When the ship first limped into harbour it was a wreck – it looked quite presentable – but it wasn’t functioning as it should be. Its name was “Victim”. If you looked beneath the outside façade, the layers and layers of paint and varnish, there you would discover rotten wood and all the destruction within. All the damage that was caused by years of abuse, carefully hidden and covered up by layers of paint.
Together we worked on the ship. Some of the old rotten wood had to be removed and thrown away. Some could be restored with a little work, and some could still be used in its present state.
It took a lot of hard work over many years. There were times when everything looked impossible, but we persevered, and eventually, the ship was restored to take on the role it had been made for. It would never be the same as it once was, but it was still the same ship, restored and repaired. All the rot had been removed. It was now renamed “Survivor. It stood proudly and safely in the harbour. It had been repaired with pieces of determination, trust, hope, faith, love, tears, frustration, despair, care, perseverance. It was now a strong ship.
But now that it was ready to set sail again “Survivor” was afraid that the ravages of the sea would make it a “Victim” again. “Survivor” was afraid to set sail. It wanted to stay where it was, where it felt safe and free from harm.
But the ship had to set sail. It is the only wise choice. It has to be pushed out to sea to be driven by the wind. It is quite capable of weathering any storm. It isn’t unsinkable. No ship is. But it is fully equipped with all that it needs to explore the world and do the job it was created to do. ‘Survivor’ is ready to face new challenges.
But it doesn’t feel ready. It feels like, on the inside, some of the wood is still rotten, and that there is still damage that is not repaired. “Survivor” has to believe that it is ready. it knows that is is So much work has been done. It has been instrumental in its own rebuilding. It has to trust itself.
This is a new adventure, and feels like the most frightening thing it can imagine. It feels alone, but “Survivor” looks back to when it limped into harbour so many years ago, alone and afraid as “Victim”, and at the effort that had been put in for it to become “Survivor”.
It now had to take on its new objective, and its new name. Of corse, there will be times when it has to come back to harbour for maintenance, but “Thriver” has to be launched.
Originally published in Your Stories.