It's late. I'm tired. The Bateau Chateau is quiet, I look out the French Doors at Moira, faintly lit by the lights of Middle Harbor. Very scenic. Nothing is happening with the book. Freddy and I have finished the illustrations and finalized the text but Keven is fully occupied with other matters and the book just hangs there week after week.
The phone rings. Estelle. She reads me a letter from Wade Doke. Its about an encounter with the dolphins off New Zealand. He piped Japanese Flute Folk Songs through underwater speakers and the dolphins loved it. She's off to a conference for World Peace in New Delhi next week. I hang up the phone feeling depressed.
Just before I leave the boatshed to return to Moira I go into the bathroom to turn off the light. I raise my hand to hit the switch and realize the light is already off and I find myself foolishly standing there with my arm poised in mid-air, looking at my reflection in the mirror of the medicine cabinet. Stupid. I wave at the refection and it waves back and a little child within me smiles out of the reflected image.
I am drawn into the dark pupils and let myself become the child looking out at the man looking into the mirror. The result is electric. For I, the child within the reflected eyes, recognize the man in the mirror from a long, long time ago.
I am at home in my bed, dying from infectious hepatitis given to me by a kiss from my Godmother. My father has just left the room and I can still feel his fear. I am seven and delirious. I turn my head and look out of the window and see a star twinkling like a diamond in the cold winter sky.
"Star Light, Star Bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may I wish I might have this wish I wish tonight I wish for a pony of my very own" and I turn over and begin to go to sleep. Behind my closed eyes a brilliant light illuminates my darkened room, a silver, shining light filled with myriad colors. I open my eyes, sit up and see the light streaming in the window from the star. A white glowing cloud forms in the center of the silver star beam. It roils and billows on my bedroom floor. An odd blue-green undulating glow inflates the room while the brilliant cloud churns and dazzles. Slowly a figure begins to form within it. It is a horse taking shape in the pool of starshine!
It becomes more clearly defined. I see it has...rockers on its hooves. It is a rocking horse, with painted wooden features! Childhood rage engulfs me and in the flare of anger the toy horse dissolves back into the mist, the white cloud evaporates, the room darkens. I feel a rushing of my blood. My mind splits in a mixture of rage and frustration combined with a trembling awe and wonderful joy at seeing a miracle happen in my bedroom.
Through the fog of emotion I see a man standing where the rocking horse formed. He smiles at me.
It is the same man who is now smiles into the mirror in the Bateau Chateau on Quaker's Hat Bay on the 16th of February 1981. But I am still in the room with the small boy, still in his time of being.
I say to the boy, "Having some bad feelings?" And I smile.
"Yes," I (the small boy) answers, but he is smiling and I do too.
"You will come to know this feeling well," I say to the youth, cloaked in his memory of fury and joy and awe. "It is a mind-whip to help you do what you must, to become me. For I am your child, I am what you will become. You are my father but are very young and have much to learn."
"I don't understand." the child mumbles unhappily.
"Oh little child, father of my becoming, always remember I am here, leading you into the future. You will recall small parts of the memories I have now. You will remember them as your own and they will lead you to me over the years until, on this night, you will learn to walk through time to visit your younger self and this moment will be ours again."
"Don't go!" the child cries, understanding only he has been talking to me and the moment is almost past.
I see him walking up the starbeam, leaving my room, and call, "Don't leave me, let me come with you."
"You don't know the way," I say softly and hear him one last time, calling after me, saying "Show me the way!"
Looking at my reflection in the mirror, I remember the event so long ago with perfect clarity, as if it had just happened, as if a thread of awareness truly linked my older and younger being. I never forgot the meeting. The man from the guiding star. I've thought about him over and over again in the intervening years.
When he left, I fell back into my fever and did, indeed, see visions of the future. My future. One by one, over the years, they have come true. I never knew, until now, the man in my childhood vision, my guide through time, was myself. But there he is, right there looking into my eyes in the mirror.
"So he did show me the way," says a small voice from deep inside....