The minnow swam rhythmically along, ruler of his own small sea.

A larger fish, hungrily eyeing this spectacle, pursued and devoured the minnow, and, satisfied, continued methodically, content.

A much larger fish, wiser in the ways of his much larger sea, not yet needing food but contemplating the time not far when he would, seized the opportunity, seized the larger fish, fulfilled a future need, and swam away, admiring his foresight.

The shark swam steadily toward the much larger fish, escaping his notice, until, with a single lunge, plunge, gape, rip, swallow, the shark became the sole occupant of this immediate sea, his primal instinct curbed, lessons learned over seemingly infinite time repeated, the natural order of things fully in place in this expanse of shimmering blue beauty and pressure.

Unseen, unpredictable, unimagined, the net fell from above, and the men hauled the entangled shark into their boat, quickly subduing it, storing it, slashing it to pieces in their minds while calculating how much its supple flesh would bring at market, laughing amongst themselves at their good fortune in encountering such a large catch in such a vast sea, thanking their god for their being at such a place at such a time on such a boat with such good comrades, believing in their long-suffering hearts that the tide had turned and their coming home would at last be celebrated.

One man stood alone and looked skyward.

Steadily, the Earth turns, content in its motion.

Perpetually, the Sun burns, not near but near enough, seizing the Earth and holding it in close company by virtue of its size, seemingly all powerful.

The system spins, as do all of its members, and all spin through a galaxy, which hurtles through a dark expanse accompanied by other bearers of light, all spun up by some unfathomable cataclysm in a past remote beyond time itself, yet headed as if by a single plunge toward some wondrous purpose in this cold, beautiful void.

One man standing alone then looked down at the boat, the shark, the net, the men, heard within himself the story that only the human heart can tell, felt to the depths of his soul the unseen, the unpredictable, the unimagined, embraced this weave of wisdom which fell as if from above, thanked his god for such good fortune in receiving such a precious gift, and, his mind unchained, realized that every coming home must at last be celebrated.

written by GJA 12/2000
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