One day, long ago, I set out on a journey across an ocean.
When I left my little island, I was so excited about my voyage!
I had my map, my provisions, and the most beautiful boat anyone could have!
It was finely built with my dreams, energy and assuredness.

Large and beautiful, it was destined for greatness.

I named my boat ‘Determination’.

And I, the inexperienced but confident sailor ready to sail her.

Casting off into the ocean, ‘Determination’  was a fine image!
I would slice through that ocean I was entering and find the island called Dreams.
I had no fears, and no doubts- I was sure of my route.

 

But voyages don’t always go as planned.

Along the line, I encountered choppy waters, and they pushed my little boat off course.

Not to worry, I thought, it wasn’t bad, and I hadn’t lost too much ground.

So I got back on course and continued on.

A huge storm came out of nowhere, pushing me off course.
The sea was a massive, churning monster.

Waves of water overtook me, slamming me under the surface.

When I came up, a wall of waves was barreling towards me and pulled me under again.

I struggled to surface and stay alive.

 

I eventually washed ashore on a little island with pieces of my shattered boat.
I hadn’t even known what hit me, it all happened so fast.
I was shocked; this wasn’t part of the plan! There wasn’t supposed to be a storm here!

But there was nothing I could do. You cannot control the control the sea.

I sat on the empty island, stunned, trying to process what had happened.

‘Determination’ was shattered and laid in pieces around me.

With a broken heart, I realized much of the ship wasn’t even there-some of it must have

Been lost at sea.

Where was I? What island was this?

I had seen no such island on my maps when I set out. I wondered how far off course I was.

I realized I would have to re-build my vessel from scratch if I was to go on.

With tears I gathered each and every piece of ‘Determination’, unsure of how to start.

All I knew was that I needed to get back on the ocean.

So I took the broken remains of my ship- my dreams and myself- that I had left, and began to build a new boat.

 

Re-building a boat was harder than I had imagined it to be, though.

Slow and tedious, with numerous small set-backs.

Many years it has taken to rebuild my ship. Many hours of work and copious amounts

Of energy have gone into its construction.
But finally, one day, I was ready to set out again.
I took to the sea in my new little boat.
I call this boat ‘Hope’.
I’m not as assured this time; my boat is smaller, and I don’t know if I’ll make it to my destination.
I wonder if the journey is even worth it or if the destination even exists. But I know I must get on the ocean again and try to reach the island of dreams.

 

And while ‘Hope’ may not be the finest or fastest ship, she is sturdier than her predecessor and better able to withstand any storms that may come.

But ‘Hope’ is not inferior. She is built with parts of ‘Determination’ making her stronger .

And her sailor has changed as well.

Without the ignorant assuredness and perhaps a bit less confidant than on the first voyage.

I am more experienced now, and ready to sail again.

This time I am prepared for the waves and I can handle the storms.

I will have to sail my ship in uncharted waters and alter the route as I go along.

But I sail on ‘Hope’, and must have faith that it will be enough.

I want to find my island.

Let’s see where this goes.

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PHOTOS:

Photo 1: FreeImages.com/Gabor Weisz

Photo 2: FreeImages.com/Jeremi Horynski