I open my eyes to sunrise. The colors melt together in an unbelievable display of oranges and pinks, vibrantly soft in every hue. I glance at Aneta who is already standing toward sunrise, savoring every bit of newness that comes with another day. 

I see Stella sitting on the edge of Peace, transfixed with how the light plays on Ocean water. She looks stronger today. I sit beside her and only then do I notice the tiniest blue blossoms weaving in and out of the greenest leaves I’ve ever seen. Aneta said there would be beauty for Stella.

Aneta was right.

“That is the prettiest shade of green I’ve ever seen, Stella. I’m so glad it’s yours.” 

Stella smiles her thanks, still speechless by whatever journey brought her to this point. I’ll ask her about it another day. Stella needs time to process and heal, to discover this new gratitude welling within her. 

I give Stella a quick hug and remind her to look at the sunrise before it’s gone for the day. And she looks up immediately, anxious not to miss it.

Aneta yells across the small width of our floating home, “Well, it’s stunning isn’t it? Maybe the best one I’ve seen these last thirty or so years!” 

I nod in agreement, but Aneta’s admission causes my heart to sink all the way to my feet. Thirty years or more? I double over, and my pain whispers to me the potential years and years I may spend out here. Ocean is no short season.

And yet, Aneta’s reality has been revealed with her voice overcome by wonder. I look at Aneta framed by the softest morning light and cannot understand how her harsh reality has no power over her. Instead, Aneta radiates life. Even yesterday when she screamed so loud my ears bled, there was still a presence of hope and light in her eyes. As if she knew help was on the way.

I think about last night’s sunset being the picture of Aneta herself. I think about the glorious sunrise this morning and Aneta responding with genuine shouts of happiness. I think about Aneta’s conversation with the Light-Maker the first day I came here. I recall every other time I saw her lips moving while she faced the sky, savoring every minute of a conversation always belonging to them. 

I exhale sharply having no clue I had been holding my breath since Aneta’s admission of thirty years.

The last time I spoke to the Light-Maker, I was just a girl in the meadow wearing a dress I loved but didn’t create. All the thoughts about my meadow and Young Maryn come rushing back full force.

Suddenly, I understand why Young Maryn would send out the last living geranium to Ocean. She was the tiny part of me that could remember what real and true life felt like, and she knew Ocean held what my Island could never become. If Young Maryn hadn’t pushed the last sign of life out to sea, the gut-wrenching loss of the beautiful Island I made with my hands would have driven me to despair.

Instead, the deep Ocean has exposed the apathy in me and true life has begun to emerge. I smile, relieved. Ocean is better than my Island! But relief is swiftly replaced by a shaky, haunted gasp when I recall Old Maryn. She makes sense now too. 

Old Maryn was a glimpse of who I’d be if I stayed. My casket would be made of all my unfulfilled and empty things. The dead geraniums around my body would be all I could see–the sum and demise of my own hand-crafted world. Seeing Old Maryn felt like a nightmare, but it was actually a moment of grace.

Oh yes, Ocean is terrifying and barren, but it is the best place to see the most light. Ocean is unpredictable and unexpected, but Peace is always there and flowers are made and given without even a hint of soil to house them. These are miracles. . .gifts. I’d rather be in terrifying Ocean than in a casket I made for myself.

I miss my days in the meadow before I naively escaped to an Island built with my idea of better things! I miss singing and dancing to the light in the sky! I miss the Light-Maker and all the conversations we used to have. But He’s filled terrifying Ocean with a thousand displays of light and given me a million moments to wake up to life.

I hear Aneta and Stella talking over breakfast. Laughter mingles with their conversation and if I wasn’t so intent on speaking to the Light-Maker, I would join their banter. But a conversation with the One I have ignored for so long is pressing deep into my heart.

I don’t want to be overcome by Ocean, but I do want to be amazed by the light and life that happens here. . .despite how uncontrollable and scary this Ocean is to me. Aneta’s happy exclamation this morning is proof to me that conversations with the Light-Maker is the strongest way to talk back to the fear of terror and time.

My dress is vibrant this morning. Better than it’s ever looked before. Every experience of grace, every moment of slow healing, every choice to make space, every small action of loving someone else, and every day I’ve admired the sunrise and sunset enhances the undeserved beauty present.

But I’m nervous to start a conversation. I’m nervous to speak.

I clear my throat. Why am I nervous? I used to not only talk to the Light-Maker, but sing to Him! I can almost hear the old tunes of our sunrises and sunsets. I command my breathing to slow down. He still knows me. Every flower on my dress is proof. 

I hear Aneta and Stella cleaning up from breakfast. I have no courage, but I offer myself to the Light-Maker anyway. I will no longer build my own casket kind of life. My words are choppy, but they finally break loose.

“I’m here. . .and I’m back for good.”

It’s all I am able to say. Every other word in me has dried up, but I feel no pressure to force anything else out. I feel no anxiety at my simplistic words of reunion. 

And I remember all over again how the Light-Maker doesn’t expect a flowery expression from me, but He does delight in hearing the voice of the one He gives flowers too.

Copyright © 2019 Sierra V. Fedorko, All rights reserved.

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