An Ocean Voyage
Imagine you are setting out on an ocean voyage. The seas are calm, the sky is blue, not a cloud to be seen, just a few transparent puffs of white floating gently with the breeze. Yours is a small craft, which will carry you across the seas so you can visit various worlds that, for you, have remained unexplored.
On the first of your island stops you encounter a strange individual. Very tall you would say, a giant perhaps, who lives on a tiny island you have just set ashore on. The giant comes forward to greet you as you disembark and receives you with great warmth. He asks you to join him for a time as he has a story to tell you. This tale is about you, a story he could not possibly know unless he could actually see inside of you.
The story begins with your childhood when you were first set loose upon this world. He informs you that various actions were put into place at that time to protect you and guide you forward. Although it may have appeared that you were alone in the beginning, this truly was never the case. Into your small craft went amulets and jewels and other precious items all designed to assist you on your journey through Life. Some of the items were for immediate use, others for much later on. Some of these items were imbued with magical powers that you could activate when required.
“One day,” the giant goes on, “when you were sailing about the world in your tiny craft, you dropped one of your amulets over the side and down into the water it went. A fish swimming by scooped it up and swallowed it whole. This fish was later caught by a fisherman who, while preparing it for dinner, threw out the amulet along with the rest of the waste. The amulet was then found by a child who took it to her mother who exchanged it for a loaf of bread. From there, the amulet traveled further until it landed in a Castle with other types of treasure to be traded again for other goods. Eventually the amulet made its way to a market where it was purchased by a sea trader who greatly admired its beauty. So, from your hand to the sea, through several more hands along the way, your amulet has circumnavigated the globe. Now here you are listening to me, a giant of a man who lives alone on an island in the sea.”
“So what is the point of this story?” you may ask.
And the giant carries on with explaining your presence on his island home.
“Now that the amulet is so well traveled, where would it likely be at this time?”
“Is it with you, sir?” you ask.
“Why yes,” he answers, “with me.”
And with that said the giant reaches into his pocket and hands you the amulet. “But how did you know it was for me?” you ask.
“Because you are the one who showed up here today and what reason might you have other than to collect your amulet?”
“You mean I knew I was coming here all along?”
“Yes,” he answers, “in a fashion. You see, it’s your inner sense of direction that brought you here to retrieve something you had lost. We always return for the things we have misplaced if we want to feel complete.”
With that said, the giant retreats from the scene and returns to the island interior from where he came. With the amulet in hand you climb aboard your vessel and proceed out to sea. “Very strange,” you say to yourself, “I did not even know that the amulet was missing. And here by such good fortune it is returned to me. How truly wonderful this is. I wonder what awaits me next.”
Shortly after you set out a storm rises on the sea and tosses your small vessel about. “I cannot steer,” you realize, “so I must let go and allow the vessel its own free rein.” You then nod off to sleep while the storm rages about you.
Early the next day, you awaken to find yourself lying in the sand on another island shore. You look around, but no one appears to be about. Some sea birds land nearby looking for food and a few turtles crawl along the sand heading back to the sea. You sit up, dust yourself off and locate your craft, which is higher up on the beach. You proceed to look around this environment trying to familiarize yourself with the place you have landed on.
Suddenly a man in a majestic white robe appears on the scene. You notice that he has a long white beard and is carrying a wooden staff. He greets you with a curious look and begins speaking.
“What are you doing here?” he asks.
“I don’t know,” you reply. “A storm overtook me last night, while I was at sea in my small vessel. I could no longer control my craft so I surrendered to the storm’s might. This morning I found myself here on this island and I have no idea where I am.”
“Follow me,” the bearded man continues. “I know why you came. You are here to receive instruction which I am to provide. This is to help you on your journey across the sea.”
So up a hill you go, following the bearded man, wondering what lies ahead here.
Arriving at the top of the hill you come upon a beautiful garden of flowers surrounded by a structure of large white columns arranged in a circle. At the center of this garden there is a marble bench which your escort directs you to sit on. “Prepare to receive wisdom from the Great Creator,” he advises. As you sit down you notice a small pebble at your feet which you reach for and hold in your hand. Your guide notices and says to you: “That is good. Now your instruction will surely take hold.”
