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Exodus 4 Part I

Exodus4 (Part 1)

The wooden toy boat made of a four inch square piece of wood, a stick glued in the center, and a torn piece of canvas to mimic a sail swayed to and fro in the tide pool. The stick poking through the sail to give it stability was actually a splintered piece of wood from a dowel which at one time had been part of a rigging on a real boat. Overhead, a typical late morning/early afternoon Caribbean sun beamed down making the crude makeshift sail shadow cover this toy relic.

A man named Marcus was sitting amidst some rocks forming a tide pool in a cove engaging this toy boat he had crafted a few days prior. He would nudge it every so often with his fingers to put it once again in motion since there was no breeze this Jamaican day to move it between the rocks he was sitting on. The hand crafted boat would just calmly move and spin in the water as the low tide would ebb in and out. He would move it, then lose himself in its motions, almost hypnotized by its cadence until it stopped and he would then repeat the process again. His mind would wander as he imagined what could have been on a boat so many miles away in the sea of his memories.

Where had he gone wrong? Although he was at peace to whatever degree possible for the experiences of the past couple of years, his mind kept taking him to events that may have turned out differently had he acted differently. Did he trust too much? Was he obsessed with a dream that could never be masquerading as a shaky plan at best? Why was he punishing himself with these memories? What could he have done differently when what he wanted to do seemed such a possibility even if not probable? As he watched his toy which was constructed from salvage pieces of one of his long since dismantled real ships, the question of what might have been seemed to imprint on his mind, perhaps his very soul, a destiny unfulfilled.

The what-ifs and would-be’s were accompanied with the usual self doubts whenever one has a goal in reach that is just out of reach. He knew what he had done was with well intentions and for good reason. He was aware of how close he came to seeing a well thought out plan come to fruition. He had spoken to many people who supported his dream and assumed co-ownership of the dream.

He also realized that his paradox was not so uncommon amongst those like himself, who had tried to liberate the people. Many had tried in his time and before his time to do what he had attempted to do. What he didn’t know, what Marcus couldn’t know, is that there would be many after him that would try and he would become a future symbol of the efforts to liberate, at the very least.

For now, the fork encountered on the road to his destiny was all he could think about. It was of little consequence to him whoever else had dared to do something greater than themselves for the greater good of the people and he definitely had no crystal ball to veer into tomorrow at future failures and disappointments, his or anyone else’s.

Marcus knew that the problems were always going to be the same today, tomorrow, whenever. He had learned the lesson, frustrating as it was. The faces of the dream destroyers may change but the methodology is always the same. If it weren’t bad enough these insiders who looked like family were the perpetrators of betrayal, the saddest part is that they ALWAYS destroy from a space of fear and ignorance, even the very instrument of their own liberation.

Marcus looked up at the bright radiant sun beaming down on him and then let his eyes pan across the Caribbean blue waters here on the island beach, momentarily letting his mind be taken by the beauty he was beholding here. The calm seas and the sounds of the water hitting the rocks in the cove were mesmerizing to him. He thought for a moment of his youth when he and the other children would play at the beach and talk of dreams of going to America one day.

The Americas. The place where dreams would come true. He and his friends would talk about taking a ride on a great sailing ship to the place of wonder. They would grow up and do something great in America and then come home to Jamaica and share their fortunes and stories of the coloured brethren they met. It was nice for them to dream. It was a different reality when Marcus got there, yet his desire to do something for the people had not faltered. He met the coloured people of America. He found kindred in some, disdain in others.

For now, looking down at the Caribbean waters that made the perfect mirror, this was a good time. The water so fresh and clear and clean that Marcus looked at his reflection on the surface of the water he was sitting near. He saw the face of a man determined yet momentarily defeated. Destiny is a strange kind of lover, he thought. Affectionate, yet moody, cooperative at times yet unforgiving for error. Willing to hold your hand and embrace you, yet quick to tease and pull away. Always running as long as you are chasing her.

At least he was home and this was by any standards still a paradise. They say home is where the heart lives after all, and his heart was homestead. He could live with that. He had no choice and Jamaica is not a bad consolation for final destination even if it was already a familiar to him.

His trip may have been planned for the shores of Mother Africa, but these waters of the island were a far cry from being stuck in a place called New York that had broken your heart. As he continued to muse and console himself, his reflection actually smiled back at him for a few seconds and he briefly let thoughts of trying again enter his mind. What if…

Just then a voice broke his trance and the silence, “Nice isn’t it?”.

Marcus looked up and there above him on the plateau of rocks a few feet away from where he was sitting stood a somewhat tall and lanky silhouette of a man. Marcus squinted because the stranger stood directly in line with the overhead sun. He put his hand over his brow so he could discern the stranger’s face standing here. He had been so engrossed in his thoughts he hadn’t heard him walk up.

“I say it’s beautiful, the water.” The stranger spoke once more.

Marcus replied, ‘Yes sir, it is very beautiful.” He still could not see the stranger’s face and he also noticed his accent was not a Caribbean accent nor was it that of an Englishman yet somehow it sounded familiar.

“I notice you have a toy boat there Marcus”, said the stranger.

“May I ask how you know my name sir?” was Marcus’s reply.

[_“What you did was the right thing to do Marcus…” _]

He seemed to ignore Marcus’s question and continued to speak. “The timing _][_wasn’t right, not now, but it will be. Find peace in that, you will see your destiny come to fruition and you will know when it is your time.”

Marcus listened attentively, letting himself absorb the messenger’s statement. Just then the stranger raised both of his hands to form a semi-circle and as he did that, Marcus, still looking at his silhouette in the sun, was momentarily blinded as the sunlight behind the stranger suddenly got brighter and more intense. Marcus reacted by turning his head and rubbing his eyes. When he looked back a second or two later, the man standing on the rocks had disappeared.

He then stood up, looked left and then right and the stranger was nowhere to be seen. He had simply vanished from the cove and there were no footprints, nowhere, nothing. As he turned to look back at his toy boat, a vortex appeared on the tide pool surface in the cove and there now was cast an image of his real sailing ship, the S.S. Yarmouth progressing on the sea, freshly painted and in immaculate condition against a moonlit sky full of stars.

He also noticed a translucent flying machine of some sort suspended in the vision above his ship. As he watched this apparition, slowly it began to fade into the vortex on the water until it returned to the calmness it had been before this sequence of events. His toy boat was once more as it was only now the canvas sail had some peculiar symbols on it.

“I must be losing my mind”, he thought. “Am I going mad?”

Just then the voice of the messenger spoke inside Marcus’s head, “No you are not insane Marcus, it is not your time…yet, as I told you.”

Marcus stood there momentarily, still doubting his sanity. He took one last look at the boat he had constructed floating there in the water of the tide pool. He looked up once more at the sun that had also returned to its normal brightness. He then stepped up onto the rocks where the stranger had delivered his message, then onto the sand of the beach and walked away, still thinking and attempting to rationalize what had just transpired. He never returned to this spot the rest of his life and never told the story of what happened this day to anyone.

Destiny may yet prove herself to be quite a lover after all…

Exodus 4 Part I

  • Author: Nathen Lytner
  • Published: 2016-02-15 03:20:06
  • Words: 1633
Exodus 4 Part I Exodus 4 Part I