Just Another Day at the Beach
A boat washed up yesterday, and it was lovely. I mean, really, really nice. It had been painted as blue as the sky, and its sails where a clean white, and even though the storms had bashed it about a bit it still sat there, on the shore a relic from a bygone age. We all rushed down there, of course, just to look at it and for the longest time it seemed like no-one would approach it, and we all just gawped at its beauty.
Eventually I stepped forward, because everyone tells me I’m the smartest of my group, and because I was curious about what was inside. Of all the driftings that wash up on the great beach, so much is smashed and broken, fragments that a man can pore over for weeks, trying to work out what they once were, and something intact and recognisable was a thing of wonder.
So I approached, and inside was more wonders. A chart of the world-that-was, covered in drawings and lines, a compass, a sextant, supplies, or at least the cases they were once in, and the picked-white skeleton of a man. A cornucopia of dreams, turned to dust. The others gathered around me, first staring and then touching the contents of the boat, before as one we carried it, lost wanderer and all, to a high place of honour in the meeting ground between our territories.
That night we feasted on the finest food the island provides to us, and sang songs of far off places and lost times. Our poets and storytellers used the map and navigation aids to weave stories of the distant seas and the sights over the horizon. We heard of hardship, and luck, and glory and joy and of the love of adventure for its own reward.
The hour grew late, and we returned to our villages with eyes turned to the beach, and minds full of the hope that one day, perhaps, such voyages would the stuff of reality for our children. And then we awoke, and dismantled the boat for firewood, because, really, we had no-where else to go.