It’s beautiful, even idyllic, with mountain peaks overlooking aquamarine water. Tradewinds blow, songbirds twitter and waves lap against pure white sand.

It’s perfect, like Eden with dense green foliage and abundant fauna romping in the meadows and hillsides.  Sweet water cascades from springs and at night, when all is quiet, the stars are so close that you could reach out and touch them.

I saw it from afar and was mesmerized.  It was the most inviting place I had ever seen and more than anything, I wanted to go ashore and stroll the endless beach.  

“Not allowed, I’m afraid,” said the captain.  “No one is permitted to land.”

I asked why and he shrugged.  “Desecration.”

What an odd response.  But then again, old sailors are a bit superstitious.  We slowly circled the island and I memorized every detail.   The swaying palm trees seemed no different from the many I had seen before.  The sun above shone equally upon my head as it did upon the land.  There appeared to be no celestial favoring, or at least none that I could detect.

But the island was strangely sentient.  Was it just a trick of my eyes?  It seemed entirely self-sufficient, a biosphere free of the violation of man… or woman for that matter.  And as I sailed around its coves and bays, I realized that it existed perfectly of its own, without outside interference, and I could bring nothing of value to it. 

Perhaps in theory I could thrive indefinitely within its confines, but what could I give in return?  It lacks for nothing and my arrival would only upset the balance.   I felt the rejection as keenly as that of a lover.  

My sigh drew a chuckle from the captain.   “Now you understand,” he said with a weary smile.  “Desecration.”


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