Eastern Asian, Native American, even a European business suit from the twentieth century! We all laughed to see that!

“As the parade passed, we all followed behind and became the end of the parade. The parade concluded at the House of Worship, that Dawning Place of the Praise of God, where we all went inside for prayers.

“I’m eager to see what the local Council has planned for this year!”

“The children and their babies will be here soon, I’ve got to stop now.” Agatha closed the notebook she used for her journal and went to make sure everything was ready for the day.

Note: The ‘Days of Paradise’ are actual holy days, a festival of twelve days, celebrating the Declaration of Baha’u’llah to be the Promised One to help humankind achieve world peace, usually known by the term Ridvan (pronounced rez-waun) which means Paradise. Celebrated every year in April by Baha’i communities around the world, this future celebration is fictional.

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