The quiet of the night was broken by the ripples of water, licking the bottom of the boats. The wood was cracked and the paint was peeling in parts of the bows. The wood was not as strong and flexible a it had been at one time, when many journeys up and down the stream were yet to come. Those were other times for the boats, tight and proud, battling storms, wind, and rain or simply enjoying clear spring days and the flowers in the bank of the river.
There had been days when the bow broke the white foam of the waves, proud and fearless, never looking back. No weather was rough enough to scare them, the strength of youth the driving force that moved them. Carrying the day’s catch, finding new coves and turns in the liquid roads.
After many sunrises, the boats were not the same. Experience had left many marks in their structure. Granted, the paths were more familiar now, they knew the river like they had not known it when they were young, but somehow, learning it had taken a toll on them, The paint was not as shinny, the bow was not as straight, the journeys seemed longer and not as exciting as they had been before.
Night has found them tied to land, making a little water and wondering if the ropes holding them were real or imaginary. Or even necessary. If they were turned loose, would they glide to yet one more course or just drift where the current will take them, too weak to stir?
Somehow I know they would fight, there is always a new shore, a new venture, a new way to get to the same old places. It may take them longer, but the battered woods still have soul in them. The road does not change after many journeys, yet every day brings a new challenge. As long as the boats can float, there will be places to get to. Even if the wind and rain seem stronger at times, getting there has more meaning, bigger joys.
Under the moonlight, the boats wait for the sun to rise to carry on, just like you, just like me…