So, the story goes…
A man with a boat gets a call about Hawaii’s tsunami warning, letting him know he needs to move his vessel. There is no safe harbor. The best course of action is counter-intuitive: take his boat out to sea. So the seaman motors further out into the ocean, spending the night on the vast, tumultuous water.
This story is told by the boat man’s mother, who was up all night afraid for her son’s life. By morning, he and the boat had made it through the surges just fine.
Would the boat have tried to position itself in the safety of the harbor, it may have run aground in the receding waters or been smashed to pieces with the ensuing tidal swell. Clinging to the shore was dangerous. The most wise move was to leave the shelter of the harbor and forge out to meet the waves. He needed to travel to depths so far that the boat would simply float among the surges.
In my own emotional fathoms, I sense the tendency to want to stick close to familiar shores. But it’s true that though the shoreline may feel familiar, I’m lingering right in the impact zone. Could it be that the more I hold on, resisting the deep unknown sea of me, the more I get tossed about in the white water wash? It’s dark and deep and scary out there. Do I dare move toward the unpredictable when all systems have declared a massive wave of unknown proportions is on its way? Is being vulnerable really the safest move?
The seaman says yes. Cruise right out there and float.