One day that they were sailing the calm seas, a ship was spotted from the crow’s nest. (Click here to know where they were sailing from) “Ahoy! A black flag… A Jolly Roger I know not.” Screamed down the first mate. And as they were getting closer: “It’s making its way towards us!” Hope wondered what kind of strange technique that was. Visibility was perfect, nowhere to hide and nowhere to run if the battle took a wrong turn, and more importantly the wind was on their side.
As her crew readied the canons, she saw something strange. A white flag. They were waving a white flag. “What, no battle?” said Captain Hope in disbelief. “What is this??” But once again she turned her head to see that the ship wasn’t stopping, it was still steadily making its way to her.
Canons were loaded, the crew waiting for Hope to make a sign, but when the captain and crew of the other vessel came into view, she slowly lowered her hand. The ship wasn’t about to attack, it was asking for help. The men were starving and had barely enough strength to manoeuver the ship. And the Captain invoked the right of Parlay. Permission was granted. When he came aboard Hope’s ship he was taken aback to be faced with a woman. “I suppose neither of us was expecting this.” Joked the young Captain Swann. But behind the smile, he looked indeed in poor condition. Hope saw that the man wasn’t evil spirited, but that he took many wrong turns to be in such a dreadful state. Still, she decided to help out and offer what she could. Once the men fed and hydrated, both ships stood still for a whole day and a full night. I suppose that when both defences are down, when there is nothing to loose, it’s easier to find and ally than an enemy. But before sunrise, one of the boats took off, as silently as a summer breeze.
Captain Hope woke up only to find her vessel in shambles. Swann’s men had silently raided her ship, plundered her treasures and made sure she wasn’t manoeuvrable.
Hope could not believe it. The deception stung bitterly but was quickly overcome by a more pressing matter, she and her crew were stuck and well on their way to starve to death. Even the Parrots had abandoned the ship.
They all tried to fix the ship as best as they could. They were working hard and long, thinking of creative ways to salvage what was left of her. Yet days went by and still she could not be moved. Lack of food, lack of water, Hope was starting to go mad. And the same ideas churning in her head:
How could men be so callous? How could they not know how to behave better? What wretched soul could do such a thing? HOW DARE THEY?
Pride prickled, trust ripped apart, and the poisonous concoction of disappointment and anger. She decided to let her emotions go wild in her brain, but was careful never to be bitter in front of the crew. And so she spoke as little as possible, offering only smiles and jokes and what she thought was well-placed insights on others. She knew she missed the mark, but it seemed crucial not to attract attention on herself, she would not be able to lie if she was asked a direct question, and so diverging was her best option she thought.
And all along in her head she thought: “What must they be thinking of me. They must think I am so soft-hearted, weak, that I do not know any better. They will over-turn me at the first chance they have. They must never know.”
Fevers were spiking, hot sweats that put her into trances… At one point, Hope’s body gave up trying to keep up with her and so she instantly fell into a deep slumber that seemed to last forever. And in her deep sleep Hope had two dreams. Well they weren’t exactly dreams, which was what was so peculiar about them. She was neither standing nor sitting, neither somewhere or nowhere, neither alone or surrounded. All she could feel was this: “Everything is going to be ok.” And then a swish of long luscious hair, and then again she was back into that place that was not a place. “EVERYTHING IS OK.” Echoed every fiber of her body.
In waking up, shaken by that deep emotion, she directly knew this to be true.
“Are you alright Captain, what happened?!” cried the alarmed first mate.
“It’s alright, We are all going to be alright.” And then she spoke unto her crew:
“I found out that… It’s ok not to be ok sometimes. I don’t have to pretend that I am fine all the time, I don’t have to hide behind jokes as a form of protection, I don’t have to smile if I am hurt.
We do not live to impress the world. And if we bring events in our lives, as unpleasant as they may be, it’s because we need them to grow.
But I cannot grow if I do no acknowledge them. And so, I will tell you: I am not ok right now. I am confused, unsure of what’s ahead, unsure of what that event has done to me, to us. Maybe I was in no position to give help and thus we are now helpless ourselves. Or maybe I was meant to give it all away so we can start from scratch. As hard and as maddening as it may be, maybe I needed to get rid of the old, anchored parts.
And so Gentlemen I will ask you, throw away the anchor. Get rid of the canons. All they are is keeping us down. But who says we should stay down?! Not I! Aye, let’s find a new use for this ship, sailing the seas, we have done already, now look up, look up into the sky and let’s fly.”
And in saying this, she already felt better. Because in acknowledging, she found the first steps of healing.
And in sharing her truth with the world, she felt lighter.
And as if she had heard her, her ship became lighter as well. Once all defence mechanisms had been cast into the Ocean, the hull didn’t believe she was only meant to float on water anymore, and thus lifter herself up in the air.
That was the moment Red Parrot decided to reappear into their sight. She landed on Hope’s hand and wagged its long tail, then took off again following the trail of the Green Parrot. Hope could not see beyond the clouds, but she knew he was there too, waiting for his mate.
“Where do we go from here?” Asked the first mate.
“Up. Answered Captain Hope. Up is the only way from here.” Said she feeling the winds of change blowing.
XoXo – From the Clouds with Love.