My meditation card for today is from The Fairytale Tarot by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov.
As I enter the scene on this card, a cool breeze lifts my hair and blows it back from my face. Both the sky and the water are a pale, soothing shade of blue. Fluffy white clouds blossom overhead. I gaze at three swifts as they glide by, swooping low over the water.
A dark-haired young man in a vivid blue tunic watches me, an amused expression on his face. He has a stringed instrument of some sort slung over one shoulder. I realize that he has left his sailboat tied to the shore – a boat with a dragon-headed prow. I also notice that he is holding a golden cup or goblet in his left hand. To my surprise, a golden fish is peeking out of the cup.
Before I can ask him about the fish, the young man hands the cup to me. He sits down on the grass and begins to play his dulcimer-like instrument. He sings the story of the poor Russian musician Sadko, who was taken deep under the sea to Tsar Morskoy’s palace. He was only able to escape when his own elfin sister helped him return home.
I am touched by the song and the magic of the music. As I gaze at the fish in the cup, I begin to feel that perhaps I am like that fish, confined to an unnaturally small space instead of free to swim in the wide expanse of a lake or river. Yet the minute I imagine that sort of freedom, I also realize that the risks would be far greater in that environment. Which do I want? To be protected and cared for but confined, or to be free and vulnerable to all manner of mishaps?
“Is there nothing in between?” I ask the young man. “Must I choose between risking everything and experiencing nothing? Can boundaries serve a purpose or do they only hinder imagination?”
The young man gestures toward the sailboat but says nothing. I understand that even if I am not ready to immerse myself in deep waters, I can sail across them into uncharted territory. There is still some risk involved, of course. But the confines of the boat offer a certain amount of security and protection.
The young man takes the goblet from my hand and gestures once again toward the sailboat. The journey begins.