When the sailboat’s hull scrapes on the sandbar, all I can think is finally.
Finally I have managed to sail my vessel straight to the island I always wanted to be on. At last I am grounded, marooned, isolated. I am truly alone.
I hear the ugly sound of sand on wood, the creaking of my faithful vessel as it protests the harm I am doing it. Uncertain jerks. Confused waves splashing around a barrier that shouldn’t be there.
Is it a shipwreck if the boat doesn’t break?
Is it a shipwreck if I wanted to land?
I remember the waves and how awful they were. Tossed back and forth in an ocean of contempt and concern, love and loss. Every time I sat at the top of the sea and saw the horizon, the sun and the sky, I would begin to sob. Because I knew next thing I’d be back in a valley of cold, harsh saltwater, and soon another wave would come, and another, and another
But now I’m here at this island, at a wreck that isn’t a wreck, at the abrupt landing that I chose, and I stand at the prow and stare at the shore.
I could have waited. I could have lasted a while longer. Who knows how long I might have survived, out there in the fierce icy walls, friend and foe around me and me unable to tell which was which. I might have made it.
Eventually, though, I think the waves would have been too much. I think I would have been pummelled and battered and driven to shore. Driven against rocks. Desperately clinging to a cliff I didn’t choose and wishing I had given up long ago.
I grab the side of the boat and swing over, splashing to the surf six feet below. Cool and clear.
I wade slowly to the island and survey my surroundings. This is home now. White coastline stretching around a green and growing forest.
I unbuckle my boots and dig my toes into the sand. Look back at my boat and suddenly, I laugh.
This is home now, and I chose it. I picked my own paradise. I told the storms I wouldn’t let them slay me, and I set out to find my own safety.
This is my safety.
Dragging sacks of supplies from the sailboat, I linger in the shallows longer than I should. Salt in my toes and a sea breeze in my hair and I’m
If this is a shipwreck, I’d like to crash more often.
Is it a shipwreck if you choose it?
Safe. Silent. Alone on my island. If this is paradise, then let me have it all.
I’m here on the island that I’ve sailed to for so long, and I stand on my sand and I stare at the sky and I smile.
I’m going to post an installment of “island living” every Wednesday until either I run out of inspiration or I finish the story (hopefully the latter). Posts that aren’t related will probably show up on Saturdays.
This is a completely unexpected idea I had while mowing last night, and I couldn’t shake it, so I wrote it. Don’t be fooled. It’s not going to end the way you want it to.