Alone, So Very Alone

by Christopher Lovejoy on September 4, 2011

I breathed deeply, inhaling a tropical bouquet of fragrances, and glanced at what was left of the fire: mostly a smoldering heap of ashes with a few charred remnants.

I was inclined to stay put, to bliss out, to allow the present moment to blossom, but even if the world seemed to be going to hades, I still wanted close friends and loved ones to join me here.

This included getting up and doing what needed doing to facilitate my rescue.

I had a polished coconut bowl full of small orange fruit that I had picked the day before. They looked juicy and tasted sweet, and so I had no reason to think I would be poisoned if I consumed them. I judged them to be succulent and culinary. Perhaps they were indigenous to this island.

After eating my mono meal of fruit, I took a quick skinny dip before taking a leisurely stroll along the shoreline toward the east end of the island. When I arrived at the easternmost tip of the island, I walked onto a horizontal palm tree trunk overhanging the water to sit and watch the sun rise.

It was my first sunrise here and it was glorious.

I lost myself in the moment while the sun rose majestically out of the horizon. I gazed deeply into the sun within the modest time frame allowed after first appearance, when the UV index is zero.

This simple act gave me a new lease on life.

I returned to the pile of stones I had seen yesterday, hauling some back in my canvas bag to the base camp, where I set them on the sand in a way that supported three flags made of sticks and gauze.

I donned my shorts and t-shirt, and with my mirror and binoculars, climbed to the highest point on the island, along the westernmost tip. I had some careful observations to make.

I sat comfortably on the edge of a stony cliff and scanned a vast expanse of seawater back and forth with my binoculars, watching intently for trans-Pacific container ships or scientific research vessels off shore, while checking to see if my yacht was anywhere to be seen. I saw neither.

I set aside my binoculars and waited patiently for the sun to rise even higher.

In the meantime, I surrendered my mind to a myriad of impressions of what I could see and hear, smell and feel, from this lofty vantage point. The longer I did, the more relaxed I became.

I felt especially becalmed and refreshed by the cool sea breeze that washed over my body.

When I noticed that the sun could blind me with its brilliance, I picked up the mirror, and for several minutes or more, directed an SOS of sunlight to the island beyond. No response.

Or at least no response that I could see.

I supposed that swimming to this island was risky. If predators of the sea didn’t get me, an oceanic current could.

I suddenly felt very alone.


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