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They all knew Mum was experiencing a vision. What would she see? Alissa wished Mum would come back whole and normal again. Perhaps she'd decide to keep the jewelry if her journey was safe and rewarding.
Desperate to ensure her mother's safety, Alissa glanced at Delphi. She sat rigid with her thumb touching bottom teeth, slack mouth open and gazing at Mum.
* * * *
I float, buoyed by ancient forces, in an ethereal body—as translucent as a jellyfish in the sea of life.
Below, white snow covers most surfaces. Patches of blue peek between floaters of ice.
I drift lower. A group of bright painted huts with white shutters huddle together on a rocky outcrop. A musher drives a dog team away from the village with a sled containing a lifeless seal and a pile of fish. Several people walk the pavements dressed in jeans and colorful nylon jackets.
At a yell, they turn to face a man who shuffles fast along the snow-covered pathway. "Danger. A large section of ice has slipped into the sea. Run." More inhabitants emerge from huts onto the snow, calling to each other.
A change happens inside me—something unexpected. All around my essence of consciousness, a shape takes form against the white snow. It's my body but see-through, rather like the jellyfish I thought of earlier.
Close to me, a black-haired woman runs outside followed by her daughter and an old woman supported by a stick. They don't notice me at all, and the mother sends the girl inside. She emerges again with an armful of coats.
The young woman slips into a red jacket and then helps the older one to don her coat. Years of hard living and worry crease the Inuit woman's face.
Something tells me I should search for the bigger picture. This catastrophe can't be about one family, but everyone in the village. My brain expands, encompassing all around me, leaving me free to bond with them all at the same time. Worry, panic and doom come through from their collective minds like a buzz of bees in the hive. They know their fete although they can't control their urge to flee.
In the distance the sea rises in a giant wave. The child tugs her mother's coat. Ouli's coat.
She yells, "Run. We'll get to higher ground."
The child points at the hill further away and tugs at her grandmother's hand.
Olui motions her family away from the wave. In her heart she knows there is no escape.
I do all I can to remove their terror, give their legs speed and ease the pain from the old woman's shuffled steps. She drops her stick and rushes forward unaided, claw-like hands reaching ahead.
Over one hundred souls rush away, some in vehicles, others on foot.
I remain behind. The mental effort I make will never be good enough, but I must try to help these people. Why else would I have been drawn here?
The wave towers above the village. holding me spellbound.
I stand serene by the waterfront, arms raised, palms forward. Power surges inside me to calm the raging sea. I raise my awareness; use all my strength to push against the eminent wave. I send love and peace to the fleeing hearts. Maybe I can give them valuable seconds. I'm with them all, share their fear and send each of them love to calm their panic.
I reassure Olui when she hears screams. I center her mind with powerful thoughts. 'Appreciate the love around you'. She stops and hugs her little daughter's body close, smoothing the black hair in front of her white band. The old woman wraps her arms around them both.
The wave washes over me, dislodging beliefs. What's happening?
The wave communicates inside my cold prison—soaking my psyche with wisdom. 'It's not death, but alteration'. I grasp at understanding the concept. 'Let go of your perceptions. Bend with the wind of change'.
Tears of understanding and acceptance join the water sliding over my consciousness.
* * * *
Liliha opened her eyes and strained to make out her surroundings. Reaching behind to steady herself with shaky hands, she sank onto the chair. Walnut jumped onto her lap and she stroked his fur, finding comfort in the touch. Colors settled into normality and the quivering in her sight eased. Five silent people sat around. Their gaze piercing.