The Ferryman: Being found by a friend like no other
There is an afternoon moment, late as the sun bids farewell, when in slow, sighfull surrender, it sacrifices its majestic light to be swallowed by its friends both earth and sea. In bidding us witness its daily miracle, a shimmering trace stretches across the sea to you and to me. And if your heart and my heart are opened by a slither of joy, transcending the sorrow of heart’s deep yearnings, the Ferryman may reach us with his gondola of gathered goodness.
Omoondie is the finest Ferryman of the entire universe. As an oarsman he has no equal. So swift are his oar strokes, and so great the wake of the gondola, Stardust, that the shimmering trace of their voyage seems to stretch from setting sun to the tide ebbing against the foreshore right at our very feet? Omoondie would be the first to tell you that this had not always been his repute. He had to learn his skill from his great friend whom he had once dared to call, Star Flinger.
Omoondie had considered himself an orphan and his father wound had caused a lengthy search across so many seas that he had, through necessity, gained great strength as an oarsman. His quest was earnest, yet it took many years to remember that the one who flung stars could be closer to him than a hand dangled in the water as he rested on his oars. This was the one who had indeed had taught him to walk, had fed him, and had held him as child against the softness of his cheek. Star Flinger was the father of fathers and the mothers of mothers as well as the flinger of stars. He had often drawn forth Omoondie’s fragile craft. With a rope of gossamer thinness woven through with loving kindness, Star Flinger had guided him through many a treacherous storm. But it had taken Omoondie more than half a lifetime to remember, what as a youngest child, he had only taken a few months to forget.
Omoondie had been awed by the might of Star Flinger. In the many countries traversed in his long journey, he had consulted sages concerning Star Flinger’s immense powers. One group of sages spoke of a big-bang way of throwing stars. Omoondie thought that Star Flinger had made an enormous noise, like a thunderous cough, that had dislodged the whole cluster of stars he held in his hands, sending them hurtling into space. As he sat in his boat, well out at sea, with the heavens holding masses of stars, he had wondered how many times Star Flinger must have erupted in thunderous bouts of coughing. Other sages were dismissive of Star Flinger altogether, and wrote complex equations on expansive blackboards to make up for what, the unscientific Omoondie, had noted as some minor oversight. A few sages spoke of Star Flinger ability to fill his vast cloak with stars and with a masterly sweep, fling them from its folds. They had speculated that he could draw them in with a return sweep, though to date their meticulous measurements, calculated in light-years, had only recorded their outward propulsion.
Unconvinced by the legions of sages, and now somewhat less concerned with the immensity of power in the universe, Omoondie continued his search. A definite shift in his course had occurred after he intuited being guided through some extremely treacherous storms, when he had given himself up for dead. His question, now directed inwards, though occasionally asked of a sage, concerned more the person of Star Flinger, not so much to know his power, but to know his heart. And it only took one more experience of being guided, after Omoondie had named his craft lost and his person dead, that one failing heart encountered a strong but gentle other. It was from this heart that Omoondie gained his adoption, and surrendered his life as oarsman in the service of his foster Father.
As Omoondie carried precious cargoes for his new-found Father, committing all his strength and willing to each voyage, his giftedness flourished and his skill sharpened. Special to him now were those trips in which, through sickness and failing physical strength, others had been sent to relieve him at his oars. They would bring him special food and news of his Father, who would say: “Omoondie, my son, more than your great skill and courage at your oars, I esteem your love.” And then at night, as Omoondie would gaze at his Father’s Heavens, he would call to him as “Gentle Father, and, Great King of Light.” On those nights Omoondie knew that each star had had been specially spoken and put in place as an act of love. He knew of the light years, sometimes counted in millions, it could take for the love dust of that star to touch the earth. And now, as it did, Omoondie would scoop it into his gondola, Stardust, and bring it, infused with the Creator’s love, along the shimmering pathway, across the water to you and to me.