The “Last” Magic Dragon
“We live in an ephemeral world . . . Seasons come, seasons go . . .
Have you ever wondered: What happens to change something near and dear to us, and cause that chapter in our Lives to end?
Is it Destiny, Fate, or simply the way Life unfolds for us humans here on Planet Earth?”
Remember the song, Puff the Magic Dragon, by Peter, Paul and Mary?
I remember crying as a young girl over those lyrics, so sad that little Jackie Paper would leave his friend Puff all alone . . . and move on to other interests.
Yet as I live on, I realize, we don’t always know in advance, when a particular time, a certain adventure, will be our Last . . .
It might be something we’ve always done. Always loved. Always adored! Yet at some point — one experience, one trip — will turn out to be: The Last.
Puff, The Magic Dragon
“Puff, the Magic Dragon
Lived by the sea
And frolicked in the Autumn mist
In a land called Honalee
Little Jackie Paper
Loved that rascal Puff
And brought him strings and sealing wax
And other fancy stuff” *
* “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Leonard Lipton (lyrics) and Peter Yarrow (music) — Peter, Paul and Mary, first recorded, 1963 (Youtube link at end of this post -DawnSeeker)
Like the story of Puff and his friend, when it comes to humans — things, phases, and passions — just don’t go on forever.
They can’t. Rather they change, alter, and morph. Sometimes abruptly, sometimes subtly, as we continue to Live. Learn. Age.
“A dragon lives forever
But not so, little boys
Painted wings and giants’ rings
Make way for other toys
One grey night it happened
Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff, that Mighty Dragon
He ceased his fearless roar”
I’ve been reflecting lately on “Lasts” — how we don’t always see them coming.
Sometimes we may feel them, have a hint or a clue . . . but there is a time when we seem to outgrow even our most beloved passions.
We might let go, kicking and screaming. We might let go with a great sense of relief. We might find ourselves in shock at the notion of being “over it“.
But I’ve learned to make friends with that notion . . . at Last.
My Last Aloha :))
For fourteen years, I worked in Hawaii — flying back and forth between California and Oahu/Molokai. (Every six weeks as a Farrier, shoeing and trimming horse’s hooves.)
Making over 120, ten-hour round-trip jet flights!
Creating a business. Creating friendships. Sweating. Working. Laughing. Enduring . . .
I had lived in Hawaii in years past, and for many years, I longed to return.
To the tropics. The trade winds. The Aloha. The people.
The camaraderie. The ocean. The food :))
So I flew. And I worked. And I trotted the beach. And I swam. (And I worked!) And I got rained on . . . Over. And over. And over. Again . . .
And yet, one trip, one Day — eventually, became my Last.
And I flew home with my anvil and my horseshoes, my hammers and my nails. Complete. Now, here in my California Mountain Forest.
Satisfied. My mission there, fulfilled. Working locally now — jet-lag free :))
Home. Content with my horses and my husband, our books, and our cat . . .
My Last Ocean Swim
Then, having grown up on Trancas Beach, Malibu, being an avid Ocean Swimmer and Bodysurfer, lover of surf and sea . . .
Not a fair-weather type — COLD water, no problem — forcing myself to go in! Numb hands, numb feet, happy Soul :)) Heading out to the breakers when the faint-at-heart were content to stay home.
Santa Barbara. San Diego. Encinitas. Leucadia.
All the beachy places I’ve lived, chasing the water, the waves . . .
Sorrento. Devereux. Swami’s. Avila.
Diving under massive swells. Shooting the lip.
Trancas. Zuma. County Line. Point Zero.
Raising my kids in the water, at the beach. Splashing in the shallows.
Malibu. Lani Kai. Waimea. Molokai.
Yet a couple of years ago, in the waters at Zuma, I realized that my Ocean Days were Complete. Finished. Done.
The Calling-to-my-Soul was simply no longer there . . .
I got out of the water that Day: Satisfied. Happy. Fulfilled.
