The waters were surprisingly calm as our ship entered the Sacred Sea–the place where many of us were eventually destined to go. It wasn’t my time just yet, but my friend was on the ship ahead of us and I was there to see her off. Though I would miss her terribly, I could not grudge her good fortune when I saw the pure joy in her eyes.
As her ship approached the center of the Sea, ripples of cloud formed in a circle above it. From the center of the circle, a bright light broke through the darkening sky, out-shining the stars and what was left of the setting sun. It was a portal to another world…another time, perhaps. There were plenty of tales of what lie on the other side–of shining cities, and lush fields and forests. Wealth and beauty beyond imagining. But no one really knew for sure. What was on the other side would always be cloaked in mystery, for no one who went through it ever came back. Yet it had always been this way, since the beginning, that on the last day of each year, a ship would be sent with the lucky chosen. New lives awaited them on the other side.
The ship began to rise, creaking and groaning as it lifted just above the water, then higher and higher into the air. Those of us watching looked on with awe. What was awaiting our loved ones on their journey into the sky? And what would we find on our appointed day to follow?
The reality then gripped me that she was gone, and tears began to run down my cheeks.
“None of that now, Laddie,” the old helmsman said.
“It’s just – it’s just the not knowing for sure,” I choked. “None return.”
“That’s not strictly so,” the old mariner said, wisdom and compassion in his eyes.
“What do you mean?” I said grasping at a sudden hope.
“There was one from the other side that came to live here for a spell, and he told us that his father had rooms aspare awaiting. Then he went from here dying in a horrendous way. His ship journey, one of storm and pain, but three days later he returned to tell folk that he had made sure the gates, so those who sail the way will find their course true through waters calm.”
“But how do we know?” I challenged, again feeling despair rising in my heart.
“Because I am one of the ones who saw him. Both before his voyage, and on his second when he returned for good. He set me on this course as helmsman, one to steer others to the way.”
“What do they call you, helmsman?” I asked.
“My name is John, and I was a fisherman along with my brother, James. We and our friends Peter and Andy knew the journeyer well. I have ever since his rising into the clouds shown others the way. Trust me, Lad, stay true to your course and you and your lady friend will be together again in the wonders beyond the Sacred Sea.”
FANTASY ART FRIDAY
Written on this fourth full day since my lady made her journey beyond the sea. I miss you Dianne, but know you have found paradise. I will join you when my sailing date comes.