Hope offers a buoy in life’s ebb and flow

Columnist Rita Corbett compares life's ebb and flow to being shipwrecked.

A man was shipwrecked, and found himself floating on a raft in the ocean.

Only a circle of sharp fins marked his spot in a fathomless ocean.

As he watched and waited, his thoughts turned sharply toward rescue.

He sent little messages floating out to sea and used whatever he had to attract as much attention as possible.

Hours and days went by.  His food was gone, and water was getting low.  Then suddenly he heard it — a ship’s foghorn.

He could see nothing, and he certainly wasn’t safe.  But something had changed.  He had no help yet, but hope was born.

About an hour and a half later he thought he saw a ship’s form in the mist.  Initially he could not tell which way it was going.  But as the speck grew, he saw it was headed straight toward him.

Hope grew.  As the silhouette took shape on the horizon, he yelled and waved, willing someone on the ship to see him.

Nothing had changed, really.  He was still in the water.  He wasn’t safe yet, and had not yet been seen.  But hope was a possibility.

The ocean-liner loomed, advancing as though to run him over.  The ship passed so close to him he could feel the salt spray as its hull sliced the sea.  But no one saw him in the foamy wake, and his hope was nearly extinguished.

As the ship pulled away, a sailor scrubbing the rigging spotted the shipwrecked man in the water.

Mops and brushes flew as the deckhand screamed, gestured frantically, then disappeared. The ship shrank into the distance, and the despair again threatened the waterlogged survivor.  But the sailor reappeared with a whole collection of shipmates — all of them now pointing at the dot the bobbing man had become.

The survivor heard a change in the engine whine; the huge vessel began to rotate.  And hope returned.

The man’s life was still at risk!  There were still the sharks to avoid and swaying rope ladders to climb, but the happy survivor never considered those intrusions.  Hope had come home to stay.

Hope offers us a buoy in life’s ebb and flow.

We see it in a woman who tosses stranded starfish into the water.  Spiritual writings even claim that a need for hope is what leads humans into faith.  Said Martin Luther, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”

Teardrops sometimes distort the view from our soul’s windows.  But as we wait and hope, could we perchance toss a few hopes to someone else?

Hope can sustain us in the midst of nothingness.  After all, everyone has experienced being adrift in heavy seas!

We can’t change depth of the ocean, nor calm all the swells that threaten to submerge us.

But until a rope ladder appears over the side of a rescue ship, could we consider shouting encouragement to sinking fellow travellers?

I hope so.

– LOL@wltribune.com

Rita Corbett is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.


Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Central Mountain Air confirmed it does not plan to resume service to Williams Lake at this time. (Betsy Kline photo)
Central Mountain Air not resuming route to Williams Lake at this time

Scheduled CMA flights will return to Quesnel at the end of June

Gibraltar Mine has started calling back 34 workers laid off on April 27 because it has received its permit to reactive the Gibraltar East Pit. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
Gibraltar Mine receives permit, calling back laid off employees

Mining has begun in the Gibraltar East pit

(RCMP logo)
RCMP investigating early morning assault in Williams Lake

An insecure firearm was located in a residence

Williams Lake City Council rejected a proposal Tuesday at its regular meeting for the city to host a junior A hockey team for the upcoming 2021/22 season. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Council rejects junior A hockey bid in Williams Lake

The proposal has been up for debate the past several months

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read