Authors: B. Roman
Onboard the Miracle Ship, preparations are being made for Isaac's and Janice's wedding. The deck and salon are lushly adorned with lilies, orchids and tulips in red, white and yellow. A wedding cake in the shape of the Nickerson family's historic Victorian home is splendidly iced in white cream, with a rooftop and shutters fashioned out of fresh red edible flowers. The ship's crew wears winter white suits with red boutonnières, with the Captain in full dress as the officiator of the ceremony.
Heather, who has been ferried over for the wedding festivities, giggles with delight along with Sally over their dusty rose colored silk organza bridesmaid dresses and helps Janice with the elegant floral spray in her shiny ebony hair fashioned in a beautiful ribboned braid.
There is no need for David to help Isaac with a bow tie, for he has opted instead for a cool blue silk tunic and white pants as a complement to Janice's ice blue linen sheath.
David wears the blue monogrammed shirt that his mother made for him, the one he wore to visit her at the cemetery where he went to talk with her, to find out why she died and left him all alone.
Just as now, it had been a day of celebration as well as a day of mourning…
Isaac, David and Sally laid flowers on Billie Nickerson's grave and after some sentimental tears and memories, they then enjoyed a dinner at their favorite restaurant on Lighthouse Point to celebrate what would have been Isaac's and Billie's wedding anniversary.
But sullen and maudlin, David needed more from his mother that day. He needed to actually talk with her. Listening to his Aunt Dorothy who suggested David needed to get back to working with his crystals again, he gathered them up along with the Singer and headed for the cemetery. In front of his mother's grave stone, he paced back and forth, kicked up some loose dirt, and teetered back and forth on his heels.
Finally David blurted out, “Why is this so hard. All I want to do is talk to – “ David choked on the words. “Just talk to you, Mom. But how do I know you can hear me now? You didn't hear me in the hospital when I begged you not to die. Maybe you don't want to. Maybe it's so great where you are that you don't want to know about us anymore. You don't want to know about our problems and how much we need you. Is that it? Did you get tired of being needed so much, of always having us on you about something? Mom, fix my lunch. Mom, ask Dad if I can stay out late tonight. Mom, I'm not a kid anymore. Leave me alone…leave me alone…”
David dropped to his knees and cried all the tears he hadn't let himself cry for months, rivers of tears, flowing in torrents, so many tears that his eyes swelled up and his nose ran. He wiped it with the back of his hand.
“Damn it! Why didn't you listen to me,” he had yelled, pounding the ground with his fist. “Do you have any idea what's happened since you left? Dad nearly died himself from the guilt. Sally's legs are useless. And me - I'm a mess. I don't know what happened to me. I went to some strange place on this mystery ship and had all kinds of insane things happen - a storm, and monsters, and…and all kinds of wonderful things, too. There was a girl there. I think I loved her and I think she loved me…
“Mom, I could hear there. I could hear everything, but I don't understand how or why. And I can't talk to anybody about it. Not Dad or Aunt Dorothy, though she'd understand probably more than anybody. Not to Sally - she'd believe anything I said, she believes in me so much. But I let them both down. I don't have any special gifts,” he sobbed softly, “except in my dreams. The worst part is that I'm so mad all the time. Aunt Dorothy thinks I'm mad at you. She told me to come here today, to talk to you about my crystals, and maybe I'd stop being so mad.”
David removed his crystals from the silk pouch and laid them out on the grave by the headstone in the mystical Star of David gridwork pattern with the Singer crystal at the apex.
“The last time I did this, I was taken far away. Maybe I can do it again. Only this time, I want to be with you, Mom. I want to see you face to face again so I can understand why you left and what I have to live for!”
The relentless sun bore down on the cemetery and on Billie Nickerson's grave. The Singer glinted and sparkled, creating a glare so strong that David had to shield his eyes.
Encased in a mantle of white light, obscuring his view of everything around him, David heard a soft hum that built to a frequency so shrill he squeezed his hands over his ears. The unbearable tenor persisted and David protectively pulled out his hearing aid. But instead of total silence, the piercing tone became a celestial voice, unlike anything David could ever imagine, sweeter even than Saliana's song. David looked up and the marble angel guarding his mother's grave was with him in the light. He swore she was singing to him. In the intense, blinding radiance, the angel's wing cracked as though struck by a bolt of lightning.
