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The Carriage Driver³ - Cove of the Sirens

Updated on February 4, 2017

Andrew wandered through his life. He read the philosophers and sought wisdom, insight and inner peace wherever he could find it. Now, he was near his end time; though he remained taut in mind and lean in spirit, his body slowed.

In years gone by, while studying reproductions of some recovered parchment scrolls from the Library of Alexandria he read of the existence of the Cove of the Sirens. Its location lost to humanity now for a thousand years. The coves only link remained in the imagination of the few dreamers and wanderers in the small remaining wilderness.

During his quest of life, he dismissed the supposition of the shouters of the Atlanteans and Lemurians. He was cautious enough to be wary of stories of sea dragons, undines, and Selkies. Ignored the warnings of, ‘here be dragons’ - content to learn. On long summer afternoons, his imagination could muster images of warm coves with mermaids, warming themselves along pleasant shorelines.

The rhythm of their melody soothed his inner doubts about the goodness remaining in the world. The sun against their slenderness confirmed beauty was alive and well. The lapping water reassured him that purity existed. The smell of salt air validated his place in the universe. The call of gulls reminded him he shared in only a small part of nature.

He sat and struggled with the ideas of Descartes and Camus for hours. He found both amusement, and depth of thought in the verbose works of Will and Ariel Durant. He would throw his hands in the air reading the ideas of Sartre and Foucault. All the while the mermaids would tease, splash about, and invite him to play.

With dilapidated sandals, threadbare clothing, and vision accosted with the sights of a tasteless civilization, he fell back within himself and thought back to Casteneda’s teachings, and the journey of Paulo Coelho’s, The Alchemist; and he followed along on the trek of Kahlil Gibran’s, The Wanderer.

He thought of green pastures and sought comfort from quiet waters. His grip on his walking stick loosened and it fell to the ground. It waited for his pending arrival. Andrew as he fell, mumbled, “I will fear no evil.”

Griffin had finished with the polishing of the carriage the evening before. This morning he brushed Nuelle, all the while talking to her in a reassuring voice. “Our fare today is quite a distance from this place. He wandered far and wide, yet he appears in our book. I packed a basket with extra apples and plenty of fresh, clean water.” He took his time, and with care tended to Nuelle’s coat.

Once on the road, they followed the country road that led alongside the local quarry. The trees were green and tall. The weather rejuvenated body and soul. They reached a crossroad and turned toward the legend of two semi-circle shaped lakes, nestled in a valley so deep, that from a distance looked like crescent moons. The place was known to some as the Mountains of the Moon. They reached the location after dark. The full moon reflected the crescent-shaped lakes; in the darkness, to the human eye, there appeared three moons.

There was no sign of Andrew. Griffin lit the carriage lantern and looked at the page. Instructions appeared; Nuelle and Griffin were guided to a location noted as a Secret Garden.

Griffin removed the kitchen cloth that covered the basket of apples. He picked a large apple and cutting it into four pieces gave Nuelle two pieces and ate the other two. “It is a pleasant evening for a carriage ride,” he told Nuelle. “It is a good break for us to take.”

The narrow passage wound along a dirt road, around boulders and past perfumed foliage. The wheels sang out, the lantern cast a warm glow as it rocked with the swaying carriage. Griffin and Nuelle were content in their work. They reached the location given in their instructions; the moon still hung high overhead. The moonlight revealed exotic shapes and forms to please the eyes; a veil of divine exhalation draped them. A mist, from the gurgling hot springs, swirled about the ground. They heard splashing from far away and Griffin thought he heard the refreshing laughter of innocent young souls.

Andrew sat, just out of Griffin’s sight. He marveled at the beauty of Nuelle bathed in the moonlight. He stood and moved toward them.

Nuelle sensed his presence. She alerted Captain Griffin, as she felt his approach.

“Sorry for all the mystery this evening. Your presence here is a bit of a surprise. Sure, I always held out hope, but your arrival in my secret garden reinforces many things presented to me along the way.” The old worn out man paused. “Who is this beauty?” He went to Nuelle and basked near her strength and goodness.

