Island Hopping

This journey started with expectant excitement. I was promised good things to see and do, not only on the way, but at our destination. Now I sit shipwrecked. Alone, on a tiny piece of land in the middle of nowhere. I have to ask, is this what I signed up for?

I can’t drink the water. It’s salty. The lone palm tree has no fruit to drop. The sun shines but I cannot feel its warmth. Skin is burned and I chill. Air is hiding, no breeze to dry my tear drenched face. No companionship, no soft bed, no music to sooth my battered soul. Sand, sea, sun and one tree my only view.

Alone, with unmet needs, broken hopes and crushing disappointment. Is this all there is to life?

I survey my surroundings. The whirring of panic fills me. Will they come find me? Is anyone even looking? How long can I live like this, smothered with a lifetime of broken promises? I had so many hopes, so many dreams. Will they ever come to pass? Am I looking too close at the now instead of fixing upon the future? How long must one wait for the future to arrive? At what point do you just admit defeat and give up?

I am not a coward, nor a quitter, yet the wait is long. Day after endless day I wait and watch, hope and dream. Nothing changes. Not the things I am most looking for anyway. Not those deep buried needs met, those dreams so big they can terrify. No knight in shining armor to sweep me off my feet and make everything okay. This hard place, this is not the fun filled cruise I expected.

I can strike out on my own and try swimming to safety, but which way do I go? How far to the next oasis? How far can I push this aging flesh? Will I ever find what I need, what I seek? Are there any guarantees in this life? Am I ready to risk death and destruction on a maybe I can make it? What are my choices here?

The sun rises high and I relax in a brief moment of shade. Clouds dot the horizon. I’m thirsty. Rain is coming. The wind begins to blow, blessed relief. A wave splashes high and throws a fish onto my tiny dot of sand. I must eat it raw, but it’s food. Interesting how this happens, when I’m at my most desperate, when I think I cannot continue on one more day, grace comes.

I stop and look around. What, in the midst of my darkest hour, can I be grateful for? What good can I find amid despair?

I’m still breathing, for one. Food and water do come. Shade, every day. Stars at night to gaze upon. Sun sparkling upon dancing waves. Ever changing colors of the sea. Warmth and light. Peace filled surroundings. Eyes to see. Hope. If I’m still alive, there is a purpose, there is a reason.

Will I ever see my heart’s desires? Will I ever experience deep held dreams? I don’t know. Only my life’s end will tell the whole story, but today, today I must choose. Either hold on to the dream or let go, believe or give up. Let faith fill my soul one more time, or give in to despondency and fear.

I take a deep breath, feel the freshness of sea misted air. I choose hope one more time. I choose to trust, to believe. When will my salvation come? I don’t know, but until then, I hope.