Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Story-A-Day #96: Wish You Were Here


I’ll admit with full disclosure that the situation really did seem like a disaster. I had gone out in my 12-foot aluminum boat to enjoy a simple day of fishing. I went alone: mistake number one. I had only been out for a couple hours when the rain started, but I decided to stick it out, thinking it would pass. I should have checked the forecast: mistake number two. When I washed up on the shore of this island, I was relieved, but I knew that I might be here for a while. I hadn’t told anyone I was heading out: mistake number three.

I’ve been here for 9 days now, which might seem like quite a bit of time, but it isn’t; not at all. And my stay has been quite pleasant. I am on Grand Island and as you know, there was an old camp here. I have shelter. I managed to keep hold of my fishing rod when my boat capsized and my tackle box washed up later on first day, so I can get food easily enough. Plus there are a ton of edible plants on this island. They must be remnants from the camp; I’ve found things like carrots and potatoes growing, and that isn’t exactly common for this area.

At first, my instinct was to panic about my situation and to loath myself for being so stupid. Three major mistakes had gotten me where I am, and they were all easily remedied.

What I’ve come to realize though, is that I might have actually done all this on purpose – not consciously or anything, but the subtext of intent in my actions is undeniable. Things back home have been pretty crazy lately and I hadn’t realized just how run down and tired I have been for the past few weeks. This time away has proven to be quite beneficial.

I’ve been swimming every day, with the pretense that I’ll eventually swim back to the mainland. I’ve been hiking around the island looking for more secret nooks and moments of splendor. I’ve also been thinking. Possibly more than I ever have before.

Life should not be a consistent battle to get work done, pay the bills, fulfill social obligations, maintain friendships, eat properly, or satisfy the overarching needs of society. We have become so regimented that there is little joy remaining in our lives.

Out here on this island, things are great. I don’t plan my activities, I just engage in whatever notion catches my attention. Feeling warm? Swim. Feeling low? Climb a tree? Feeling apathetic? Take a hike. It’s a wonderfully causal system.

I am writing this letter to you as a token of respect. I am going to put it in a bottle and see where it ends up. If you have found this, you know that I am on Grand Island. Feel free to send someone to collect me. I won’t resist. After all, I am not here to escape my obligations. I have family and friends that will be missing me by now and I don’t want them to worry.

I’ll go home when the time comes, but for now, there is so much peace and beauty on this little island that I am quite content to watch the waves crash over the rocks as the sun slowly sinks into the horizon. Whoever you might be, I ask that you do the same tonight. Do it every night. Also, take an hour to watch the skies at night. That is something you will never regret doing.

Please pass this letter along to the authorities and be sure to leave your name. I’d like to meet you someday, supposing we haven’t met already. Send help, but don’t rush. I’m happy in this place and I don’t mind waiting.

Wish You Were Here.

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