Griffin, who seldom formed an opinion about a fare, liked this man immediately. His opinion was not necessary; the name in his book told all he had to know. “Did you request to be picked up in this garden?”

A wise looked came across the face of Andrew. “I am here to meet you. I have been sent to bring you back, out of your excel in the wilderness. I have wandered for so long and traveled so far, that when asked, I consented to come back and learn from this part of my journey with you.”

Griffin had outgrown being confused or flustered, he looked at Andrew and smiled. “Do you want to climb into the carriage, or would you prefer to walk?” He extended his hand to Andrew.

Andrew took the step up into the carriage and sat down. His clothes were no longer torn and tattered. His shoes were clean and well fitting. The hard creases in his ancient face were gone, and his face and eyes became soft. His hair was thick and dark. His mind rich and full of curiosity. “You do have a choice. I am just here to make it known that you are missed. If it weighs on the scale at all, you can bring your three loyal angels back with you. Or they can be sent for once we arrive.”

“For over one hundred and fifty years, I have delivered my fares anywhere they wanted to go. Speaking of that,” he reached under the seat and took out his map of marked locations and handed it back to Andrew, “do you have a location that interests you?”

“Griffin, I am glad you mentioned the length of your services. That is so important and appreciated. No one questioned when you did not think of yourself the day your angel was sent to you. You are discussed throughout the kingdom for such an unselfish act. It is so rare even here, as most go to their reward with their own idea of the hereafter. The circumstance of your death impacted your choice.”

“The hour is late. Your message has been received, and we thank you for disrupting your journey to bring it to us. After listening to some of your stories, I know you are an ancient traveler, so look at the map and see what it is that fills your imagination.”

Andrew looked at the map. His index finger crossed back and forth, stopping momentarily remembering his time at the Whispering Tunnels. He saw the spot he was looking for, he paused, a smile came to his face. “Take me to Boston.” The Cove of Sirens could wait.

Celtic Music - Siren's Cove

Beautiful Mermaid Music - Mermaid Secrets

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    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 2 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      Beautiful story this morning. I have known many wanderers. My husband was a wanderer. He wandered from country to country, before we met. Then he wandered this country with his family in tow. Now he is elsewhere, and I hope he has found something new and exciting to keep him entertained. Mostly I hope he has found peace. I am done wandering. I would like to stay in the same place for a good, long time and watch nature. I have found a good place to do that.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Your knowledge of books and mystic tales is clearly demonstrated here in this piece. It must be wonderful to be a wanderer and visualize beauty among nature. It appears that he is going to continue his quest for sights unseen. Starting out as a young man once again. Beautiful writing Mike..

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Becky - Thank you. I did not know that Dennis was a wanderer. You have relayed some of his exploits with the military and a few gems during his law enforcement adventures. The country was built upon the back of strong men and women. The current generation has their task cut out for them. It is reassuring to know that you have found your place in the universe and that nature, which you love, embraces you and your family.

      I to hope your husband is doing what makes him feel once again strong and proud.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby - The world is a big place. The call of adventure and discovery was strong in the minds of men (and women). Many took to the roads to discover new horizons or seek their place. Many an adventure was captured by some writer and passed down to us. The works of Captain Richard Burton are still held in high esteem.

      Industrialization ruined the beauty of nature. Economics may have improved but the cost is 'everything.'

      Thanks for the nice comment.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Oh, how I enjoyed these two music videos. I am an adventurer at heart and ready to pack up and go in a moments notice. And it's a good thing too as my life has been one 'moving journey.'

      Thanks Mike for this marvelous discovery. You continue to captivate us with The Carriage Driver.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Audrey. So, you are a gypsy at heart. I am not sure I knew that. I seem to know quite a few gypsies at heart. I moved quite a bit as a child and then in the Army. But have been planted now in one place for years.