A short while later the bearded man awakens you. It appears you fell asleep while receiving your instruction. Aware of your concern he reassures you: “you have indeed received much wisdom this day and, because you held on firmly to the stone in your hand, it will surely take hold.”
The instruction finished the bearded man guides you back to the beach where he found you earlier. It is time to set out again upon the sea. In your hand is the stone that you retrieved in the garden. You know you must carry it with you from now on. You are unsure why but place it with the other jewels and gifts that have accumulated since your journey began. The amulet is there, as are other artifacts related to your history. The stone is now the latest arrival as part of a continuum of gifts that the Universe has provided you. Realizing your good fortune, you feel blessed, appreciating that you are well looked after; and knowing that wherever you go your needs will be met.
This is another beautiful sunny day and a light breeze is blowing across the bow of your craft. Ahead you see a grand island that seems to beckon you. This time you are sure you will go ashore as you know to follow your heart now when that feeling stirs. Arriving on this island you are greeted by a group of people with friendly smiling faces. You notice that there is something strangely familiar about these individuals as they help you to disembark. They greet you warmly, ask how you are and inquire about your travels. You tell them about meeting the giant on that first island and hearing the story of the amulet, about the storm that blew you ashore onto the second island and meeting the bearded man with the beautiful flowing robe. You describe the garden with its circle of columns and how you received instruction while sitting on a bench at its center.
“And what do you remember of your instruction?” they ask, curious.
“Not a lot, really,” you answer, “except that when I sighted this island I knew I had to land here.”
“How is that?” they inquire further.
“I don’t know for certain, except that the feeling inside was so strong, I just had to follow my heart and come ashore here. Strangely enough that was not the case with the first or second islands I visited. The first island appeared before me rather suddenly and I went ashore to look around. That’s when I met the giant and heard the story about the amulet. The second island I woke up on, having been blown there by a fierce storm the night before. The bearded old man with the long white robe then appeared and led me to the garden where I received instruction, after which I was escorted back to my craft and returned to the sea. Upon sighting this particular island I chose to land here. I felt drawn to this place my some irresistible force that called to me.”
“Somehow you knew you belonged here?” inquires a member of the group.
“Well yes,” you add. “This island felt vaguely familiar, something like Home perhaps.”
“And that is so,” another voice chimes in. “When we set out on our respective journeys, we don’t know what we might encounter. But bit by bit pieces are given to us that help us find our way. Eventually that direction becomes better defined and we know more clearly where it is we want to go. When we choose Home, we choose consciously that destination that we recognize as our place of origin. We may never be absolutely certain, but we are confident enough to choose our direction all the same and we return ourselves to where we began.
Once back here we realize that this place is different now as we have traveled far, inwardly and outwardly, and have learned much. So, we are larger and wiser than when we first set out. And now we recognize with greater confidence that place called Home because of the feeling it stirs within us.”
“Yes, I see.” you reply. “This has been a kind of adventure, a dream perhaps, a dream of lost loves and retrieved gifts, a dream of wisdom gained and danger averted, of beginnings and endings and all things in between. Yes, I understand that this journey was my own and, now that I have returned Home safely, I know that I am not alone.”
“And you were never really alone,” they add. “We were there with you all along, sometimes in spirit, sometimes in form. You see, one of us was the giant that you first encountered; another was the amulet that you had lost accidentally. One of us was the wise bearded man who guided you on your instruction and still another was the stone you held tightly in your hand. Some of us were the sea, others the birds above and others were the breeze that took you from shore to shore. All of us were present,” they go on, “to help you find your way. You were never alone, because we were there to guide you and, yes, challenge you, to help you stay focused on direction Home.”
There are smiles everywhere you look now as the group breaks up to return to their homes on the island. You too follow along, making your way up a now familiar path and affirm to yourself once again that Home is always in your heart and you are there by choice.