All the wisdom of the ages can be distill into one suggestion: Be.
—Mother Star Stupendous Mermaid

Myla woke just after dawn. She got up and walked the wash alone. It was a damp and chilly morning. Dark clouds floated above the Rincons. A coyote walked across the wash. She stopped and looked at Myla. They stared at one another. Then the coyote continued on her way. Myla went back to the house and started breakfast. She sautéed onions and shitake mushrooms in olive oil.

As they sizzled she put on oatmeal. She sprinkled in a bit of cinnamon. Ernesto loved her oatmeal. She could not imagine why—probably had something to do with the almonds, cashews, bananas, and maple syrup he poured on it.

She cracked egg after egg into a bowl. Two eggs for each of them. She broke the yokes with a fork and whisked them. The metal tines hit the inside of the bowl as she stirred them faster and faster, turning gold into more gold. As she poured the eggs into the pan with the mushrooms and onions, she thought, “This is the last breakfast I’ll be making for the refugees at the Old Mermaid Sanctuary.” She liked to think that the migrants came to the sanctuary as refugees but left as pilgrims. It was such a difficult decision to leave one’s family and country—a desperate decision. How terrible then to be left in the desert to wander or die alone—or together with others as lost as you are.

Myla stared at the scrambled eggs as they began to set. She was glad she had dreamed of the Old Mermaids. It didn’t really matter if she had originally dreamed of the Old Mermaids because of the mermaid tile or because she had seen David painting the mermaid. It didn’t really matter if the Old Mermaids had been the voice of the Universe speaking to her. What mattered was that she had gone into the desert and helped people who needed it. In turn, they let her be a part of their families—their lives—for a time.

How could she ever have doubted the importance of that?

—from Church of the Old Mermaid

No comments: