The Light Behind the World
Chapter 12: Immersion
Copyright© 2010 by Sea-Life
Gold has a curious power. It strikes the strongest men. Men who would be considered sober, sensible and wise in all other regards. In Romeo and Juliet, which is, in part at least, about humans failing nobly, Shakespeare described it as 'Saint-seducing gold'. Recognizing the fact that gold fever can strike the noblest heart and the purest soul. Surely we were not immune. Ginny and I had spent idle hours during rock hunting trips discussing what we would do with our fortunes when we found gold. I would like to think we were too rational to get carried away by it. Not all people are seduced by gold's spell. But in truth, we faced too many obstacles to allow the fever to build to unreasonable levels. Untouched tons of gold lay before us, but we were three people dropped into a wilderness without benefit of even the most rudimentary traces of civilization, except those we could carry across a passage whose existence was secret and whose only guide was me, Davey McKesson, 15 going on 16.
These thoughts and others passed among us as we completed our trip. By the time we had the the Naiad secured in her slip at the marina we had even discussed just how much the government likes to get involved when you start trying to sell large quantities of gold.
I don't think I've mentioned our little sailboat's name before this. Dad named her Naiad after the smallest of Neptune's moons, the ones discovered by the Voyager 2 probe in 1989. Neptune being the Sea god, and Naiad being the smallest 'follower' of Neptune satisfied some sense of rightness for Dad, and I wanted to mention her by name, because she's a good, dependable little boat, and holds a special place for me of course, since she was my first.
We dropped Ginny off at her house and then headed home ourselves. While we were eating dinner, we filled Mom in on everything we knew. So far she may have been a silent partner in our exploration of the impossible, but she was definitely a partner. We had a very nice dinner, and while we were watching Mom finish preparing the dessert, she suddenly got excited and practically threw the pear half she had been scooping out onto the counter like she was spiking a football.
"Ooh! Ooh! I thought of a question while you were gone!"
"Okay, what's the urgent question?"
"Can you move something through a spot, but not go yourself?
"What?" Dad asked.
"What?" I echoed.
"Since you can move an object through without touching it, can you move it through, but not go through yourself?" Mom restated her question like we were suddenly understood to be idiots.
"Wow. I don't know," I looked at Dad, he looked back at me. "I never thought to try that!"
That really was the sort of the tone of our lives for the next several months as I probed the limits of what I could and couldn't do. No, I could not move an object though a spot without moving myself. But it felt like I should be able to, and I had a hunch that it was not a matter of could I do it, it was a matter of learning how.
Back in the real world, school was in full swing, and I found I had a social life and acceptance, and the love of a woman, or as near it as my still maturing mind and soul could grasp. These things, as they would anyone my age, came close to occupying me fully. I did not become a copy of that classic figure in literature, alone and bent upon a 'Great Quest', driven to achieve ultimate enlightenment. My probing of those areas became the equivalent of standing in front of a mirror and flexing my muscles. I was curious about all the ways I was growing, and this was only one of them.
Grandpa and Grandma Carson came to spend Christmas with us this year, and we went skiing up at lake Tahoe for three days during that time, which was a blast. Its strange that someplace as year-round warm as Angel's Camp can be so close to a great ski resort, but the elevation in the mountains at Tahoe really make a difference.
Christmas itself was nice. We had planned on opening our presents after dinner on Christmas Eve so that Grandma and Grandpa Carson could sleep in Christmas morning, and so Ginny could be with us. After the dinner dishes were done, we were all sitting together around the kitchen table, drinking spiced cider and chatting away. Ginny and I managed to snuggle together on a chair. We managed a modest kiss here and there during the various conversations, just small quick kisses that just were an expression of that sense of connectedness and sharing we had. During a lull in the conversation, Ginny leaned back, paused and looked me in the eye.
"I love you David Alan McKesson." It was pin-drop quiet.
"I love you Virginia Elspeth Parkin." I replied back into the crystal quiet room.
There was a kiss then. It was not of the small, quick variety. It was full of promise and passion and it blocked out the universe for a while. There followed much cheering, applause and whistles from those others present. I would have been embarrassed, except that all my thoughts were on the warm bundle in my arms who had buried her face in my neck.