The Finding of the Lost Sleep

ocean swells

He walked down the path that led to the sea. Every few paces he plucked the bright white wool from the rosebushes that lined the way. Each piece went into the sack, which bulged with the blazing stuff. It had been a long day, and he was ready to sleep.

At last, the sea! Would every meeting be such a thrill? The red orb had slipped under, and twilight greeted him as he arrived at the shore. He saw the man in the distance beneath a large fig tree, poking at the embers of the fire before him. The pile of kindling, which had been burning all day, had been reduced to ashes and a few branches. The man beckoned, and he stepped lightly toward him.

As he approached, he tied the end of the sack closed, and knelt.

“Did you find them all?” the man asked softly.

“Every slain hour … “the walker replied.

“… minute and second. For my time is now your time,” the man finished.

Perspective shifted, and it was I that held out the sack turned pillow to him. “You never had a place to rest your head.”

The man looked at me and smiled. “I thank you.” He placed it behind his head and leaned back against the broad trunk of the tree, and then looked out over the waters.

“We will cross tomorrow. You may look upon the foundations 0f the sea and sky if you wish.” He turned to me, “Many are waiting for you on the far shore.”

I took a turn prodding the smoldering pile. “I think my fear is nearly gone.”

“But first you must rest.”

I leaned back against him, and looked out to follow his gaze. His hand rested on my shoulder, and I was jealous of my namesake no longer. The swells arrived in time to the rising and falling of his chest, and this was right, for was he not the heart of the world?

Drifting and drifting, my eyes closed at last, and at the end of the first day I slept. It would last as long as it needed to. By the morning the last of the kindling would be gone, and the wind would have carried the ashes away.


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