Special appreciation to Jeff Goins for the inspiration of his post, and also for Cherie Strickland who spends much time sitting with me on the rocks of life sharing a cup of tea.
She watched as the first big gust of wind filled the illuminated canvases of the good ship “Normalcy”. Its brilliant white sails, propelling it far from the banks of Eclectic, cut the bow through the waves of sea of where she had expected to find herself a passenger. A hot tear rolled down her cheek with the sting of goodbye. She lifted her arm reluctantly and waved, realizing her place had never been on board.
The sail boat stayed within sight of the lonely island. Its shores, difficult to navigate, were often painful for her to walk upon. Her eyes drifted to the ship frequently, and she doubted in her heart her place in the world. At times she longed to compromise her decision, don a uniform, and commit to life on the majestic vessel. Perhaps, even one day, she imagined, she could learn to be its captain.
She looked down at her hands and knew that being confined to “Normalcy” would, for her, be a sentence that she could not perform. She may indeed be able to sail with them for a while, but soon, the sea and the island’s mysteries would call to her with a wail that must be answered.
“I must learn to love this island,” she thought as she began to explore its gardens, pools, and cliffs. Perhaps this island is not a place of lonely desertion, but one of a peaceful paradise. Its variety is indeed as diverse as the sands of the shore, but it is my heart that yearns for the comradery of the ship. “I need a friend to join me here,” she thought. One that can share the beauty I see and appreciate this glorious creation.
At times visitors came, but one by one, they either returned for the comforts of the ship, or struck out in search of their own island. She understood their quest, however, it was just so hard to let go.
Sitting on the black rocks of the shore, she sat alone watching the gentle rocking of the vessel. Its rhythmic dance and joyful music that rose off the boat seem to taunt her. She wondered why her place was not with the others, and contemplated if she had imposed this exile upon herself.
“Hey, how are you,” a kind and gentle voice broke the silence of the shore. Surprised by the company of another, the lure of gazing at the ship was broken. With smiles and conversation, love and laughter came to the island and solitude in the company of another was no longer a prison, but a paradise. Exploring was exhilarating, instead of endurance. The color of beauty now held the vibrancy of expectation, and the coolness of walking together beside the water restored her soul.
When evening had come, they sat together on the shore and watched the ship as its lights danced off the water. No longer longing to be something she wasn’t, she could enjoy the beauty of the ship for what it was, and be grateful for the gift of her island.
She looked at her companion and smiled, realizing that friendship was what had made all the difference, and that she was truly blessed.
A special thank you to each of you who have so graciously sat with me on the rocky shoals and walked with me on the shore. I love you and thank you for being there for me in what has been such a difficult time. I can’t express what you have meant to me. Thank you. Happy Valentine’s Day.