Now, Puff the Magic Ocean-Dragon, waves to me in the surf line, and I wave, coyly, back. Happy with our “new” arrangement.
Happy to watch the surf safely, warmly, from shore . . .
What’s Up ???
Is it that I’m growing up? Leaving behind the beloved “toys” of my youth?
Fulfilled my Soul Assignment? Satisfied my curiosity?
Graduated from that Life University Course? Gotten all I came to get from it?
Yes! I believe so.
Nowadays, I walk on into my current version of Life, in Jubilee :)) Content with My Life the way it is. Not wanting. Not aching for more.
For what is Time, after all?
Surely, part of me still works there in Hawaii . . . Still swims in the Ocean. Surfs the waves. Walks the beach.
Still: Hikes. Skis. Roller skates. Rides bikes. Flies airplanes. (Yes, I’m also a pilot.)
Still does all the things I’ve always loved to do — along with Jackie Paper and Puff —
“Together they would travel
On a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a look-out
Perched on Puff’s gigantic tail
Noble kings and princes
Would bow whene’er they came
Pirate ships would lower their flags
When Puff roared out his name”
Together, I still Time-Travel — with Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather — onto a (Malibu) Beach with billowed sail. I still keep a lookout perched on Life’s gigantic tail . . .
Content. Satisfied. Fulfilled :)) Ready to face my Destiny.
“Oh, Puff, the magic dragon
Lived by the sea
And frolicked in the Autumn mist
In a land called Honalee”
I’ve Lived it. Loved it. Logged it.
Happy. Now. At home. Happy. Now. At peace.
Ready for my next Chapters in Life’s Great Adventure :))
Further Reflection: Hoof Work, Hawaii, four years later . . .
I find myself reflective, now, since I wrapped up 14 years of travel to and from Hawaii every six weeks, working, sweating, trimming, and shoeing horse’s hooves.
Since 2002, I traveled between Hawaii (the islands of Oahu, and Molokai) and Southern California — working with horses! I would be two weeks over there; then four weeks to live my life here at home. Then back to my Life in the tropics. Over. And over. (And under horses, and hooves.) Again . . .
At first it was so wonderful, exotic, returning to my beloved previous home of Hawaii and back to my native California — the very best of both worlds! But over time, I made my choice. In March of 2016, I flew seven boxes of hammers, shoeing tools, horseshoes, nails — and my anvil . . . home.
And I am very happy living here in the mountains of Southern California :)) Most of my friends are in Hawaii, still. But I call them on the phone, and save the exhaustion of driving to the airport, and all that is involved with that kind of long-distance work and travel!
I remember the fear that set in when I realized that the travel was starting to lose its luster. I knew how much I had wanted it; how hard I had worked for it; the sacrifices I had made . . . I took an extra two years, really, to finally call it quits (and I’m very glad I didn’t rush it — everything just organically finished up).
Now that I’m home, and I’ve had some time to reflect on it all, I think we are not supposed to stay the same our entire lives, but rather there really is a time, a season, for certain adventures.
The great news: It’s all mine! I did it! I made 120 round-trips; swam in the aqua ocean hundreds of times; helped countless horses; made friends/acquaintances/connections that uplifted my soul and filled my heart, even now.
I know the smells and the flavors, the flowers and the textures, the sand and the water and the wind . . . I know it so well, I can return there with just a thought! :))
Life is a humbling experience. All our accomplishments are precious beyond measure. No one can ever take them from us. But like graduation from high school, college, they too, have a limit (that we often find ourselves unaware of, until they’re gone!).
The good news: Wherever we are — at travel, or humbly at “home” in the town of our choosing — our rich experiences are all still present, active, and alive. Within us. Living, shining, on! :))
Dawn’s a Life-long Horse Girl —
Please visit Dawn’s Horse Blog: Soul Horse Ride :))
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Photos: by DawnSeeker (Dawn Jenkins); Dawn working shots, S. Curry