Comings and Goings

If I look down, a ferry is always
docking or pulling away from the shore.
I am not always aware of these goings on
anymore than I am my own breathing,
but, when I do take note,
the sense of overseeing this step
in a process that’s both
open-ended and fixed
fills me with a vague dread

while passengers,
whether boarding or landing,
may feel they are finally
getting somewhere

~Rae Armantrout “Somewhere” from Wobble

photo of the ferry Walla Walla run aground by Mike Reicher of the Seattle Times

We live in a state that depends on ferry travel to get across Puget Sound/Salish Sea from the mainland to the islands and peninsulas. Other than the occasional bumpy crossing in windy weather, it is usually a quiet interlude on our way to get somewhere, time to take a brief nap or a few deep breaths. No one thinks about the possibility of trouble when riding the ferry to work or back to home.

This past week, trouble happened. A generator failure aboard the ferry Walla Walla took out power mid-voyage, including ability to run the engine, so the ferry drifted to shore and ran aground. Over 500 passengers and crew were stuck on board with nowhere to go; certainly no routine coming or going except by rescue transport via smaller boats.

A vague dread indeed – I’ll be thinking of ferry rides a bit differently now. I’m relieved no one was hurt, but only inconvenienced. Thankfully I wasn’t on board this particular ferry run, stymied in my effort to try to get somewhere.

I have never been promised my journey to somewhere would be full of puppies and rainbows. In fact, I’ve run aground and had equipment failure aplenty. So when things do go smoothly, I need to acknowledge it for the blessing it is — just like breathing is a blessing of comings and goings.

Take a deep breath and bon voyage.


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2 thoughts on “Comings and Goings

  1. I’m sorry you feel this about ferry’s now. It’s not a common thing. Sometimes you surprise me of your fears and sadness of health and growing older and now riding ferrys. As a strong Christian, these things surprise me about you. You may not be as sad as I interpret and you probably get tired of comments. But I do enjoy many of your posts. Blessings to you and your family. -Judy Morton Tucker.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Judy, thank you for helping me to understand my attempt at metaphor of ferry rides suffered here. I’ll be riding many ferries in my future since our daughter and son-in-law live on the Kitsap Peninsula and our future grandchildren will live there. Riding the ferry is so much preferable to the drive through Seattle/Tacoma some days! The ferry running aground reminded me that even the most pleasant transportation isn’t problem-free and I need to understand, as a Christian, this world is not our home – something better soon awaits. In that, there is a sadness and rejoicing both at once. Thanks for letting me clarify a bit! Blessings, Emily


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