13 August 2009

The Sentinels

I wasn't too sure what a sentinel was when it popped into my head while trying to get to sleep after a magical episode on the beach, and I knew that I would have to wait until I returned to the real world to research its meaning. My favorite source of clarity is the thesaurus. The online Thesaurus defines a sentinel as a sentry and gives the following synonyms: guard, keeper, lookout, picket, protector, watchman/woman, watchperson.

When we arrived at Cumberland Island, we got an absolute fear talk from the park Ranger in regards to all the DANGEROUS wildlife on the island including the horses that, he led us to believe, would just as much eat your scalp or stomp you as look at you. He instilled an alarm that resulted in near phobia in regards to the horses on the island. With that in mind, uneasiness and trepidation steeped the following experience enhancing it to the tenth degree. It wouldn't have been nearly as mythological without the underlying concern that we could get stomped to death.

The Walk To The Beach

the Moon Goddess beckoned
as all her fullness
hung low above the ocean

in the dark of night
armed with only a flashlight
a walk
to the beach
through the woods,
with low thick branches
covered with dangling
spidery spanish moss,
and the sand dunes,
marked with the shadows
of plants
reflecting eerie white,
channeled stirrings
of mystique, apprehension
and veneration

on the boardwalk
a young couple stood
perched on the bench
and peering
toward the water
alarmed us
"horses. the horses
are there to the left."

BB courageously
walked the boardwalk
towards the sandy path

after hearing the horses
running through the Sea Camp trails
the night before
there was no predicting
what might happen
they were spooked towards us
there would be

walking on the beach path
BB advanced
as I clung to the soft sand
on the edge
of the dunes
her excitement rising
with each step

her flashlight caught the eye
of a horse eating
sea oats
in a dune
that marked
the gate
to the beach
she continued to close in
my fear welling
in the deepest part of
my gut

calling her back
to the region of the boardwalk
the other couple left their perch to stand with us
the male of our foursome
walked alone to the edge
where the horses stood
his girlfriend afraid
that he would get stomped
I called him back
through the wind
unsure if my warning
met his ears

soon enough
he returned
then all four of us
slowly crept
the sandy path
towards the horses

as on cue
the horses lined up
the main horse
stood at the highest point
in a break between two dunes
facing us
the other horses
flanked his sides
creating an arc with
their frames
like sentinels
behind the sand knolls
awaiting a possible battle
or only allowing the
worthy to pass

we slowly approached
with reverence and
three of the four humans faced
the horses
standing no less than ten feet from them
barely breathing

not stopping
nor slowing my pace
I looked up
made eye contact
and nodded to the lead sentry
in a sign of
and gratitude
and complete awe
then skirted the narrow
between the creatures and
the wide open beach

the beach stretched
for an eternity
as Her Divine Majesty
hung over the water
Her powerful pull
lulling me on
knowing that at any instant
the horses could stampede
and trample me from behind
at once I made peace
with the fate that may mark
my end

stride quickening
I darted
the full moon

breathing deeply
the air
feeling foreign
not filling me
my skin gasping
with every pore opened
needing quenching
thirsting deeply for the
like a mermaid out of water
needing to reconnect
with her home

keeping careful eye
of the tide markings
I deliberately placed my shoes
on the highest ground
walked down to the water
baby waves
licked at my ankles
looking back to find BB standing close by
I handed her my glasses
I told her not to worry
that I would return

with the water covering my feet
and the overwhelming need
to immerse myself in
the ocean's
healing waters
I walked into the sea
with the full moon
aligning with my heart
and dove into an oncoming wave

under the water
all was silent
and dark
and pure

aligning my chakras
with the moon
I surfaced
in the distance
from a cloud illuminated pink
by a storm
lightning hit the water
Thor making His presence known
as the power of the
embraced me

salt in the form of tears
now flowing from within
I cried out in
human pain
feeling my grounded soul
yearning for the touch of
the Divine
my Earthly bond
and my soul's purpose for this life

filled with relief and calm
clothes, hair and skin dripping water
I turned back towards the land
impregnated with gratitude
ready to begin
knowing that I had indeed
touched the mythical