The Living Island
Title: The living Island
Author: April Ann Roy
Writing Prompt #2
Source of Photo: unknown
It hung mid-air as if gravity was an outdated construct.
The floating mass of land was like an inverted pyramid without obvious corners and topped with a gigantic, healthy Boab tree.
My mouth was a cavern, my eyes two gleaming and desirous serving plates.
“I need to touch that tree.” I mumbled it to the wind. As if they spoke my language, two hummingbirds circle me, buzzing their encouragement toward the strange island.
Without much thought, I followed their lead through the tall, shimmering grass that grew clear up to the edge of the cliff near me. Below was the ocean’s steel blue depths and the beach-less rocky shore. It was an unusually calm day, so the waves came in for an easy landing before they pulled back out into the endless expanse.
The hummingbirds whizzed by me again, grabbing my attention. Is it possible for these little creatures to be able to pull me with their energy? Because I drifted closer to the edge without much of my own force, just far enough to be able to see around a cluster of unfamiliar bushes.
It was at that moment that I was thankful for my poor navigating skills. Glad to be lost actually.
The hovering island came into full view against the backdrop of the exuberant blue sky with its friendly, cotton ball clouds drifting slowly to the east. It took my breath away. Both hummingbirds darted and dove in reaction to my elation.
Surrounding the great Boab, which was in the center of this land, were flowers in full bloom, the color of burnt umber. Hanging from the perimeter were long tendrils of dusk purple foliage, swaying in the kind breeze. And then, I saw the long, bright green vines connecting this piece of earth to the mainland.
It felt like sunrise.
The moment when that star’s first rays flood over the horizon and light the world.
Without thinking, I dropped my heavy backpack that I’d forgotten I had over my shoulder and went running for the cliff’s brink. My little winged friends followed me. Stopping abruptly, where rock met air, my body fell to the ground, my arms reached out and touched the thick, dense, braided vines.
Had someone done all this work?
I glanced around.
It was obvious I was alone.
I tugged on nature’s bridge that connected where I was to where I wanted to go. Beautifully sturdy. Wide too. At least 4 feet, enough for me to feel safe crossing the length. How far was it? Maybe about the length of a city block.
Cautiously, I leaned forward, first one hand, then the other. One knee, then the other. My body swayed with the living link. I smiled and continued on.
If there was such a thing as fear, I didn’t know it anymore, so I stood up, feeling the exhilaration from being halfway between here and there.
I couldn’t help but look down. Then back from where I came. It was then I realized I had nothing to take pictures with. My camera and phone were in my backpack. No one was going to believe this. I didn’t believe it.
Turning back to the floating mass of rock and nature, I walked on vines groaning in a happy sort of way. The closer I got, the lighter I felt…until, when I reached the island, I swear I nearly bounced with each step. I wasn’t exactly weightless, it just felt easier to move and breathe. So much less struggle to exist.
With one foot, I stepped off the vine bridge, half expecting the ground to press down a little like a floating dock in water. But it was solid in the air.
When both feet were on the ground, a sweet smell, thick enough to eat filled my senses. Something I’d never smelled before. A flower, mixed with bakery, mixed with…is it possible to smell what this scene looks like?
The entire island was full of life. Birds flying in and out of the heights of the Boab tree and around in the sky. Small animals of every kind, dancing through the grasses and colorful array of flowers. There were insects too, but they didn’t bother me. Every little creature was an ally with the other. A seamless existence.
I strolled further into the land, seeing now that it stretched as wide around as the length of a football field and that the great Boab was nearly two houses wide. As I approached the tree, something inside felt like home. More than I had ever felt it. My eyes welled up with tears of relief. Such a familiar feeling here.
Sinking to the ground at the foot of the great tree, I let myself be cradled by the strong, thick roots that stuck out from the soil. Boab was speaking to me. So, I closed my eyes and settled deep into the sensation of complete contentment.
The music of the leaves rustling in the soft breeze playing in tune with all the other singing of the birds and chattering of the creatures. I needed nothing else. I was worthy of this holy ground. Everything was right. There wasn’t a thing to change or fix. My own laughter sprung my eyes open.
From where I sat, the vine bridge was clearly visible. My red backpack a small hump among the grass farther away.
Just then, I felt a gentle movement. The bridge grew taught and soon the vines were creaking and sighing, then snapping and releasing until every last green braid was detached. I watched in silent wonder as the space between mainland and the island grew larger and larger.
I noticed the sounds of the wildlife around me grow as silent as I did, each and every one of them was calmed to rest by the drifting of their home.
Out over the sea we went, traveling smoothly and slowly, all of us quiet as the shoreline became nothing more than horizon.
At that moment I know this floating island was alive. Our energy intertwined. Every living thing in harmony, causing the movement by the will of our pure hearts. We were sailing away in the sky sea on an island that was alive.