The sun had already set below the ocean's edge one night as my sister and I embarked for a nightly 'bathroom break' before bedtime. It was one of those mystical nights when clouds race in great patches across the sky, pushed on a restless breeze. The gusts came in from the lagoon, wrecking malicious havoc among the coconut fronds and dried leaf roofs. The night air was filled with the rustling and clattering of resurrected things given new life by the wind.
Anna and I linked arms as we quickly wended our way through the houses in the almost complete darkness. Our free hands clutched spare lava-lavas around us, as much to ward off the night's evil spirits, as the wind.
Fear is a funny thing. At times it comes, creeping steadily up on you so gradually that you don't recognize it until your heart is racing and the hairs on the back of your neck are at end. Other times, it lies in wait for you. You can feel it, on the periphery of your conscious mind, sense its gleeful grin as it waits for you to surrender and let it catch you. This was the malevolent game fear played with us that night. We walked faster and faster, quickening our pace as the darkness pressed in closer and closer around us. The wind took our hair and slapped it around our cheeks. It tugged on our clothing, wrapping our skirts around our legs. It took our breaths as they came out, short and quick, and threw our words into the black sky.
"Danica, let's sing," my sister said.
The words came out, quivering but sweet:
"Joy is flowing like a river
Since the Comforter has come.
He abides with us forever
Makes the loving heart His home.
Blessed quietness, holy quietness
What a comfort to my soul
On the stormy sea He speaks peace to me,
How the billows cease to roll."
Somewhere around us, demons began to quake and tremble as the presence of the Holy God flooded the atmosphere. Angels joined hands around us, and, strengthened by our songs, enveloped us in the peace which passes all understanding. Even the winds seemed to blow softer past us then. We made it down to the beach, did our business there on the low tide's sand, and returned back to the sanctuary of our house, our praises trailing in our wakes.