Coupe de la Vie
His words seemed to echo about me , arousing the languid bayou waters that my small pirogue journeyed upon. The mystical moonbeams danced upon the surface, an eternal light that guided my way. The rhythmic splashing of oars hastened the mission that my grandfather spoke to me. The hooting of a family of owls taunted me, but I was resolute. The light of the full moon was in my favor. Tonight I would discover the coupe de la vie, offered by the hand of the kind and benevolent King Sauveur.
Grandfather forewarned me of the obstacles I would encounter as I pursued this cup. As I embarked upon this journey, he extended his cane; I glanced down and was comforted by the sight of it. I determined to be ready for battle. The bayou waters would eventually lead to an overwhelming maze of swamp waters ,he instructed. Then it would be most important to listen. To be led beside the quiet waters. To wait for The Voice. One that many did not listen for earnestly. They thought they knew the way, but many returned the way they had come, while others had been lost forever. “Listen well," grandfather said,”no matter how long you must tarry, for The Voice will lead the way. It is the journey of all mankind, and King Sauvuer makes his voice known all across the globe, beckoning every soul that listens intently and searches.”
The bayou banks were punctuated by cypress trees and ancient oaks draped in their moss finery. Beyond the darkness were the familiar green pastures of my childhood playground. My arms continued pursuit of the mission.
A single file of mallard ducks glided alongside my small boat, the mama shepherding her children. They trusted. There would be no want. I, too, trusted that I would be guided along the right paths . I am my grandfather’s namesake. I would go forward in his good name.
As my pirogue neared the bayou bank, tumultuous rattling sounds jarred the eerie silence. From the corner of my eye, I glimpsed a host of rattlesnakes slithering into the waters, closely following the stern. An evil presence encroached the atmosphere, but grandfather’s cane scattered the ominous crew of reptiles. “I will fear no evil “ was the mantra I repeated many times that night.
My vessel had now traveled beyond the easily navigable bayou waters, entering the uncertain swamp. Suddenly a dense white fog enveloped me. Racing thoughts of doom gnawed at my soul as the boat drifted aimlessly. A loud bellowing noise penetrated the night as I plunged forward in response to a jarring coming from the stern. Cold waters splashed over my already shaking body. I knew what I was up against…an almighty alligator. I was in the valley of the shadow of death some might say. I reached for my grandfather’s cane. I repeated,” I will fear no evil.”
“Oh, King Sauveur, I am listening for your voice. Help me now! “
“Take the cane and point it behind you,” he commanded.
The vaporous blanket dissipated as I turned to face the enemy. Pointing the cane in its direction, flaming arrows flew, piercing the giant reptile, whimpering as it sank below the surface of the waters. I sighed and fell limp on the deck, exhausted.
When I awoke, I heard The Voice again.
“Come, I have prepared a table for you. Come and drink from the coupe de la vie.”
The boat moved swiftly of its own accord toward a beacon of light in the distance, soon entering a small brilliantly lit cove. At its center was a gushing fountain of water. On the bank was a gloriously set banquet table. I rubbed my eyes. It was just as grandfather said.
A golden cup appeared in my right hand.
“Fill this cup from the fountain of living waters and drink your fill, then feast at my table.”
I did exactly as he said, drinking my fill from the overflowing cup, the coupe de la vie. Rising from the banquet table, his words echoed about me.
“May goodness and mercy follow you for the rest of your days. Return now by the way you came. No harm will befall you as you journey. Tell others as your grandfather told you. When your time is complete, the banquet awaits you and you will live in my house forever.”
The mystical moonbeams danced upon the waters my pirogue journeyed upon. An eternal light now guided my ways.
Coupe de la vie= cup of life
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