a story

She paddles soft across the dark water, having slipped out of her tent in the night, awakened by something – a dream, or perhaps it was the moon. When she’d lain down at last to sleep, the sky had been littered with stars, but somehow they’d cleared a space for the moon. She knew it was her fullness that had, in truth, created the pathway, though it was nice to imagine those stars had quieted down for her of their own accord.

She paddles, that pregnant fullness guiding her, creating the pathway across the dark water to the other side.

The water is quiet now, not like earlier in the day, when the clouds, in their blowing over, had dispersed their turbulence onto the waves. It had been too difficult to keep the canoe quartering those waves in order to reach the far shore, and she’d towed her craft to the nearest shoreline, made camp where the elements had dropped her.

Waited.

At this moment, as she paddles, a loon calls, unanswered, from the far bay where it bobs, giving her pause. She rests her paddle across the gunwales, bobs herself for a while. Listens.

Where is the answer?

Something has been stirring in her depths, awakened in the fullness of time, having incubated for so long beneath the surface. She’s been brooding over these waters for some time now, yearning for something to be drawn forth, at last, into being.

This is no Leviathan, no menacing monster of the deep, of which she should be afraid. Someone had suggested perhaps a mermaid, as they’d seen in her one who breathes and swims comfortably at depths but struggles – losing some part of herself in the bargain – to navigate on dry land.  But she is not willing to sell her voice this time in order to bring her forth. No, this stirring feels more life-giving than that, like something full pressing to be born.

This week she’d witnessed, from her quiet seat on the shoreline, life emerge from behind and beneath the places it hides. One morning, an otter, sliding like silk through the water, surfaced before her, a fish in its mouth, so close she could hear it crunching the nourishment it had drawn up from below. Another morning, this same not-so-distant shore to which she now paddled emerged, awash in autumn’s vibrance, from behind a curtain of fog so heavy the outline of it feminine contours had been wholly imperceptible.

Of course, the fog was not, in truth, impenetrable, merely water through which she might easily pass. Yet without a compass, she feared getting lost again.

What is it that draws back a curtain of fog? Something to do with heat, no doubt. Something stirring the embers awake.

The haunting call of the loon again awakens her from her reverie. She has heard it said that when Loon appears in your life, She is calling you to pay attention to your dreams— that those hopes, wishes and dreams you have tucked into the back of your heart are about to surface. In calling them forth, Loon may be signaling you to not compromise them again, or you may find yourself truly haunted.

She picks up her paddle, turns the canoe back around from its slow drifting course, finds the moonpath again upon the dark water, and sets her course for that woman-shaped, autumn-blazed island across this deep body of water.

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  1. Trackback: Simplicity? | Emmaatlast's Weblog

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M.C. Reardon

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