Lying there in my stateroom, something warm and content stirred within me … gently urging my eyes open to meet a Bora Bora day in Paradise. Reluctant to leave my sweet awakening, yet impatient to experience the day ahead, I eased out of bed, stretched luxuriously and headed for the shower.
Refreshed and resplendent in the heavenly scent of Tiare, I dressed and prepared for my tender excursion into town. A quick breakfast of freshly baked croissants, succulent local fruits and lovely, lean cold cuts and I was off to the boat launch to begin my day in town.
The early bird gets a half-filled boat and a front row seat below the tender captain’s wheelhouse. I settled in near the open hatch in front of me, closed my eyes, leaned my head back savoring the salty fragrant foam that churned along the ship’s hull.
We were clipping along at a fair pace when suddenly the tender slowed … then the engine died. Opening my eyes, I wondered aloud, “What’s happening? Why did we stop?” The tender captain looked down through the hatch at us and said, “look”, pointing at a huge golden ivory disc in the water. In that fraction of a second, everyone aboard realized why the tender had cut engine. There, in the path of the boat, for a scant few incredible moments … we were blessed with the rare and the revered.
The golden object in the water was not a disc, but a sacred ivory gold turtle, glistening in the Tahitian sun. Hardly believing our eyes or our fortune, we all scrambled for cameras and cell phones to capture this sovereign marvel. I felt I was cast in a Keystone Kops reel, bumping and stumbling into my shipmates for a vantage point on the boat … but photos were not to be.
As if it understood the error of our ways, the noble one raised its head, admonished us of its sacredness and then slipped gently, silently under the sparkling sun-dappled surface into the azure depths. We were too late. The noble one’s appearance was divine … not meant to be an image captured for irreverent, mortal eyes.
We collectively stared into the receding ripple, each of us left breathless by our encounter with the sovereign “Rescuer of Voyagers”. Seconds later, the engine purred to life and we continued hushed and humbled to shore, somehow transformed into Anointed Ones. We had just experienced Something Greater Than Ourselves … Heaven truly must be like this.