The full moon pulls at the tides of the ocean. We reside in an in-between. The sun shines on another continent, while in our part of the world, it is pitch dark–save for the light of the moon. I gaze up at the moon that shines down on me and the ocean’s currents. I partake in its light, in its splendour.

We are going somewhere. I can see that much. As to where we’re headed, I can’t say I’m entirely sure. All I know is that we are on a journey. I travel alone, but my invisible companions are with me. I do not feel lonely for there are many denizens that live under the sea. Our subconscious mind carries everything with us as we venture forth.

Unlike the Ever Given that is stranded in the Suez Canal, my boat is not that large. There are hidden blessings in being small. One can pack up and make their way at a moment’s notice. There is not much that needlessly weighs one down. My boat is in the shape of a swan. It is a graceful bird that mates for life. Without my companion, I would not be able to make this journey. The boat protects me and watches over me.

But I am not completely protected. No one ever gets that. I am no fool. Life is no fairy tale. Fairy tales are for dreamers, not doers. As the boat’s captain, I must still chart the course. There are no paved roads out at sea. Shipping routes do not look like the highways we travel on daily. I must tread carefully.

I am a child of the element of fire. It is this element that dared me to cross the seas. They say that fire and water are opposites. Opposing forces that do not get along. Perhaps neither element wishes to be tamed. Perhaps neither element wishes to be caged. But each element has its limitations, which can only be strengthened by another element.

When fire and water collide, hot springs form. They are therapeutic and offer many healing benefits to the one who soaks his or herself in its minerals. Mount Tsurumi is a volcano in Beppu in Ōita, Japan. Beppu is famous for its jigokuthe seven ‘hells’ that stem from volcanic hot springs. They are unsuitable for bathing, but spectacular to see. Two hells feature animals. The Oniyama Jigoku is home to a crocodile breeding farm and the Shiraike Jigoku is filled with giant piranha and pirarucu. There are creatures that can thrive in the volcano’s heat.

Like the firebird the phoenix, volcanoes are born and die—and then are reborn from their own remains. Volcanoes alternate between periods of intense activity and periods of relative quiet. Who knows what bubbles beneath the surface just waiting to explode?

Not me.

I may be out at sea, but a volcano resides within me. When I reach the shore, it will explode. In the remnants of its destruction, new life awaits. That is the volcano’s destiny.

black smoke coming from fire

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