Sam and the Sea
see Sam's World.
I did not know for almost three years where I got the original idea for my story,
that being the image of Sam, waiting in the dark on a cliff over the sea, going over his
memories, and waiting for the sunrise. As I began adding details to the story, and since
a lot of it came so easily, I began wondering if it may have really happened. Was some
form of inspiration giving me a true story from the past? I awoke one morning and it was suddenly clear.
It was pretty straight-forward symbolism, like they say dreams are. A few years back, I lost my family,
my job, and then my income. I had no prospects for the future, and all my hopes lay in the unseen
world of the promised resurrection. All I owned were my memories. In my story, the name Sam means "memory".
The original short story:
Sam and the Sea
Sam sat motionless on the bluff
staring toward the dawn's horizon. The surface of the sea below him seemed
dark and brooding as the sky began to lighten. This was an annual ritual
for him. His first wife Mira had died on this day, ten years ago. He
had chosen to honor her memory and their love by observing the rising of the
sun on the anniversary of her death, reminding himself that she too would rise
again at the dawn of the new world. He seldom thought of her these days,
except when some small thing reminded him of her, and, of course, on this day
of remembrance, but he treasured the memories he had of her.
He had since
remarried. His wife Shela and he had a young daughter, Kara, now five
years old. They would still be asleep in their rough-hewn home only a mile
Now the sun appeared at the
sea's furthest edge, at first, just a bright sliver. It was necessary to
look away from it, but now he watched the effect on his surroundings. The
low hills behind him and all the objects around him were overlaid with a
reddish-gold, reminding him of the wonderful nature of the world to
come. Nothing would ever again die or wither as it does now.
As the colors of the day turned
normal, and the wind began to pick up, he rose, turned his back to the sea, and
started down the path back toward home. As he did so, his heart was
lightened by the hope his ritual had brought him. That hope was something
that he shared with his little family.
In a few minutes, he came in
sight of his house. There was smoke rising from the chimney, and the
sounds of laughter coming from the open door. Before he got to the door,
Kara had spotted him and came to meet him. When they met, he picked her up
in his arms and hugged her. Then lifting her up to his shoulders, he
carried her into the house.
Shela had already set the table
with a bowl of corn bread covered with a cloth, a small pot of honey, and a
plate of smoked fish. She sat down on the bench across the table from Sam
and Kara to eat. She had learned to appreciate the ritual, even though it
was his alone. It brought his renewed hope and strength to their
lives. She knew his love for her and Kara would also last forever.
- David Sawyer, begun November 30, 2003
I think I had no idea that the preceding story would be anything more than what you
have just read, a very short story. But with the encouragement of some friends,
it has grown in my mind and I have gone seeking for it's missing parts. I now have three "books" started; the titles
Here is an outline:
BOOK ONE: Sages for a New World
The eight members of a family outing are separated from everything they have known by a new sea that appeared
overnight. How they cope with their new situation, found a new society, and set the stage for Sam's story.
Sam and Mira
BOOK TWO: Sam and the Sea
Sam and Mira grow up as childhood friends. Sam is trained by his mother to read and write and by his father to work with wood.
At the age of twelve, Sam is given the responsibility of the written records of his community's Ancients. Sam and Mira
share the responsibility, and marry at the age of sixteen. Shortly thereafter, Mira is killed when strangers from the Sea pillage their coast.
Sam grieves, builds a new home at the top of the escarpment south of the village, and becomes a recluse. Mira's sister, Shela,
deals with her grief by comforting members of her family. After she feels her family has recovered, she seeks out Sam in his
grief and insists that he teach her to read, partly, at least, to help him. The two of them find restoration and comfort when
they focus on each other. They marry, then scout for the village to find a safe refuge in case of another attack. They have a
daughter Kara who brings them new joy.
BOOK THREE: Kara's Story
Kara at the age of five, migrates with her parents to a new home in the mountains when their village is again attacked from