Some rower sets off from his childhood to cross the Atlantic of his life. The crowds gather to applaud his beauty,courage and the adventure before him. He is moved by the numbers of people who are there and pulls strongly on his oars as he approaches the harbour entrance. The walls are lined with well wishers. It is an astonishing and uplifting sight. Slowly as he rows the harbour slips behind him. Some close friends and family still follow him in little power boats but the crowd is left behind. Slowly as the shore line shrinks behind him, the friends turn back towards their harbour. Emotions well up and you so wish you could go with them, but what a fool you’d look if you did, so you row on, watching their receding figures move slowly out of sight . The training and the will power kick in as you pull on your oars with nothing but the sound of passing water and the waves to keep you company. One thing you know for sure. There is no turning back.
In life sometimes, or perhaps more often, we move because we have to. That adventure is more of an escape or result of misfortune. That harbour we called a haven is no longer there and we are forced to carry on, destination unknown, to some uncharted location. We have no crowds to cheer us though friends comment on our situation and commiserate with us for our bad luck. Always the blame seems to lie elsewhere but in the silence of our minds we are not so sure. Is the blame not partly ours ? The doubts within us eat at the will to battle on
The disturbance of heartache or change live on long after you have left the shoreline of your past. Now you find yourself in mid-ocean, rowing away as hard as you can, or possibly flagging, then giving up for a time, letting the currents take you where they will. You cannot hear the cheers now. They are somewhere else, busy with another life. Will your next choice be as bad as your last. Did I aim to high or too low. Why me, the questions come and go but the problems still remain.
Sometimes you row because you must: you’ve nothing else to do. Sometimes the beauty of your surroundings can be lost in the effort of surviving them. . But look around you: there is no shelter here so go on you must. Whatever frenzy fired you at the start is gone and leaving only the repetition of days: searching the future for some small smudge on the horizon offering release.
To be without doubt is a symptom of madness but to live without faith is impossible. However much your arms ache believing in yourself is the first step to finding your destination. This is what I tell myself. Doubts are normal but faith is essential and helping each other have more of it is one of our greatest gifts.