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We travel through life

from the moment we arrive on planet Earth.

Wherever we are, whatever we do,

we are always going somewhere

as there is always a destination.

But the journey is where life resides, not the destination.

In so many ways

life is like a magnificent, vast, but perilous ocean.

Our journey is the path we follow,

the wake we leave behind,

accompanied by fellow travelers joining us along the way.

We are the vessels sailing through it all.

Of all our fellow travelers, some are better than others.

With many, we have a choice

with others, we don’t.

Some are with us for good, others drop-off along the way,

but our closest, most loyal and beloved companions,

are those whose presence stays with us forever.

When our life’s vessel is sturdy and resilient,

we trust it, know it,

maintain it, conduct it, will it, love it well,

our ship will be able to withstand and outlast

virtually any rogue wave or weather any storm,

life throws at us.

Life’s journey occurs because we seek to travel,

throughout the earth’s seas,

in the knowledge that,

there are endless places to be discovered,

and many more people we may meet.

There are moments in life when we soar above the oceans

and there are other moments

when we drop all the way to the bottom.

As in life, on an ocean voyage

we reach countless ports of call,

some picture-perfect,

others filled with trappings,

some with rocky shores, dangerous landings.

Sometimes sandy beaches await us,

some others our destination is unbearable,

demanding high sacrifices.

On occasion the seas are calm,

the gentle breeze allows for smooth sailing,

on those precious days, the sun is gentle

and the rain is just a drizzle.

Sometimes the oceans display happiness and joy,

on such days the sounds of the seas

feel like a magnificent concerto,

with every instrument playing the inspiring music of life

with the sky painted in glorious colors and tones.

In these moments,

we seemingly float or walk over water,

we ride the waves, kite the wind, skim the surface, or dive under it.

On these days we rejoice, celebrate the oceans,

and life’s voyage is a joyful ride,

that we wish would never cease to be.

But there are instances when we can barely swim

or even stay afloat

as the seas try to drag us down

with their heaviest ballasts.

On those days the oceans seemingly weep in pain,

flailing against the rocks

and the skies drum and lament in opaque colors of sorrow.

During those moments, all seems full of sadness and nostalgia,

yet we resist, vanquish,

and get to live another day.

Sometimes when we are hit by weather systems,

more often than not, after the fact,

we come to the realization that,

preparation, prudence, and alertness,

could or would have prevented it all.

Thus, life’s grand travail can be rough and trying.

The ocean’s natural elements

may show us their force and strength

as if there were anger and fury bursting out of them.

When this happens, we fight and conquer

seeking to endure, overcome, and prevail.

When the oceans flip into monsters in an instant,

their waves become voracious destructors

of anything in their sight,

hence, there are no autopilots in life,

neither can we take for granted at any time,

the safe passage of our vessel.

That is why, on a well-traveled life journey,

we appreciate and value the good days against the bad ones,

as we know the latter will come, sooner or later,

as on the voyage of life, we will experience birth and love,

death and hope, triumph and defeat, faith and doubt,

wonder and awe, magic and reality,

construction, destruction, and reconstruction,

genius and talent, laughter and tears,

mediocrity and tireless effort, celebration and mourning,

fame and repudiation, truth and falsehood,

health and pain, betrayal and forgiveness,

tragedy and renewal, passion and humbleness,

failure and redemption.

They will come to us on all kinds of days, weather, and seas.

As the journey moves along,

we will learn again and again

that love, faith, courage, experience,

knowledge and hope

will see us through the rough patches.

Life’s circle is, in fact, a journey,

we travel endlessly nonstop,

soaring above or struggling underneath,

through calm or high seas,

through rain or shine,

through countless ports of call.

And we ride, along with travel companions

that join us along the way,

we journey relentlessly,

from beginning to end,

through the oceans of life,

with a restless spirit and a gypsy soul.

Erasmus Cromwell-Smith

July 2020.

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