Kalai (pronounced “Kah-lie’-ee”) glided along, gracefully pushing the sparkling waters behind her. It was like a sea of glass rushing past from her head to her toes. Long straight hair clung to the shape of her neck and back. The wet heaviness pulled her head upwards as she came up for air during each stroke.  The soft shoreline of a beautiful, lush island raced toward her as she swam.  Water poured off her body as she stood up out of the sea onto the beach, and palm leaves all around caught the breeze meandering across the waves clapping at her feet.  Dark green jagged cliffs shot straight up before her into the clear blue sky.

Tired from the swim, she bent down to enter her small grass hut and laid down on a mat.  The soft breeze and tropical sounds slowly melted into a memory as she drifted off into sleep. Wet droplets still clung to her swim suit and gave her a chill. She crossed her arms and tried to warm up as the sun set in her window.

Soon it was evening. She stood up and put a towel around her, straightening her hair a bit. She walked to the door of her hut and was mesmerized by the white glow of a full moon on the tide coming into shore. Walking outside, the velvet sand hugged her feet, and warm water touched her toes as the waves rushed back and forth.

She spoke softly,  “Beautiful Emerald Isle, child of the moon, bride of the sun, sister to the wind, holds me within....”

 

Author: Randy Stahla, copyright 2006.

Waves touched her feet, then her hand, as she knelt down in the sand.  And she wished for a man.

 

But not a man did come near, and it made her fear, and took away the cheer of Emerald Isle.  Staring out across the horizon she wished that someday soon more than waves would touch her in the softness of white sand, in the green majesty of life and freedom of nature all around her.

 

She, too, shone like an emerald in the moon, the water glistening on her hair; but if only someone else were there.  Could she dare to wish for a man or a future plan? To be touched and held and enjoyed for your smile; to laugh together as the sea breeze takes away your cares and makes your dreams come true?  She used to know this, but her man was taken away. All of her memories flooded her mind as she realized he was gone forever.  And it was so hard to imagine that anyone else could replace him. Despair filled the air as an uncertain future loomed before her.

 

She ran down the beach, racing the clouds that were carried along by the wind in the sky, watching as the moon hid behind the white cotton and made their puffy shapes glow.  She just didn’t know - why did a beauty living in beauty elude the warmth of a companion whose eyes would meet hers while they wished upon a star amidst the palms? She ran faster, splashing in the waves of the sea. Tears streamed down making soft trails on her face as emotions raced to hold on to her struggling heart.

 

Then the clouds darkened, hiding the light.  In the dark night she slowed down, looking around to see her footprints being erased by the tide.  She tried to see out beyond the reef, but the clouds like a thief stole the shimmering of the moonlight.

 

She walked over to a large palm and sat down, leaning against the trunk for a long time. She stared off into the distance....

 

The morning sun touched her forehead as she looked up and saw the lantern hanging from her ceiling.  Walls appeared around her and she sat up on her mat, looking for a beach and lonely footprints. But the sunlight lit up the door of her hut. She stretched, got up, and cut apart a fresh mango.  Eating slowly she went outside. The sea waves reached up as far as they could, seemingly inviting her to swim.

 

Out of the corner of her eye she saw a red flower, lying beside her mat. She picked it up, and held it gently to her cheek.

 

A voice came into her mind, out of the stillness, out of the breeze going past her window,

 

“If I never gave you a man, would you still live for me?”

 

She dropped the flower on the ground.

 

“If I never gave you a man, would you still love me?”

 

She knew that voice.  It was the voice of her Lord and Master.  She loved the Lord, but lately she had been having a really hard time understanding her life and his plan for her.  What did he want? What was in store for her? Where was she headed, and would she someday meet someone and fall in love – all over again? 

 

Desperation came over her. She ran far from her hut and onto a steep, flowery path to a cliff with a waterfall plunging deep into a pool.  She sat on a long, smooth rock and slid down the wet bubbling slide into the waters below. 

 

Deep shades of aqua in the sunlight surrounded her in warm, bubbly water currents that swirled about her as she darted to the surface and took a big breath of air. She swam to shore, stood up, and screamed at the top of her lungs. The sound echoed all around her and dozens of colorful birds flew hurriedly away.

 

“I hate your plan!,” she screamed, “I hate to wait like this!  Why do you give me skies of blue and beauty within beauty but not what I want, not what is happiness to me?  Why did you take away the one I loved?

 

She dropped to her knees on the sand and cried out bitterly. This struggle with agonizing questions had been haunting her for months.

 

A red flower fell beside her.  And suddenly, another set of footprints going off into the distance appeared in the sand. She looked up, but could see no one. She picked up the red flower and held it in the air, staring at it, and rose to her feet.

 

Kalai cried out again,

“Oh the depth of the pain, the loneliness, the curse of beauty within beauty and no one to see it or enjoy it with me. I feel such despair sometimes, waiting for a future of better, waiting for what I want, but not its coming about do I see.”

 

And speaking to her Master,

“You’re here but you’re not here, I hear but I don’t hear, I see but I don’t see, what you have for me. You took away the one I cherished...now my life is only a shadow of what it once was….”

 

She ripped the red flower in half and threw it to the ground.  Then the voice came again in the wind,

 

“Do you love me enough to be alone,

Could you fly in the wind,

Where no bird had flown,

Could you stand on the mountains,

And see beyond,

The feelings of the moment,

The sunlight of the dawn?

