We have challenges enough, do we not? With every day presenting its difficulties, a multitude of small assaults on our well-being. We build up no credit for facing these struggles, and instead are told it’s possible there may also be bombs in the basement, strapped with electrical tape to the pillars of our sanity and our humanity.
Why then choose to add more difficulty to the day?
A particular individual has decided to get up early in the morning and go down to the river with the understanding that a number of other individuals will do the same. If that happens, they will form a group, and as a group they will put a boat in the river and attempt to row it.
Rowing a boat, any boat, is difficult and so these individuals have been made a promise. They’ve been promised that if they keep coming down to the river and trying to row the boat, something good will happen.
Today as we began the last part of our row, turning to head for the dock, I caught that look of frustration. There had been moments of good movement over the course of the practice, touches of the ideal, grasped but then let slip, making the bad strokes feel even worse.
Two metal towers of the city’s water intake system protrude above the surface of the river and a pair of geese have taken to resting on the one closest to the riverbank. As we pass by them, trying to find a few good strokes before we land, the gander raises his concerns.
“Always with the noise, and the straining, and the flailing! What kind of bird are you? You have eight wings but you never fly!”
I can only respond, “We want to fly. We are trying.”