The Island

Posted: February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

There once was a tiny island in the midst of a great ocean.. It was small enough to walk the entire shoreline in less than a day and had a single mountain range centered high, from one end of the tiny island to the other…I know. It sounds contradictory, but just follow along…

Now, there were people on this island. They had been ashore long enough to choose the most comfortable places for themselves. Most lived on the flat ground below, near sea level, where food and water were much more, easily attained and their gatherings for feasts and revelry enjoyed plenty of space. Peculiar, as it seemed to them, there were also a few people who, for whatever reason, had chosen to dwell on the wind driven and blustery ridge, high above. They seemed happier residing on dangerous and rocky ground, where the weather would often batter their abodes and made it hard to sleep peacefully. Those living below, who were surrounded by plush, tropical beauty and were often lulled into mid-day nappings, could never understand why, though the people from the hill claimed they could see better and would shout loudly, from time to time, about who knows what. It seemed preposterous to the lowlanders that trekking up and down a steep and dangerous mountain each day for food and water would be a more acceptable way of life. It was common, anyway, to hear them speak of seeing great things, as they looked out from their hill. It was for such reasons as this, that they considered the hill folk “out of their minds” and had not much to do with them. In fact, on rare occasion, someone from below would begin ascending the mountain and would sooner or later, adapt that way of life, as those below watched them begin to tell the same tall tales, like the others did. To be sure, this had a negative impact in the relationships between the two clans, as those below began regarding the others with less than good will, as if they had stolen something precious from them. Stories were often told at night, around the campfires of those who were content enough to stay low and keep their feet warm in the sand, near waves that constantly rose and fell, creating beautiful walls of salt water that would rhythmically bring slumber… They would laugh and carouse amongst themselves at night about the crazy people on the hill.
So it came to pass, that early one morning, as the flatlanders slept, while the peak of the island was rising to meet the dawn, that the ridge folk began with a terrible ruckus. The sounds from the hill echoed down, down; stirring those below, inconveniently. What was it that they were saying? Was it something about pirate ships? No matter, they thought… They have just been too long upon the hill, where the howling ocean winds and the shade-less peaks offered no peaceful rest, slowly eating away at their sanity. So, they ignored the yells from above and returned to their slumber…
The rest, as they say, is a foregone conclusion.

(Part 2)

-they say, that sometimes, the wind sounds like voices. Of course, when you start talking like that, people begin to think you may have gone off the deep end. Could it be, that those who think that, have just never listened intently enough?
One by one, each person leaves the cozy campfire at the beach, to go up the hill. Some are lost in the jungle before they begin the ascent. Some start to traverse the hill, only to find that their soft soles are no match for the rugged terrain that meets them, and so, they turn around and return to comfort. Some will travel a part of the way, stopping to enjoy the expanded view of the foothills. Before long, their stomachs whine at them, from being empty, and so they return with a story of what it was like to climb the hill and how nice it is to feel the warmth of the fire again, as they feast on the day’s catch and drink newly fomented coconut wine. Others will push on to the elevation that is commonly occluded by a fog. Fearing they might become lost, they shrink back and retreat to what they know, below… Those with much ego and pride who make it this far often make up stories of their experience and exaggerate the length of their climb, since those below would not know that they had failed to reach their intended destination. Always, though, their story must remain consistent with the previous stories told, so as not to make it obvious that there was something amiss. The summary of the story is simply, a rugged and gut wrenching ascent, little shade along the way and at the peak, there was a nice view by day and howling winds and rain when the tempest blew; an uncomfortable, rocky, cold and boring existence at best. Since they had not actually been there to gain the full experience, there was always a part of the story that was missing, though they realized it, not. Surely, on the beach and just inside the tree line of the shore, was the perfect place to reside, for they had everything they could desire; fruit from the trees and bushes, cool-running freshwater streams, wildlife to hunt and fish for, palm fronds to fan themselves with on hot days and perfectly formed waves to ride. A well-hidden and shallow lagoon to frolic and swim in was just steps away; steps on warm, soft sand. There were certainly no coconuts and berries to make fruit wine with, way up there. Even if there were, you would not have the nice sand to fall on, when you drank too much. The rocks were definitely not conducive to the nightly party. Nor, would you want to wake up the next day at noon, still dizzy from the effects and have to navigate on those damned rocks… in the oh-so-bright noonday sun. Better to wake under the shade of a palm, with a slight tropical breeze, hearing the waves crash a hundred yards away…

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