The vision before him was more than David could comprehend, holographic at first, an image from a distant dimension, shimmering and ephemeral. But a vision so warm, so embracing that David moved toward it, willingly, longingly, unafraid. It took shape, form, content. Her gold hair moved freely in the gentle wind. She was more lovely, more serene, than he'd ever seen her. Had it not been for the dress, David would not have been so certain who she was. The pink sheath, the one she made, the one they buried her in, caressed her body demurely. She was vibrant, breathtaking, alive, and her touch was real. And she spoke:
“I'm here, David. I'm here. I will always be here, though you won't always know me. Take the journey, David. Take the journey and I will take it with you…”
That was months ago, before David's transport to Coronadus on the Moon Singer, and before he met Bianca, his Mother's spirit image; before he discovered the Wind Rose in the Coronadus Emporium, the mystical compass that magically brought to life a city that was caught in a windless, stagnant time warp.
That was months ago, before he had any notion of why he was chosen -
or did he choose?
- to allow his life to intertwine with the lives of others on planes of existence that most people believe are merely a fantasy. In doing so he came to know that karmic debts actually are accrued, that the decisions one makes in one moment have a rippling effect on every moment thereafter.
The gleaming white Miracle Ship, in David's mind an earthly clone of the Moon Singer that transported him to amazing times and places, is now fully staffed with volunteer physicians, medical personnel and supplies, engineers and agricultural workers, and rehabilitation equipment. It will travel the globe to bring medical care, surgeries and medicines to thousands of people in disadvantaged and remote countries who would otherwise die from lack of even basic health care and vaccinations. The volunteers will help to build schools, clinics and orphanages, and dig water wells to provide a village with water for the very first time.
But on this day, it is time to celebrate new beginnings, the marriage of Janice Cole to Isaac Nickerson.
After the sweet and brief ceremony, lots of food, music and dancing - and Sally
dancing, not just being carried along by her brother - David and Heather take a walk on the inside deck, rekindling their friendship.
The turning point for David came when Heather, now a bit more assertive about where their relationship is going, told him he needed to open up a bit more, to be available to love. Perhaps the romance of the wedding, and the fact that his family is now happy and hopeful, allows David himself to feel serene enough to contemplate a relationship with someone.
They walk around the beautiful white polished decks, aglow with thousands of tiny lights strung across the banisters. The moon is high and silvery in the sky, visible through the spotlessly clean windows.
“I'd really like to have the kind of relationship my dad and my mom had. Where do you find someone like that, you know, a real soul mate?”
“You know David,” Heather reminds him, signing that he is to look at her face, “love is right under your nose, but you can't see it.”
David stops in his tracks. “That's what Saliana said.”
“Huh? Oh. Just someone I …once knew… someone who helped me see that I should appreciate what's right here at home.”
“Smart girl. I'd like to meet her,” Heather says, trying hard not to be jealous of some unknown woman.
“Well, she's gone now,” David reassures her. “I doubt I'll see her again.”
Heather smiles. “Good.”
“I'm not so sure it's good,” David replies wistfully. “She was a very important part of my life.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” Heather asks, her heart fluttering with nervousness, as they walk on.
“It's too complicated. I'm not sure I could explain it, how we met and what we meant to each other.”
“This sounds serious. Are you sure you're over her?”
“Truthfully? No…I'm not sure.”
Heather stops short and grabs David's arm. “David Nickerson!” Heather says, signing emphatically every word she announces out loud. “You tell me right now if I mean anything to you, if we have any kind of future together or if I should just move on!”
David put his hands gently on her shoulders, trying to reassure her. “No, no. You do mean something to me, Heather. It's just that I never know what's going to happen to me. My life has been so crazy.”
“Crazy? You mean like walking on water and getting on a clipper ship made of crystal and gold and then sailing through the air out of sight? That kind of crazy?”
David drops his hands to his sides, slightly embarrassed. “Well…yeah…that is crazy all right.”
“Are you ever going to explain that to me?”
David is stumped. He wants to tell her, but then again doesn't want to. It's his personal experience, his very own manifestation. Yet, he needs to tell someone all of it.
Not today, however.
“Be patient with me, Heather,” David says. “I might be able to tell you someday. But if I did, you'd probably run for the hills. I don't want to lose you over this.”
Heather sighs deeply. “I know I'll be sorry for letting you off the hook, but it's okay. I'll try to wait for someday.”