      Thank you for such a kind comment.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I love the theme of the beauty of nature, and how such rhythms and harmony were a reflection in that there was still goodness in the world. He was Gibran's Wanderer...as I think we all are in our searching and dismay at how human beings often seem to fail to connect with each other, and what progress costs the spirit. And that through the secrets of nature we attain a better understanding of who we are. We hold a sense of wonder and wistfulness for the nomad or wanderer. This installment is one of my favorites, Mike. Such beautiful writing. And the videos are lovely.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I meant to add that we had our beginnings in the sea before becoming nomadic land wanderers and then developing communities and the need to "stay put." :-) And the oceans still beckon. I so see much in this story, Mike.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Listening now to your thoughtfully selected videos - a perfect accompaniment as Andrew, Griffin and Nuelle travel on the roads of our minds.

      “I am here to meet you. I have been sent to bring you back, out of your excel in the wilderness. I have wandered for so long and traveled so far, that when asked, I consented to come back and learn from this part of my journey with you.”

      Griffin has made a mystical name for himself... and I wonder if Andrew will be a recurring figure in these stories. Perhaps only Boston will tell.

      A beautiful and satisfying way to start this weekend. Hugs, mar

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna – Happy weekend. Modern thinking seems to be that nature belongs to us to do with what we will. It seems that includes destroying. It is a shame really, the price of civilization is the destruction of nature and therefore ourselves.

      Thank you for your kind comment. Believe me when ‘The Cove of Sirens’ came into my head as a title, I did not know I would be writing about a curious nomad seeker.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello mar. Happy weekend to you, Andy and Zoey. Griffin and Nuelle have had quite an effect on their readers and myself also. I wish I could teach the spell check I added to Microsoft to stop trying to change the spelling of Nuelle to Nile.

      I did not have to return Griffin to Boston, but I did have to get him out of the countryside. Maybe all of Griffin’s clients should return for the grand finale. (That is funny.)

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 2 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      Mike, add Nuelle to the dictionary in Microsoft and it will quit trying to change it. It might ask you if you want to change it, but it will quit changing it. I use it all the time to check my typing.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Becky - I tamed the Microsoft spell check. It is the other two - check my work - add-ons that I can't figure out. But hey this series is getting tired in the stretch. I will have to make up better names in the future.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Wonderful, Mike. Your writing always takes the reader to another place. I am glad you mentioned "The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho which is a delightful tale of a wanderer and one of my favourite books. It teaches the lesson that anything is possible if you just follow your dreams.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 months ago from South Africa

      This story touched a string in my heart, but I can't really figure out why. Perhaps it is time to read those works of the masters, as those I have read during one of my previous lives will most certainly contain wisdom I might not have understood. Or perhaps the nature you have described reminded me of places I have seen. I love this chapter!

      Your descriptions deserve applause. As always.

      Your problem with those spell and grammar checkers is the reason I have disabled all spell-check add-ons. I am quite happy with MS Office's, and in addition, with online checkers that don't add itself to my computer. I must say, I seldom use the latter, as I have the best editor on the planet namely Prof Maria Jordan.

      I love the music in here!

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello John - Thank you. You just became a wonder also. Or perhaps resumed your wandering. I read, "The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho a few years ago. I would recommend it to those seeking an escape for a few hours.

      Thanks for visiting these flights of fantasies.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie - I would not go out of your way to find those titles. "The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho should be easy to find and is easy to read.

      Thank you for such a generous comment. Some of these stories are easier to write than others. This one surprised me as to its destination and tone. Each of these stories has had a model of some sort. Sometimes the model is me. ha

      I agree Maria is the best spell check around.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      The Cove of Sirens sounds like a magical place if the music is any indication. Your descriptions provoke the imagination and paint a beautiful story. Here's hoping we'll learn more about Andrew in tales yet to come. Nice to see that the Captain will be returning from his self-imposed exile into the wilderness.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg – Thank you. I appreciate your kind comments regarding the story. When ‘Sister Sarah’ made her first appearance, I could sense that there was more she wanted to say. Or perhaps the comments inspired an additional story. Andrew has a lot of work to do, as at the moment he, who was more or less based on a well known SoCal writer’s life is not inspiring me. Laughing to myself.

      One of the biggest issues with the Captain exiled to the South, or countryside is that choices became very limited. My goal was never 84 Carriage Driver stories.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 7 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Beautiful story, Mike. I love that we learned yet a bit more about Griffin. You seamlessly included a bit more information about this mystical "soul carrier".

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