On a recent walk in the beautiful coastal town of Merimbula, these boats caught my eye. Something about them made me stop. After taking these photographs, I realised what it was.
The boats were tied up, as if held back. They were restrained. Of course, that’s what you do with a boat when it is not on the water. You keep it safe. But still, they seemed a little sad, almost as if waiting to be freed, to be unleashed upon the open water.
“The boat is safer anchored at the port. But that is not the aim of boats.” – Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage
“That is not the aim of boats.”
These boats felt like the perfect representation of the last two years. In so many ways, we’ve been restricted. The freedoms we enjoyed so obliviously were suddenly snatched away. The people we longed to see were so much further away than the distance between us. The plans we made with hopeful hearts, so far out of reach.
Then I saw this boat. Still not quite free, but hopeful. Still anchored, but edging towards a dream. Still unfulfilled, but tiptoeing towards a promise of something better.
Here’s to 2022, may it bring us the opportunity to explore new waters, the courage to leave the shore, and the people we love, to row with us.
© 2022 Seetha Dodd