At the end of the longest dust filled road is the highest green and purple hill, and at the very top of that hill is the cosiest little home with grey window sills, blue curtains and a red roof. Red daisies envelope its foot while white daisies shower over its head as the wind tickles it’s trees. White mist engulfs the home, like a thick blanket protecting a child against the blizzard, and allows nothing but the light of the stars to touch it. It is put to sleep by the gentle lullaby sung by the river and the wind as they caress each other all day and all night. This river is our path. This river is our destination. My little black boat and I would begin our journey and drift away into the lengths and depths of this river-our river. Never did we row, never did we navigate. We didn’t need directions, as our journey was the destination we dreamt of. Nothing mattered, not the distance, not the people, not the rocks, not even the home we left behind. We let the wind decide our path and graciously accepted the drift of the river. We were careless, fearless, and truly content by ourselves. The destination did not require our care, nor concern. What could go wrong? We thought. We simply course the path of the river as wished by the wind, nothing could possibly go wrong, we believed. And so we wandered, for days in and nights out, on our river with nothing but the wind by our side.
Something feels different… The River seems to have become anxious, uncertain. But I wasn’t worried, I had my boat, and my boat will protect me. Always protect me. And so we carried on. The river coursed through a rocky path, scarring my boat as we passed by them. But my boat continued with its journey, carrying me along. We made our way through some tricky turns riddled with unexpected twists. But my boat didn’t miss a beat and on we went. Farther and farther away, with nothing to care for but each other and nothing to guide us but the wind.
But I see something, at that far end of the river. It does look like the end of the river. I feel unsettled, for the first time since we began our journey, I feel unsettled. I hold on to my boat, grabbing onto the side I try and force my boat to turn away. I pull hard with all my might, willing my boat to journey against the wind. Although I knew it was to be an impossible task, I yelled at my boat to take a new course, a different course, an impossible course. But we didn’t. We continued to move closer and closer to the end until I saw what it was, and it was a great fall. I clutched on to my boat, squeezed my eyes shut and screamed out loud for myself, the wind, the river and my boat to hear-My boat will protect me. Always protect me. Never will I face a day when I will have to fight off dangers, because my boat will protect me. Always protect me. And then it began, that fall. It was quick, like a lifetime. Slowly, I opened my eyes. Bracing myself to face whatever it is that I have to face. I felt my hand still clutched tightly onto my boat and as soon as I saw light, my heart stopped. Everything had burst into a million irrelevant colours and all the noises in the world had joined together to become a buzz. All I could see was my boat floating around me. My boat shattered into pieces and floating around me and all I had with me is this one piece held tightly in my hand. All I could hear was the deadening silence as darkness began filling the insides of me, shutting everything else out. All I could feel was the burning cool water as it moved against me, trying to sway me ashore. I climbed onto the piece of my boat and waited for the water to take me to the shore. With trembling hands, I held on to my piece as we drifted toward the shore. But the slow course was not fast enough because soon the cool water burnt up and began lashing around trying to consume me with it. My piece of boat was not big enough to protect me. So this time, I navigated and directed my course and moved towards the shore. Using the scattered pieces of my boat, I set the course and finally reached the shore. I will be safe on the shore, I thought, the water will not hurt me there. I grabbed on to the thick roots growing by the side of the shore and pulled myself closer. I knew now, that all I had to do was get off the water and climb onto the grass, and the water won’t burn me anymore. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t let go of my boat. My fist was still tight around the roots, but my body refused to move. As the water kept crashing around me, burning me as it touched, I slowly let go of the roots and drifted away into the lengths and depths of this river. I had my boat, and my boat will protect me. Always protect me, I whispered as I shut my eyes and slowly began to fall deep into the nothingness that I created for my boat and for me.