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Adventures in Akadia

Chapter 19

What did it Mean?


     The hike back to shore was silent. The kids were replaying what they had seen in the mirror over and over again in their minds. Strangely, none of the Quotidians had asked about what the mirror had shown them. So they continued on without a word.

     When they reached the shore, the young Quotidians ran ahead to begin preparing the boat to sail. The kids sat in the same places they had before, still without a word. Rosy pushed the boat out to sea and, as usual, used her oar to make an impressive pole-vaulting leap into the boat.

     The silence continued until they were half-way through their journey back to the golden shore. Jamari wanted to understand what he had seen.

     “Rosy?”, he asked sheepishly.

     “Uh-huh, Jammy?”, Rosy replied.

     “What did it mean?”, his voice still sounding unsure.

     Rosy gave a curious and somewhat confused look to Jamari, inviting him to say more.

     “Well, I saw myself as an older kid playing basketball, and that was really awesome. But then I saw myself looking really sad, and the rest of my friends were happy. It didn’t make any sense.”

The other kids had turned to listen intently to Jamari. They were curious about what others had seen and were now willing to talk openly about it.

     “Yeah…”, Elizabeth began, “I saw myself too. I was older and it seemed like I was working really hard and doing good things, but I was sad too.”

     Rosy didn’t respond and let it stay silent as the kids continued to think.

Gabriela broke the silence, “I saw myself too. But I wasn’t older. I saw when my family moved and I had to say goodbye to my Grandma.”

     The others were surprised to hear Gabriela hadn’t been shown something from the future. Now they were really confused about what the lesson from the island was supposed to be. The silence once again returned and the boat continued onward.

     Lukas, who had been quiet the entire time, turned to Rosy and finally spoke.

     “What were we supposed to learn?”, he asked with concern in his eyes.

     Each of the kids were now turned to face Rosy, hoping for an answer.

     With a sly grin, Rosy looked beyond the kids’ and gave an upward nod, “Why don’ you ask her?”

     The kids swiftly turned to face forward. Their attention was immediately captured by the sight of a person wearing an emerald green dress, standing out vividly against the color of the sandy beach.

     “Aureila!” Elizabeth called out as she stood up and started to wave with both arms.

     They were still too far to hear each other, but Aurelia had seen them waving and waved back. The next thing they noticed was that Aurelia had a bright smile across her face.

     The young Quotidians, just as excited as the kids, frantically and repeatedly called out “Relly!”

Before even reaching the shore, the Quotidians leapt from the boat and ran to embrace Aurelia. She kneeled down and was given a hug from every direction.

     Once the boat hit the sand, Elizabeth and Gabriela leapt to shore and ran to give Aurelia a hug of their own.

     “Hello girls,” Aurelia said in a soothing voice, “how are you?”

     Elizabeth spoke first, “I’m okay, but I was very ready to see you.”

     Gabriela nodded in agreement.

     Jamari and Lukas had caught up and gave Aurelia a smile.

     “Hello boys!” Aurelia said excitedly, “have you had a good adventure?”

     Not sure where to start, Jamari nodded and replied, “A lot has happened.”

     Lukas also nodded as he pulled the map of Akadia from his backpack, handing it back to Aurelia.

     “You still have the map!” she said. Looking the map over and feeling the paper, she commented with a smile, “this map looks like it went for a swim”.

     Lukas shrugged and needed only one word to explain, “Quotidians.”

     “Ah, I see…” Aurelia said with a chuckle, “silly Quotidians.”

     All the kids laughed. It was easier to smile and laugh now that they were back with Aurelia.

Looking over the kids, Aurelia spoke, “Well, I’m sure we have some things to talk about and maybe you have some questions for me.”

     Each of the kids nodded.

     Aurelia directed her gaze toward the boat and called out, “Thank you, Rosy! Was it a good trip?”

     Rosy replied, “Very good! The kiddos were very brave.”

     Aurelia gave an approving smile and thanked Rosy again.

     The young Quotidians gave Aurelia one last hug before returning to the boat.

     “We be goin’ home now, kiddos!” Rosy called out with a wave, “See you at the challenge!”

     Rosy pushed the boat from shore as the kids waved goodbye to her and the young Quotidians.

     Aurelia crouched down to be eye to eye with the kids, “I’m so happy to see you all and I’m excited to hear about your adventures. But I have one question for you first: Are you hungry?”

     “Starving!” Jamari replied on behalf of the group.

     Aurelia let the pack she was carrying slide off her back and set it on the ground.

