In life, there are many people we may refer to as acquaintances or friends. These people come and go in our lives like a stiff breeze. There aren't many people that I know now who have known multiple friends though childhood and adulthood. I may have a few acquaintances I know now that I once knew in my pre-teen days, but things change with age. I don't know them like I once did. They're not the friends they once were. Likewise, I'm not the friend to them that I once was. There's nothing wrong with it, it's an evolutionary fact.
There are some people who come into our lives though - like a gentle rolling wave on the sandy shore, they're steady and strong, never faltering, sometimes growing stronger, sometimes needing patience to pick up the speed.
Three times I've known one particular person to come into my life.
The first time was like a tsunami, washing over me and pulling me into the tide the second I dipped one foot into the water. I was carried away, swept off my feet. I fought the tide though and swam back to shore, fleeing in great fear. I vowed never to go near the ocean again for fear of being swept away forever. I didn't trust the waves not to hurt me.
The second time, I dared venture near the ocean again. I stayed on the shore for the longest time, not daring to even stick my big toe in the water. I remained fearful that the ocean would carry me away again and this time I wouldn't survive to walk the shores of the land I loved again. Finally, when I dared to put my hand in the water, the warmth was too inviting and I jumped in once more. This time the ocean spat me back upon the sand, telling me that it wasn't time yet, that I needed to be patient.
The third time, I grew braver than before. I walked right up to the ocean, told it what I thought of it, and jumped in fully prepared to swim the mighty sea, going along with wherever the tide chose to take me. The 5,000 miles left to swim is a long, long way, but the ocean keeps pulling me further along and I feel powerless to fight it even if I wanted to.
I brought my mask and snorkel this time... I came prepared. I know what I'm getting myself into this time around and I'm ready to face it head on. I've been lucky enough to get a third chance. I refuse to give up.
This love affair I've had with the ocean three times has taught me something very valuable. It doesn't matter if I'm land bound - if I'm fighting the sea and the currents of life, I'll loose every time. If I go where the wind blows me and the ocean tides pull me, that Happy Ending is waiting for me, just around the corner - in a place where Scottish Heather meets the ocean blue.
My Life Savers have been the exceptional friends I've met on land and in the sea during my many travels and adventures. They've pulled me out when I was about to drown and offered me shelter when I couldn't go on. They've managed to give me hope, to keep me believing that I must continue to swim the current, to reach that destination on the foreign shore. There's something worth while waiting over there for me, I just have to reach out for it. They're the buoys bobbing playfully in that far off coast, beckoning to me, calling me to what is my rightful home, that place where I belong; the shores of my ancestors.
The greatest beacon on the coldest days is the ever present lighthouse, standing tall and strong on that distant shore, waiting for me to arrive. The light never goes out, never falters, and always keeps calling out to me. That lighthouse is the biggest and most powerful Life Saver in my known existance. Someday I will reach that shore and wrap my arms around the housing for that beckoning light, thankful to have finally made it to where I belong. The Lighthouse sent the Ocean to collect me home three times, and this time I won't give up until I'm there.