Episode 8. The Lemurian Archipelago.
My visit with Gail and Lois at the Gypsy Camp had renewed my spirit. The warm welcome of fellow travellers and the sharing of their stories had affirmed for me the common essence of humanity and my place in it: the tales of everyone who faces the demons and come out the other side exultant to see the stars again. Somewhow, we had all managed to put Sybil in a relatively inaccessible corner of our consciousness. Something we would deal with later, if the unlikely necessity ever arose.
Day turned to dusk and dark. We stoked the fire and our conversation lapsed as we lay back to take in the magnificence sparkling overhead. A shooting start scudded and fell earthwards, and we all closed our eyes, wishing, wishing. Finally sleeping.
When I awoke, Orion had shifted to the far horizon. Gail and Lois were still peacefully asleep, their relaxed countenances testifying to satisfying dreams. Dancing in the air around me was my old "guide", the pinprick of luminescence. I knew from past experience that where she beckoned, I followed. Wistfully, regretfully, I gathered my scattered belongings. In my heart I knew that Gail and Lois had many friends and activities planned and were keen to participate in the morning's revelries. I was just grateful that they had so willingly spent the time with me.
The birds were starting into their morning chorus and I knew dawn was not far behind. At last I would see the sunrise I had envisaged when I packed my ever reliant Polartec so many days ago. Finally Appollo burst out of the ocean in a blaze of undoubtable energy and optimism which swept me with it. My guiding light had vanished on the first sunbeam. The sea was still and calm and a translucent aqua with deeper azure hints indicating submerged reefs. An archipelago of small islands was coming into prominence as the sun intensified.
Slipping my clothes into my thankfully waterproof pack, I waded in and pushed off aiming for a particularly small island lying about 500 yards offshore. A combination of side-stroke and dog paddle plus a receding tide made for a relatively short journey. I cannot deny that the buoyancy of the pack was as important as my flagging overarm.
You would be forgiven for thinking I had fabricated this entire story, but the white beaches which surrounded this island were the introduction to my wildest dreams come true. I lost track of time....what is time anyhow when one can dream a whole life in the passing of a few minutes?
Days passed, and weeks and months as I revelled in this magical place. Not magical because of mermaids or dolphins or such imaginings....magical because of its simplicity. Because of its ordinariness. And the beauty in that ordinariness.
I lived in a small hut, not far from the beach. Sandy and simple. With a banging front door and a stylised mermaid the sole ornament. A white poster bed, deep and downy, ensured I slept on a cloud. A pile of books and a comfy chair nearby, which I slipped into after my morning swim in a sea which rolled in and bubbled like champagne as the waves broke. Afternoons would see me exploring the island and delighting in each discovery. Myriads of tiny shells, secretive coves, flocks of colourful parrots which swooped past my deck each evening. Wildflowers underfoot.
Many moons would pass before my guiding light would reappear and lead me back to the rollicking, tumultuous, vibrant and unpredictable world I had retreated from.