Vida Janulaitis

I 'm not sure if I followed the man or the adventure. All I knew was that being a woman in the beginnings of a new century was more than I could imagine. The sandstorm last night wiped out all the progress we made the previous day. So here I was again down on my knees beside a man whose passion ignited mine. John was a respected archaeologist who believed in my childhood dreams. I've always drawn sea creatures that existed in my mind, a child's fantasy, that swam in a deep dark blue sea. The dinosaur may have roamed the earth till extinction but the ichthyosaur held secrets of its own.

But the storm last night lengthened the sequences. Our carefully tracked steps and measurements wiped out by nature, as if it wanted to keep things hidden in the past away from prying eyes that might judge.

Little by little we brushed the layers clean. Almost like a photograph negative, we couldn't see the pattern at once. Life became a series of moments. A perfect creature carved into a canvas of white stone that existed only in imaginations that were ahead of time, until now. I smiled into John's eyes and he laughed back. It's as though they both reached out and touched my soul. A piece of history unfolding before me. The intensity was unbelievable.

Returning my thoughts back to just that moment, I simply whispered, "Welcome, Stranger, you've been missed."

First published: February 2001