A few days ago, while my husband was still on his Christmas break, we drove to the beachside suburb of Cronulla (about 20 minutes drive away) and caught the ferry across the Port Hacking River to the little town Of Bundeena, in the Royal National Park. It was a fun trip, but for some reason I got it into my head to want to compare that trip to that other journey across a river, the one portrayed so well at the end of Pilgrim's Progress. The thought has stayed with me, and this is the result ..
Of course I have just now noticed that my first blog post of the year was on the subject of emotional abuse, and my second one on death. Should I be concerned? :)
THE BUNDEENA FERRY
That will be no reversible excursion
No pleasure trip with cameras bags and hats
Only the roiling of the bitter tide
The final coldness .. and awaiting glory.
The children clamber, chatter, drop their things
Laughter and conversation fill the boat,
The very waves are small and kind today
Sweet is the stranger’s camaraderie.
Not so that journey.
That other river, bourne of dreadful fear
Where we must go alone, alone, alone
Without a boat or easement of the way
Down where the waters close above one’s head.
The river must be crossed.
There comes a time
At the end of land, with nowhere left to go,
When the river must be crossed.
Rivers are not alike, they vary greatly:
Size, speed, the time of year, the weather’s mood,
And still, and still, the ferry boats go forth.
I can plan my journey.
Pick a fair day, an easy pleasant passage,
Sit back, anticipate the other side,
And pay my fare, a little, easy sum,
And lack for nothing, taking what I will.
The other river
Cannot be planned, controlled, or promised sweet,
And, Oh my Lord, the fare cost everything!
(Nor could I pay it from my bankruptcy)
I do not know the hour when I must go,
How inconvenient or terrible,
I only know who waits the other side
And how my whole heart yearns to be with him ..