Traveling Light - Jan Edwards

"It is madness to think such a small boat can hold fifteen men along with provisions for such a long journey. There is barely one meter for each." Taku had voiced his worries before setting out, but he was the youngest. Who was he to criticize the plan?

His elders had decided and, under the circumstances, what were their options? So on a moonless night they cast off, leaving their tiny fishing village behind.

San Francisco had been the goal, the dream. Now after 58 days at sea, the food and water long gone, it was obvious they had badly underestimated the time an ocean passage would require.

At this point, they were desperate to land anywhere. Taku feared it would take a miracle.

Blinded by night and fog, they bobbed in the water, listening to the slap of the waves against the bow. He ran the string of carvings through his fingers like prayer beads as he whispered their names: rooster, tiger, rat, snake . . .

"Stop that!" His older brother smacked his arm sending the carvings flying to the wet bottom of the boat. "Over and over, I can't stand hearing it anymore."

The younger brother picked up the string from the puddle and dried the carvings on his sleeve. Though numb with cold his fingers still recognized the shapes. Silently his mind continued the chant: dragon, horse, ram . . .

And then he happened to look up.
Through the mist he saw a halo of light.
A lighthouse.


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