Montre' sagged beneath her dark woolen cloak. The old fishing boat creaked and moaned a familiar refrain. How many times had her father taken her off shore fishing with him, telling her stories of the deep? Hundreds? Thousands? Teaching her to love God, man the boat, respect the sea, and how it will in turn bless with it's bounty.
She sighed as she looked over the horizon. "Red skies at night, sailors delight. Red skies in the morning, storm without warning. Dad, it sure looks like we're going to have a great day tomorrow." she claimed loudly over the rumble of sloshing waves.
"Remember that spot over there? See the rocky island that looks like an alligator? You know, I haven't seen one of those mermaids that sun bathe on it's back," she rambled on.
Montre' held on tightly to the clay jar, as she rummaged throughout thoughts and making small conversation. She had one more voyage to take with her father this week.
Mostly, she thoroughly enjoyed being with him. Watching him working nimbly, with the masts, nets, and rudder, with glimmering tanned, muscle thickened arms. The sound of his baritone voice on calm moonlit nights, reading scripture by the lantern light, or singing from the top of his lungs at any given time, and those tall, tall fishing tales.
It was hard to let go of a dream. To honor her father's request. She would never be a fisher like him. He had taught her well, but she would be fishing in altogether other terrain, and for fish that was out of water, so to speak. God had been with them in their adventures.
Now, she knew it was time to move on to new voyages of her own. Her father would be proud. Letting go was the hardest thing that she had ever done in her lifetime. She had heard the confirmation of the Lord concerning her ministry in the missionary fields in a desert far from the shores and boundless depths of the sea. Tomorrow, they would anchor in dad's favorite spot, and say their final farewells.
The morning sun smiled on the east. A white seagull flew over head, squawking a rousing wake up call. Montre' peeked out from the square wooden door she lifted up from below deck. It was time. They were drifting close to the small island that didn't have a actual name. Her dad, said it was a little piece of heaven on earth. "God's Footstool" she whispered.
She carefully held up the small clay jar that she made herself when she was ten years old. The year her mother passed away. She had carved delicately a twin palm tree, with tender green sprays of leaves she had painted, and flaked silver that sparkled on blue water surrounding a tiny island. Around the bottom, she had neatly printed each of their names.
Taking the lid off slowly, a few lonely tears slid down Montre's cheeks as she quoted from scripture Psalms 95:1-7 (KJV) For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land." She bowed to her knees, as she continued, "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker."
Montre' poured out the ashes mingled with tears. Setting the empty jar in her lap, watching them scatter through the wind and the waves. Attempting a smile, Montre' said, "Bon Voyage, daddy." Knowing fully with every beat of her heart, that they would meet again on far distant shores of heaven, on a calm crystal sea. Then to share the tales of the two fishermen with their Lord and Savior, Jesus.
For my father who passed away from this life, Sept 9, 2005. Bon Voyage dad--until we meet again.
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