Friday, December 28, 2012

The Boat Keeper

Photo Credit

I walk down to the dock in the early morning, thinking I'll row out into the lake and watch the day wake up. But as I approach the dock I see my friend's boat is also tied to my dock. It has a certain charm and character lacking in my own boat, but I would have finished the wood differently, perhaps invested in a sturdier paddle. I'm not sure how seaworthy it is, yet it has not sunk and its floor is dry.

I see him on his dock, smiling as he waves at me. He's planning to spend the morning in the middle of the lake, fishing. I hate fishing; I'd rather take some music, a thermos of herbal tea and a novel when I row out into the lake. Two of his friends have joined him on the dock (I don't care for his taste in friends) and they are talking about the sandwiches they're going to eat and how they'll manage all the fish they are going to catch.

How can he get his boat ready for the day if it's tied up to my dock, not his, I wonder. Why did he tie it up to my dock anyway? Slowly it comes back to me -- I am the one who tied his boat to my dock. I don't fully approve of how he uses his boat, nor was I sure where he was when I saw the boat adrift on the lake. I thought I could fix it up for him. I have some ideas that might really make a difference for him. So I brought it close to me, where I could keep my eye on it and help him work out some of its quirks. But how will he fish today if his boat is tied to my dock?

I bend down and untie the rope. "The boat's all yours," I call to him. "Enjoy your day."

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Have you got anyone in your life who is tied up to your dock that you need to untie? Let me suggest that you set them free from your expectations and opinions, so that they can live their own life and you can live yours. Wouldn't that be a great way to start the new year?

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