She leads me to a small stream where a boat sits along the shore. "Go in this boat," she tells me. "Your mind will be able to wander where it will, but the stream is straight, and will lead you where you need to go. Have a safe and prosperous journey."
I climb aboard and push off. It's a lovely day, and I recline in the boat and float with the current. An oar lies in the boat also, but I don't take it. Lyn said the stream would take me, so I let it. I gaze up at the blue sky, and try to work on my "aircraft recognition skills."1 I start to worry about all the other things I should be doing, but I can't do them while I'm in the boat, so I put it out of my mind and watch an osprey returning to his family in the treetops above me.
Finally, the boat bumps against the shore. I rise, expecting to see *something,* but there is only open countryside surrouning me. I follow the course of the stream through trees and pastures. Then I spot something floating past me. It looks like a stone with a sword protruding from it. I wonder if the Sword Queen sent it down the stream after me. I run ahead and find a fallen branch, and go to a narrow part of the stream. As the object nears, I use the branch to ease it over to me. Moss grows on the underside, and minnows nibble at its edge. There is a spiral design on one side and writing carved on the other side of the stone, but it's an unfamiliar language.
I grab the handle of the sword and try to pull
it out of the stone. It doesn't budge. Then, focusing my energy,
gathering my strength and taking a deep breath, I try again. It
starts to slide ever so slowly
I stand on the stone and prepare myself for
another effort. As I grab it, the stone drifts into the stream. I
pull with all my
1) I'm working on a Fleet Information project for a European
airline alliance. I'm really into it, and even brought my work home
for the long weekend. But yesterday, I was lying in the sun. When my
husband asked me what I was doing, I told him I was working--on my
aircraft recognition skills. IOW, I would watch the sky for the
occasional passing plane, and try to guess its make and model. Tough