The Glorious Day

Lovely, isnt it.

I could stand here all day and look out at that: that glorious sky, that magnificent blue ocean. 

I come up here every day, you know. Oh yes, regardless of the weather, I find time somewhere to climb these stairs and embrace the view.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a sailor. A life on the seas, free from the restraints of earth and gravity, I could float, skipping merrily across the open waters like a leaf fallen from a tree. My father, a life long sailor himself, heartily agreed, and it was decided I would be sent to become an officer in Her Majesty’s Navy. 

To that end, I was sent to school. I learned all I could about cartography and navigation and shipbuilding. I soaked it up like a sponge, trapping every bit of knowledge I could, refining it, bringing it together in wholly unexpected ways, impressing my instructors so much that I was invited, upon graduation, to teach at that very same school. I was hesitant — after all, I sought a life on the sea, not behind a desk — but they were so insistent that I found it impossible to say them nay.

So I taught cartography, navigation, and shipbuilding. My students were all devoted and conscientious, and it filled me with no small pride to hear, years later, of their adventures, their conquests. One became the first to navigate his way through the Straits of Lands End; another supervised the construction of a new canal that opened all new shipping routes. I was indeed delighted by their accomplishments, and it made me yearn all the more for the day when I too would join their ranks.

Years passed. I was promoted — through tenacity more than anything else — through the ranks of captain and commander and finally to admiral. It was a glorious moment the day I watched the ship bearing my name commissioned and launched for sail. As it disappeared beneath the horizon, I quietly smiled, knowing that if nothing else, at least my name would travel these many high seas.

Now I await its return. It bears all manner of merchandise: exotic foods, intricately woven rugs, shimmering silks. It brings home a crew that has brought great pride to Her Majesty’s Navy and whose names will be remembered long after the ship that bore them these many years is reduced to rotting timbers and rags of sail cloth.

And perhaps, some day, when I am a retired officer, living his final days on his government’s pension, then I shall take my first steps out onto the water. I shall set my star and sail till I too disappear beneath the horizon, and I shall make for exotic ports of call, to fulfill that dream of my long-missed youth.

And it shall be a lovely day.

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