Are You Listening?

Young Man2

There is one solitary canoe upon the lake’s open waters. There is one solitary young man within that canoe upon the lake’s open waters. He paddles alone steadily cutting through the water.

Why is he alone? 

He creates ripples over the water’s surface with each stroke of the paddle, first on the left, then on the right. Those ripples disperse toward the banks as though the young man is urging them to reach land. Ever so slightly, the ripples touch the entirety of the lake.

What is he trying to say? 

He paddles and paddles. Stroke for stroke. I watch him from a distance from my perch on the shore among the grasses. It is unknown whether he is aware of my presence. As I continue to watch, his paddling slows and ceases. He leans over the side of the boat, peering into the mirror stillness of the lake’s surface.

What is he looking for?

He looks for only a moment before straightening his body. With paddle in hand, he rises to his feet. Unsteady at first, the canoe sways, again creating ripples. In the middle of a lake, atop a canoe, he stands.

What does he stand for?

He appears tall, proud as though he has accomplished a great feat.

What has he accomplished? 

As he continues to stand, the clouds open and rain begins to fall. Falling. Falling. Creating thousands of echoing ripples, small but bountiful across the surface of the lake. I can’t read his facial expressions. The distance between us is too great, but I believe he is smiling with the purest of joy because within this moment he is in control. He is standing and experiencing and feeling. In this moment, he does not need to use his voice in order to be heard.

So I ask you dear audience… Who is this young man? And are you listening to him?

Young man

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