You were born beneath an ireful star, launched into a destiny predetermined by a past. So, it is fitting that I wait for your arrival at the darkest hour of night.
In dreams, I am certain you return.
It is winter’s cusp, a time of confusion and crossover. Hail mixes with sunshine. Green shoots wither with frost. A time of sorrows passing and joy’s celebratory re-birth.
I wait on a barren beach, protected by crisscrossed driftwood, tucked in and sheltered from raging winds. Even the gulls have left.
In the distance, the thundering rollers call. Waves tumble and break to slip upon the shore. A heavenly mess, the water’s advance and retreat orchestrated with military precision.
From a safe vantage point, I see only unending swaths of gloom. The sky beyond is thickly brushed with inky, blue-black strokes. My eyes glance up toward the heavens. There waits the moon, full and ripe as a melon. Flickers of starlight sparkle through darkness.
A grey drop cloth of cloud obscures the distance. A split begins to form. Winds rip asunder the gauzy veil. A moon beam illuminates the watery path ahead. In the distance a red rowboat approaches. A man holds an oar.
Slowly, the shroud rises, carried off, held by the beaks of forty-eight diamond doves. Their wings rustle and heave as the curtain rises. You return in peace.
Lost at sea, a drift with one oar, the tides have brought you home. I leave my wind worn shelter and stand at the water’s edge.
Sailing closer to land, you fix your gaze upon mine. The ocean’s song rocks the rowboat with a final push to settle upon sand. My hand reaches out to steady you. Once on solid ground you straighten and pause. Reaching into your pocket, you pull out a stone. “This is for you.” You look away and lower your head.
“Thank you,” I reply.
Cool to first touch, the stone becomes warmer; a talisman nestled in my palm. I turn it and note the imperfections, see the flaws beneath a smooth surface. The passage of time has softened its form. The stone is actually glass. Once fragile and abandoned, its story has shaped over time. It ends in the form of a heart.
“Don’t cast it,” you say.
My fingers reach for a stick that rests upon the sand. Words whisper through wind, “This is for you.”
I press letters at the ocean’s edge.
That is all I seek. It is the gift you gave back to me.