The river flows past our cabin. It does not contemplate where it is going, or how it will arrive at some illusion of end. It just flows, carrying the debris from storms, or supporting the flocks of geese and ducks riding from one bank to the other. One day we watched a silent boat drift down the center of the river. It started a gentle pirouette that struck me as unusual for a cabin cruiser to perform. We boarded our pontoon and headed toward it, making a wide arc before sidling up and grabbing the rails. When we did, a disoriented man emerged from the cabin. He was obviously existing in the stupor between awake and asleep. With no apparent awareness, he started the boat’s engine and started back up the river. Somehow he kept the boat in the channel without drifting. We lost sight of him as he rounded a bend. The river guided him, I hope, to a safe shore. We later found out his was one of half a dozen boats whose mooring lines had been maliciously cut during the night. He was the lucky one. The rest were sailboats whose masts struck a bridge that passes over the river, breaking masts and damaging boats. Some repairs will go into the next season. And some boats may be beyond repair.
We must trust the river will carry us safely through, even when we worry about the shearing of our masts. Those who cut our moorings will not know the ultimate impact such behavior will create, and neither do we. Will our masts hit a bridge and then, damaged, glide under and through, or will we slide past unscathed until someone helps us take the helm again? We have no choice right now about what is happening, but we do have a choice to allow the river to guide us safely to shore.
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