Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bon Voyage (09/05/05)
TITLE: Deep Water
By Catherine Gregg
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We set sail on a cold November evening, you and I, do you remember ?
It didn’t take long to become a team, pulling and heaving at the ropes, while the water beat over our heads in torrents. Sometimes I wondered what on earth I was doing in this little sail boat, with a stranger I had only just met.
The sea became ferocious and we felt alone . Do you remember when a huge wave swept me over-board ? For a while I knew I was drowning. It was shockingly cold and the water filled my nose, my ears. I couldn’t hear you calling me. My clothes were growing long in the arms and legs and I thought they were tentacles pulling me down. I forgot how to tread water, forgot all the drills my parents had taught me. All my knowledge was in my head, not in my limbs where it was needed. I had a life jacket ; oh how I needed it ! It lifted up my head when the water threatened to overwhelm me. I had never realised before how much I needed that life-jacket, all the times I had grumbled about having to put it on.
I had set sail with you, because I knew that you were going to be my life. I knew I had to follow you, to give myself to you. I trusted your expertise and your love for me. Some love ! It was not like the love of a friend or a brother. More like the love of a father, trying to grow and develop my impatient and unformed nature. You saw something in me that no-one else had seen. Even I hadn’t seen it. I dimly knew that maybe I had something to offer, but in my ignorance and my laziness I thought it was only my love. On that night, the fateful voyage, you showed me that it was myself I had to give, so that you could perfect me.
You pulled me out as the waters closed over my head, and I was almost fainting with fear and fatigue. You held me close and tenderly and you forgave my rebelliousness, for falling over the side, when you had told me to hold onto you.
Sometimes I wonder if I would have stayed with you, if it hadn’t been for that night. Maybe I would have become a bored and familiar passenger, watching you sail, while I read a book and dreamed. It is so abundant and full - our life together, as we seek out the violent storms and weather them : an unbroken adventure of loving and struggling and overcoming. How could I ever stay home in front of the fire, when there is such a life to be had ?
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