By Lisa Ayling
There was once a boat. The boat was unique, crafted from aged wood grown in a beautiful forest. The grains of the wood running like fingerprints throughout were a quiet reminder that this boat, even though similar in appearance to some, was like no other: it was truly unique.
The boat was independent, over the years it had charted its way through many waters, exploring the changing, undulating landscapes and taking in the views along the way. All the time learning the craft of moving elegantly through the water. The boat had many passengers on its journey, some whom stayed a while, others who conversed fleetingly from the banks. The boat was proud, it used its sails and rudder to work with the ebb and flow of the water and the changing breeze, gliding seemingly effortlessly at pace towards the horizon.
One day the wind had dropped (this had happened before) and the boat almost came to a stop, but as the conditions around it changed it found more time to take in the views that had gone unnoticed along the way.
Whilst sitting, almost still, on the smooth glasslike water, the boat was joined by a majestic eagle who swooped effortlessly down and perched on the edge of the boat. The eagle asked the boat if it could rest a while, it explained that the still conditions were making it more challenging for it to travel large distances and see everything from above, so it would wait for conditions to change before continuing its long, majestic journey.
The boat asked whether the Eagle always needed to travel so high above the landscape? “Why, of course” it responded, “how else can I progress if I can’t see great distances from above and see what lies ahead on the distant horizon?” The boat pondered this statement, and after passing the time of day a little longer bid farewell to the Eagle as it continued on its’ journey.
The boat was enjoying the delicate view as it gently bobbed along a new stretch of the river. Coming close to the banks it could see new flora emerging from
its winter sleep: a whole new landscape. Peering out between two emerging buds a mouse moved nimbly along. The boat greeted the mouse and welcomed it aboard so that it could rest a while.
The mouse thanked the boat and commented on how quickly they seemed to be gliding along the banks “but we are barely moving” smiled the boat. The mouse gazed on in wonder, observing the banks as they passed from the boat. After a while it thanked the boat “you have taken me further in this short time than I could have traveled in the whole day!” and it nimbly returned to the banks, renewed and rested.
The breeze picked up a little and the little boat’s sail once again embraced the warm air. As the boat resumed its journey it glanced up at the expansive sky, and considered the path of the majestic eagle, then at the banks bursting with life and thought of the nimble mouse, then looked ahead and set its course. This time the boat noticed how smooth the water felt, how warm the breeze was and how much more could be seen on its own horizon.