Sally deftly climbs the steep, narrow stairs to the attic of the house. From the top of the stairs, David smiles happily at his sister's agility.
“Did you find the chest, David?” Sally moves her fingers swiftly to sign the question.
“No,” he says, clearing away some cobwebs from the rafters. “I waited for you so we could make this mysterious discovery together.”
David and Sally carefully move and re-stack boxes and old furniture to another part of the attic to reveal the secretly stored chest Dorothy bequeathed to them.
“I wonder why no one ever found it before now.”
“I don't know that anybody even knew it was up here but Aunt Dorothy,” David reminds her. “No one's been up here in years.”
“It looks almost new, even though it's an antique.”
Using the oversized key Dorothy had put in the envelope with a copy of her Will, David easily opens the teakwood treasure chest. He lifts the lid and rests it back on its hinges. Inside are other small boxes and items wrapped in silk cloth, mementos of Dorothy's colorful life as a member of the Nickerson clan.
One by one, Sally and David carefully open each box, reveal each photo. One in particular catches Sally's attention. It is a sepia-toned photo of a beautiful woman, dressed rather glamorously in a satin and lace form-fitting gown. It is signed, just as one would sign an autograph, “To my beloved grandniece, Dorothy. Welcome to the world. Love, your Aunt Rose.”
In the same package as the photo, there are theater playbills featuring the name Rose Wyndham, as “chanteuse and principal dancer” in several turn-of-the-century shows.
“David, this was Dorothy's aunt? That means she was Dorothy's mother's sister, and our great aunt? She sang and danced, and her name was Rose. How amazing.”
“More than amazing, Sal. Take a closer look at what's around her neck.”
Sally gasps. “My gosh!” She instinctively places her hand up to her chest, where the Rose Crystal pendant rests. “It looks just like — “
“Just like,” David repeats.
“This is so exciting, David. What else are we going to find?”
“Well, I have a feeling the answers are in here.” David holds up an old journal and opens the cover.
Inside is a picture of an old man, David and Sally's great-grandfather, standing on the deck of a beautiful white sailing ship. He squints to make out the name imprinted on the hull, but it is too small. Sally hands David a magnifying glass that is packed inside the journal's box. He holds it close to the picture and lets the image clarify. One by one, David reads the letters, “W – i – n – d”
“Golly, David. It can't be…”
“It is. It's called The Wind Rose.”
David and Sally settle in comfortably, ready to discover all the secrets and connections their lives hold to the past, how they are affecting the present, and hopefully where they will lead them in the future.
* * *
Later, in David's Room, Isaac visits his son and sees the Wind Rose compass. He picks it up and studies it carefully.
“David, where did you get this?”
“It's a long story, a really long story.”
“I'm ready to listen, son. Let's take a walk together.”
“Sure, Dad. I'd like that.”
* * *
“And so, his journey ends.”
“With a powerful realization.”
That the ability to know, understand and make meaningful choices is within all of us. No one can do it for us. Yet we do not do it alone.
“We can seek guidance, look to role models for advice, but in the end the choice is ours - in this case
Accept gratefully the consequences and the rewards.
Since childhood, I've been torn between two worlds: writing and singing. It's difficult to serve “two masters,” as they say, but I was compelled to do so. When I was not singing, I was writing; when I was not writing, I was singing. Now I do both. (While still working a day job!)
I've learned, for me, that one creative expression nurtures the other. Much of my writing has a musical theme somewhere in the plot, or is the plot, whether it's in my non-fiction writing about the power of music itself, in picture books and stories, and of course in writing songs and lyrics for songs.
It is natural, therefore, that my trilogy of adventures for young readers, “The
Secrets of theMoon Singer,” has its roots in musical theories and metaphors, entwined with the magic and mystery of metaphysical concepts and matters of ethics, faith, compassion, love, and heroism. Books 1 and 2 of my trilogy lay the groundwork for this power of music of the highest order. Book 3 pulls it all together and will give you a complete understanding of the importance of music in our lives and in the world.
Most of all, I hope my books inspire you to know that, whatever your circumstances in life - just as my “hero” David Nickerson learns - your greatest challenges are opportunities for growth and strength, and that your “disability,” if you have one, can be your greatest gift.
I've lived a long life (won't tell you how long!), and my path has gone every which way but straight to my goals, but I believe that my time for soul fulfillment is NOW. Perhaps my books will inspire that belief in you as well.
B Roman, Author