On a Day of Significance. Turned toward the East-facing window, my still-heavy eyelids opened slightly at about 6am. Appearing like the inky blackness of an octopus’ discharge, dark clouds were on the horizon. My first thought: were they waxing or waning?
But I was still asleep. Still dreaming.
There had been a dark and stormy night which had lasted 7 of the last 11 years. Yet this bank of darkness had an edge -- could hope be making a comeback?
Below the clouds, bashed and battered by seas that had at first seemed so placid only to turn angry, jealous and vindictive, there was one tiny, little ship. It was struggling to continue its journey. The vicious waves seemed electrically charged with lashing tongues of salty spit. Time and again our traveler was cast against rocky shoals; overturned in high waves; the lone sailor’s survival oft in doubt.
Suddenly, at what seemed like the darkest hours of a darker year, with his small craft taking on more water than he could bail out, the sailor spotted a magnificent tall ship way off on the far horizon. Even at that distance, he spied with his glass that the ship was accompanied by a school of mermaids. But before he could even attempt to hail them, dumbfounded he saw the flotilla change course and head his way. And before he could pull the glass from his eye, they were there. With magical motion, the mermaids lifted the little boat as one group of the sailors fitted it with a beautiful, new and powerful sail even as another set repaired the damaged rudder. Then the lead mermaid let out a dazzling blast from a trumpet and, immediately, brilliant rays began to blow sparkling shafts of light through the foreboding giant of dark clouds. At last, as if from nowhere, a beautiful wind came to chase the still snarling storm away. It was licking its wounds, shamed for colluding with sharks and pirates to harm the sailor whose goal had been simply to cross from one coast to the other. At once the seas calmed, the skies turned clear blue with crystal-like clarity and the sun shown magnificently.
I rubbed my eyes and slowly lifted my head. The dream seemed so mythical. But of course myths are metaphoric; story lessons for us all; User Manuals for how to chart and navigate our own personal oceans. In that spirit, follow the words of the Prophet Arthur Ashe: Start where you are; use what you have; do what you can. Stay the course. Adapt, improvise and overcome. The forces of your own good will arrive. They will lift you up and place you on a peaceful shore where you must give thanks to all of those passing strangers who lent you a helping hand. And, now that you are on dry land, perhaps you’ll be better prepared for dealing with the large cyclops holding a raised club who is headed your way.