     She had packed a sandwich for each of them and a mysterious fruit that look a little bit like raisins.
     As they ate, the kids recounted the highlights of their journey. They excitedly shared the joys of Mystiboo and Jamari stood up to act out the transformations that resulted from the magical cookies. 

     They described, in detail, the day of their difficult hike with Wink and their friend-building conversation around the campfire.

     They talked about losing their backpacks to a mischievous band of Quotidians and watching helplessly as their belongings went over the waterfall. They told Aurelia about meeting Rosy’s family and their exciting trip down the river. 

     When they reached the part of their story where it was time to tell Aurelia about the island and the mirror, the mood became more somber and the kids went quiet.

     Elizabeth decided to try and explain, “Well we thought we were coming here first, but then Rosy took us out to that island.” She pointed out to sea and toward the island which was barely visible. Her voice became less sure as she continued, “Then she took us to a rock mirror thing and we each went up to it. It showed us…” Elizabeth hesitated, realizing she wasn’t sure how to explain it.

     Gabriel stepped in, “Aurelia, do you know about that mirror?”

     Aurelia nodded.

     Lukas followed up, “Do you know what the mirror showed us?”

     Aurelia looked to Lukas and, with a comforting smile, replied, “I do.” 

     Jamari spoke up to ask the same question as before, “What did it mean?”

     Aurelia leaned backward, crossed her arms, took in a deep breath, and let it out. Her face looked as if she was trying to find an easy way to explain it. She learned forward again and said, “The mirror helps you prepare to learn what Akadia is trying to teach you.”

     After pondering for a second, Lukas asked, “So it’s helping us get ready for our challenge?”

     “That’s right,” Aurelia replied while nodding.

     “But I still don’t understand. Why did I look so sad?” Elizabeth asked.

     Aurelia was about to respond but seemed to stop herself as she was taking the breath in to speak. Instead, she returned the question to Elizabeth, “Well, you’ve had some time to think about it. Why do you think you were looking sad?”  

     Elizabeth thought for a moment and then shook her head, “I don’t know.”

Auriela let the silence sit for a moment and then explained, “I’ll tell you this: Elizabeth, Lukas, and Jamari. The mirror wasn’t necessarily showing you the future.”

     The confusion was clearly visible on their faces and Jamari protested, “But I saw myself. It was me.” 

Aurelia immediately replied, “It was showing you what your life would have been like if you never came to Akadia.”

     Each of the kids had to take a moment to think about that. They again replayed what they had seen in their mind.

     Lukas asked, “But we are in Akadia. Why did the mirror show us something that isn’t going to happen?”

Aurelia responded, “Maybe I should explain it differently. The mirror showed you what your life will be like if you don’t learn the lesson that Akadia is meant to teach you.”

     Lukas followed up, “So is the mirror teaching us the lesson?”

     “Sort of,” Aurelia began before pausing briefly, “For many children, the mirror is meant to help you be humble enough to learn the lesson.”

     Confusion once again showed on their faces as Jamari asked, “What does humble mean?” 

     Aurelia thought carefully about how she might explain it, “Sometimes it can be really uncomfortable when we realize there is something that we need to change about ourselves or that our way of doing things isn’t helping us to become better. Humility means being willing to learn things that will help you learn and grow,” a smile came to her face as she added, “This isn’t just a lesson for kids. Your parents, and all the adults you know, still have to remind themselves to be humble from time to time.”

     His mind beginning to feel at ease, Lukas asked, “So the mirror is teaching us a lesson to get us ready to learn the big lesson.”

     Aurelia chuckled and responded, “I think that’s a really good way to look at it.”

     “So what about me?” Gabriela asked, “The mirror didn’t show me the future. What was it trying to show me?”

     “That’s a really good question,” Aurelia began, “I don’t know if I’ve seen the mirror do that before.”

     Gabriela’s eyes widened and she hoped Aurelia would say more.

     Aurelia continued, “I think the reason the mirror showed you something from the past is because of your grandmother.”

     Gabriela looked toward the ground as she started to think about her grandma.

     Aurelia explained, “In that memory, your grandmother was trying to teach you the same lesson that you’re meant to learn in Akadia. So I think the mirror knew that was probably the best thing to show you”

     The group became quiet as Gabriela began to replay the words of her grandmother in her mind while the other kids continued to think about what the mirror had shown them.

     Jamari finally broke the silence and asked, “So what do we do now?”

     Aurelia smiled and gently set her hands on her knees, as if getting ready to stand, and responded, “You’re almost ready. Let’s get you to the challenges.”

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