He sat on the bank looking longingly at the water. The sky reflected on the moving surface created a continually changing pattern – sometimes calm, reflective and sometimes dark, foreboding. But always, the water seemed inviting and yet, challenging. He’d been warned that the water was dangerous. That it was deep, full of currents – riptides that would pull him under. However, as he looked he could almost hear music that the ripples and/or waves made as they pushed against the shore.
Then, as sometimes happens – a storm came up. There was tremendous wind, thunder and lighting. It should have been impossible to hear anything above the fury of the storm, but he was positive he could still hear the sound of the water against the shore.
As always, the storm finally faded away – and peace resumed again. The water looked as if it had never changed. The sound of the ripples against the shore line moved him to stand and move toward the edge.
“There’s nothing in there for you.” said a voice behind him. He turned to look. “Nothing in there but deep roiling currents that could take you and smash you against the rocks and crags. Leaving you broken and possibly dead.”
“This kind of water is best left alone.” said another voice. He moved his head to one side to see the speaker. “This kind of water offers nothing …nothing but – well, they say it has poisonous properties that can eat away at the flesh. This kind of water supposedly has sharp microscopic animals that dig in and cause great pain.”
He shook his head in disbelief. “Have either of you ever been in the water?” was his not so subtle challenge to the two speakers. He was met with silence. “I thought so,” he finally said to them.
So, he turned back and watched the water under the setting sunlight. The rays of light skittered across the surface and seemed to dance before his eyes. Then he saw it. In the middle of the water was a small boat, and standing in that boat a solitary person. This person seemed to be looking directly at him. (If the truth be told, it was too far to be sure that’s what the person was doing, but to him it seemed as if he was.)
With only a moments hesitation, he took the first step into the water. It was warm, pleasant without sharp creatures. He took another, then another. Finally the walking placed the water at his knees. He continued to move into the center of the water. He now was creating ripples that pushed toward the shore and toward the small boat in the center.
The water was now up to his waist and yet, all was peaceful. With his eye on the target, he moved further and further away from the shore. Suddenly he realized – the fear of what he didn’t know had been keeping him back on shore. The advice of those on the shore could have kept him there and he would never had tried.
He was approaching the small boat and its occupant. The water was no higher than his waist. The depth and fear was nothing more then an illusion. He realized he could handle this. This was manageable and would provide many memories in the days to come.