I sat down to rest on a bench facing the river.
Around me, families of geese, a peregrine falcon hovering, a beaver chewing on a log, in short, the small miracles of the day.
Suddenly, I was surprised by a boat that I had not seen for years: a little paper boat.
I looked around to see if the owner was there, maybe a kid, a grandparent, or a hopeless romantic like me, but I didn’t see anyone.
I continued my walk along the river, following the fragile but resolute little boat with my eyes. An old childhood melody returned to my memory: once upon a time there was a tiny boat….
Suddenly this one ran aground on the shore. I wanted to go rescue him, but the current came to his aid.
The river became turbulent, and the boat had to navigate through rocks. I thought that would be the end and ran to the rescue.
But no, the ship had capsized, but it was still afloat until it found a pool of still waters. There it was, stranded.
Once again, I wanted to go to his aid, but the ducklings that swam by his side generated concentric waves that took the boat out of the stillness; it straightened up and continued on his journey.
The river widened and the little boat moved away, with serene dignity, until it disappeared in the distance.
I paused before starting my way back and asked myself a rather curious question.
Could it be that at birth, we all embark on a tiny paper boat?
Could it be that the little paper boat, in its fragility, though tenacity on overcoming obstacles, in its inexorable destiny of disappearance, has just given me a great lesson in humility?
I started my way back humming the catchy childish melody. I smiled and greeted the strangers I found along these paths with brand new eyes.
In the end, we are all fellow travelers.
“Life is one long lesson in humility.”