A young man named Jonah has been exiled to an island for reasons we do not yet know. It’s not your typical island as it is covered with stinging nettles, venomous flowers and mythical fanged creatures. He’s been there a few weeks already but he watches daily for the boat that will come and take him back to the mainland. What does he have to do to be rescued? Let’s go see.
Jonah awoke with a start. His hand flew his dagger when he heard a loud thud. Warily, he peeked out of his crude shelter expecting the worst.
A burlap package lay a few feet from his hut.
He turned in a full circle and did not see another living soul or source from where the package could have come. He dashed out, grabbed the bag and ducked back inside his shelter. His heart raced! He wasn’t forgotten.
He opened the bag as eager as a child on Christmas morning. The first item he discovered was a sealed package of dried buffalo. Without looking any farther, he tore into it and groaned aloud as he savored the flavor of the meat. Anything was better than the muddy fish he’d been forced to eat to stay alive.
He sat back on his haunches and explored the remaining items in his mysterious package.
A bar of soap, toothbrush, and hairbrush fell out on the floor of his hut. How had he made it this long without them? He set them aside and continued exploring.
In the bottom of the bag lay two books and a pencil, along with a handwritten note. He unfolded the parchment note.
There is only one way off this island. You must examine yourself, face your truths and make peace with your demons.
Jonah folded the note, lay it next to the bag, bit off another piece of jerky, then carefully resealed the bag and opened the first book, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.
The first sentence on the inside flap, “Be impeccable with your word,” brought a snort. He tossed the book into the corner of the hut. He didn’t need any philosophy BS, he just needed to get home.
He reached into the bottom of the bag, hoping for more food and found another book and a pencil. He opened it to find only blank pages. He tossed it into the corner along with the other book.
He’d heard the psychological and philosophical jargon his entire life and none of it had helped him survive on the streets. None of it had helped when his father was beating him across the back with a leather strap. And none of it put food in his belly when he was starving.
No. He’d made his way with his own strength and that wasn’t about to change now.
He pulled his hair back and ducked out of the shelter into the early morning dawn. The most important thing he could do was keep his body strong and ready to fight. After all, it was what he did best. He stretched his taut muscles and began a series of Tai Chi maneuvers. He twirled and kicked, landing in fighting stance. Yes, this was what worked for him, not religion or philosophy.
A scurrying sound drew his attention and he glanced toward the hut in time to see a furry rodent dashing inside. The jerky! He lunged forward and reached the critter at the same time the critter reached the bag. With a precise throw, his dagger landed in the varmint’s neck. He tossed the invader into the murky water and grabbed his precious staple. After he dug a hole inside the hut, he buried the meat and covered it. Then he placed both books on top.
There. That should protect it. He’d gather the mushrooms and edible roots he’d discovered and make a stew later. No, he didn’t need self-examination. He needed sustenance and most of all he needed to get back to the mainland and back to living, back to ruling his kingdom.
He pondered the words on the note. What was he going to be forced to do?