Special Delivery

Faster than hawk or arrow Odysseus' ship flew over the purple waves of night. When the morning star turned the garnet foam trailing behind the ship into sapphire blue the crew brought Odysseus to a cove on Ithaka belonging to the old man of the sea, Phorkys. Two towers of rock, tall and sturdy, standing on either side of the cove marked it as a haven from pounding surf and high winds. Within this sanctuary is a cave sacred to the sea-nymphs.

The Naiads' cave has a special beauty: its glittering arches and shining columns, its tiny fragile ocean creatures and sweet smelling bee hives, and its winebowls filled with the sea's own intoxicating liquid, all placed in unique harmony with one another. Against the walls are stone looms with the delicate tissues being woven by those eternal beings. These tapestries glow at each intersection of thread representing bright intersections of thoughts, feelings and ideas, one after another, until a reflection of life tells its story. Upon one loom Baucis and Philemon was depicted, that old couple who were rich in love for one another until one day they turned into intertwining trees, each supporting the other. Upon another loom Castor and Pollux rescue their sister Helen, then later are taken into the sky and made heavenly constellations.

Trusting Odysseus to the Naiads' care, the Phaiakians gently hoisted her over the side of the ship and onto the sands of the cave where nearby they laid her many treasures. Having finished their errand they reboarded their ship and directed it toward their own home shores.


Skheria and Scarier.

Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps