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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #124

Sometime in the night I awoke, feeling the yacht swinging at her anchor. A stream of lovely cool air was pouring down the forward hatch. I got up soundlessly and emerged from the hatch as far as my waist. At the same moment Davy popped out of the after hatch and crept forward along the deck to where I stood, half out of the hatch. The breeze had come up and backed to north so that it was coming straight in the mouth of the cove, though not strongly enough to cause any worry about the anchor holding. It had blown every bit of humidity and sultriness away. The air was cool and fresh. Ten thousand brilliant stars arched across the sky. But what transfixed us was phosphorescence. Every little wave rolling into the cove was crested with cold fire. The anchor rode was a line of fire going down into the depths, and fish moving about left trails of fire. The night of the sea-fire. Davy had crept near to me, still crouching, and I  put my arm about her, and she snuggled close. Neither of us spoke, not so much as a whispered word. We were together, we were close, we were overwhelmed by a great beauty. I know that it seemed to both of us that we were completely one: we had no need to speak. We remained so in timeless loveliness – was it hours? We never knew. All about us was the extraordinary beauty of of the sea-fire and the glittering stars overhead. We were full of wonder – and joy. Grey Goose was alive, lifting to the little waves, and the tall dark masts were penciling across the stars. The moment was utterly timeless: we didn’t know that time existed; and it contained, therefore, some foretaste, it may be, of eternity. At last, still with no word spoken, we went below again and, in comfort and a great peace, slept. Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy (1977), p. 73

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