The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper – W. B. Yeats
The ship had not approached land for almost 25 days, and the sight of the island raised the hopes of the sailors and Captain Barnos that their woes were probably over. While there seemed to be no sign of civilisation on the island, the veteran captain knew that mariners had frequented it in the distant past and had strange tales to tell. They called the mysterious island in the Indian Ocean, Yarkud.
As the ship drew near and they lowered a boat to approach the island, they observed that it was covered in mist, unusual for a warm summer afternoon. When they neared the rocky shore, they saw a large tidal pool. The water inside it was swirling as if being pulled by an internal current. There were also strange sounds coming from the pool, almost like incantations. Mystified by the strange phenomenon, the sailors walked ahead, but something seemed to stop them, almost like an invisible wall. Jasper, the young deckhand, who due to some reasons was the only one who was able to cross the stretch of sand and walk into the dense foliage ahead. They waited for him to return for three days, but he never came back. The boy was popular with the hardened seafarers, he would often recite for them short bits of poetry that he wrote, which captivated their hearts.
The old captain had heard from his predecessors that most people were not able to enter Yarkud, and the rare few who did never returned. He had never thought that young Jasper for some reasons would be among them. He also believed that the strange tidal pool, the mist were just an illusion, the real magic was somewhere within the island. The captain himself did not know how close he was to the truth. It was a home of magical beings who lived in and around a lake at the centre of the island. This was from where they could become a part of the earth and be born elsewhere, travel around in the oceans and rivers, dissipate into the air and emerge somewhere in the world. They were the free spirits of nature living in trees, forests, rivers and lakes, but in Yarkud, they were in their true form.
They did not stop anyone from entering their world and become a part of it. People who believe in magic of nature could walk into this world which was for them to explore and understand. The only password they needed is a simple belief. You are what you believe, and those people who have magic in their hearts are magical beings themselves.
As Captain Barnos took his ship away from the island, he knew that some mysteries are never meant to be solved. This had happened almost 230 years ago. Yarkud is a forgotten place today and remains hidden from the world. Even as aircraft fly over it all the time, the mist and the clouds continue to hide its secrets well.
But you can always experience the magic when you silently listen to a bird song, connect with the earth when you walk barefoot on grass, feel intoxicated by the fragrance of flowers or hear the dance of the wind as it rustles through leaves …. The magic of nature is all around us.