Just sail away.

We are so quick to drop anchors and so hesitant to pull them up.

You pull your ship into a port, and the harbor looks so lively, the water so calm and peaceful, and the city so welcoming. And so you weigh your anchor. And you descend upon everything good the port has to offer. And nothing could be more perfect.

One morning you rouse from a night out to the sounds of a fight in the streets. A week or so later, a local shop by the water’s edge is looted, the owner beaten. Another month, a man drowns in the bay off the north end of the serene ocean city. But the sun still shines off the rippling waves as the sunsets, and the warmth you feel in your heart at such a sight washes away any doubts.

There is a fire. An inextinguishable, unsurmountable fire. The port burns, every hostel and market with it. The street you first walked down after disembarking your ship on that first misty morning glares red with flames and agony. The perfect sands are black with soot and smoke, and the waters filled with fiery fuel and debris. You run to your ship, and hastily draw in the walkway to the dock.

But your anchor still is lowered.

You survey the lost city, the paradise gone forever. There is nothing left for you here, that can’t be more clear. But your vision doubles like a veil placed in front of your eyes. You see the port for the beauty it was, and you are sucked into that past and that yearning feeling that the port is still there. But you know, you know, that behind that veil, the port is no more. And so you set the ship on a course out into the open sea, into the unknown.

But your anchor still is lowered.

The ship moves begrudgingly. You remain on the deck of the ship, clinging to the railing, staring at the port ablaze. It is a battle between you and the very ship you command. The ship wants to take you far away from that port. The ocean is endless, filled with more towns and bays and treasures beyond your dreams. But you are frozen, grieving for the treasure you called home for so long. If you let up the anchor, the ship will do its job, and off you will go, into the unknown. But if you leave it dragging on the seabed, you can relish in those memories and views of the past paradise as you reluctantly leave it behind.

What will you do? Will you pull up your anchor when your safe harbor is destroyed, and sail off with a brave heart into whatever may come? Or let it rattle about the ocean floor as you hold onto something that can never be what it was?

I say pull her up men, full steam ahead.


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