Could you look beyond this Emerald Isle,

And know I love you,

Not just for awhile, but for always?”

 

“Come now, and follow me.”

 

She followed the other set of footprints.  They led her away from the pool, the flowers, and the waterfall.  They led far away, to the top of a ridge overlooking the valley of once a hot volcano.  Black, barren, and lonely it was, while just over the other way were the palms and the azure sea.

 

A voice came in the wind again,

 

“Would you walk in the cinders,

Alone in the dark valley,

Where the hand of destruction,

From a volcanic eruption,

Took away the life once here,

And did not have mercy on the hurt or fear?

Would you carry the suffering,

And walk alone with me?”

 

 

She cried out to him,

 

“But why do I have to walk this way alone?  Can’t you tell me something - anything, about my future journey?”

 

“You’re not alone,” her Master replied.

 

You know what I mean,” she answered.

 

The soft, still voice came again...

 

    “If your future mate doesn’t walk with me always,

    He won’t necessarily always walk with you.

    If your man doesn’t always obey me,

    His heart won’t necessarily be true.

    If in walking through the fiery place,

    He grows tired and leaves you in disgrace,

    Will you blame me?

    I am not a man, and I do not change.

    I the Lord change not...

    And your thoughts are not my thoughts.

    Your ways are not my ways.

    I only take one step at a time with you,

    Because that is all you can do.

    That is why I won’t tell you about the coming days.”She asked, “You said, ‘FUTURE MATE.’ Are you saying you have someone you’re getting ready for me?”

    The voice came back, “If you answer my questions, I will answer yours.”

    “OK,” she replied.

    “When is a man’s heart ready enough to serve me, and promise he will be faithful to you? What makes a man ready to give his life completely to me and completely to you? When will YOU be ready to go through the fire, as well as through the beauty with another person?  When is the best time to tell someone who their future mate is? How long should I make people wait for a future promise - 3 years, 2, 1 year?  When is the best time to bring two people together to determine the course of future generations through their children?  If I told you the future, would you be content in the present? If I answered one question, would you ask me ten more? If I showed you a glimpse of future good, would you be disappointed when you got there because you didn’t know about the bad that goes with every season?  Could you really see the entire picture clearly - if I showed you a glimpse of tomorrow?”

    “When you swim in the sea,

    The water is cool,

    But salty in your eyes.

    The sunlight is beautiful,

    But your skin dries.

    The sun and the rain make a rainbow.

    What part of the future should I show you?

    The tears, or the joy?

    How big is the future?

    Bigger than the sea, wider than space, larger than the human race?”

    She interrupted, “But all I want to know is if you have someone for me! Someone else – to share my grief and fill the emptiness.”

    The Master responded,

    “I will not take away,

    The darkness at night.

    I will not reveal these things,

    Until the time is right.

    The sun will rise and give its light,

    When the darkness is finished,

    With the earth at night.

    I have a purpose in mysteries revealed,

    I have a reason for mysteries sealed,

    The highest knowledge is used in my design,

    For opening doors, and closing doors,

    Throughout all time.

    If far-away footprints,

    Are always on your mind,

    The peace that gives hope you will never find,

    I do not want you anything else to see,

    Except only one footprint at a time;

    With your eyes on me.

    Only one step can you take each time,

    Leave with me the rest,

    And my peace you will find.”

She stared out over the blackened waste. Steam was coming upwards in some places from water finding the magma deep below. Nearby, she looked and saw small red flowers struggling to grow in the black pumice. These flowers defied the death all around them.

She was lost in silence for awhile.  Then she replied,

“Lord, you know all things.  And you know my heart.  You know that I love you, and I ask you now to help me take just one step towards the future.”

A voice whispered to her,

“Among the cinders there are flowers,

Amidst the fire there is rain,

Amidst the years are the hours,

When I took your sorrow, your pain.

Though your feet walk through cinders,

The fire shall not burn,

Though the floods of care may hinder,

I am only helping you to learn -

That my heart is always true,

When you cannot see my hand,

That my kindness will never leave you,

When you just can’t understand.”

She saw in her mind the cross, the feet, the hands, when the rain came down from a dark sky.  She knew it was for her that he chose to die, she knew He would lead her only so far each day. She knew it was better for her that way.

A cloud began to cover the sun.  Rain fell gently, cooling her brow. Lightning flashed in the sky, sending bright bursts of light over the black expanse of volcanic rock.  She stared at the multitude of red flowers scattered across the ground. Amidst all of the barren waste were pockets and holes with red flowers.

In this barren place, in the black residual of destruction, were beautiful flowers. It was almost as if they were hiding in their own little houses in the desolation.  Then these words came to her mind,

 

“If I take the wings of the dawn,

If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

Even there your hand will lead me,

And your right hand will lay hold of me.”

 

(Psalm 139:9-10)

All across the island the showers of rain drops covered the green. She went to her hut where it was dry.  A sense of joy and security flooded her soul, beyond her understanding...

 

Later Kalai woke up. The darkness had left the seashore.  Moonlight from a clear sky drenched the palms all around in whiteness. Her back hurt from leaning against the rough trunk of the palm tree. Waves came up and almost touched her feet.

She rubbed her eyes and said,

“I must have been dreaming.”

Then she looked down by her feet.  There was a small red flower and footprints not her own going off into the distance towards the cliffs...

Listen to the song “Emerald Isle” on the DesertSnow CD

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Blue Ballerina” was written for those who have lost someone because of a crime.