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This Little Island of Respite

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link   All Posts
 Stephen Nolan I have just waded through a veritable sea of homework, and once or twice I nearly sank beneath its vicious waves, though now I stand on that foreign shore of the land they call “Done.” Sailing through such dangerous seas is quite a momentous task, as any seafarer can attest. Standing on the other side though, and looking out to the horizon, I realize that these “seas” that I just came through are little more than microscopic puddles compared to that big sea that surrounds this little island of satisfaction and restfulness that I stand upon now. It is the sea of fourth-class year. Dimly along the horizon, I can just make out the red-stained shores of third class year. I have been told though, by people who have already passed over this ocean that lies between me and that oh-so-distant shore that it too is just a single island (albeit significantly larger than the one upon which I now stand), and that beyond there lies greater oceans and greater islands. Beaches stained white and blue and eventually silver and gold. I have been told that the waters through which I am traversing now, though harrowing, are nothing compared to those that lie beyond.

Rather than think about those journeys that lie before me, I believe I shall make use of this time I have here on this island of respite. I sense the tides will soon shift and an onslaught of duties and homework and endless menial tasks will cover these sandy shores, so I must enjoy it while it lasts. One can never tell exactly when or where these islands of peace will pop up, and it’s necessary to take advantage of them for however long they last. I think its time to kick back and take a short nap, or perhaps to make a phone call to a loved one, maybe I should invest the time in reading a shore little novel, or maybe even jot down a few ideas for some poetry that I’ve had. On the other hand… I can use this little island exactly the way it was meant to be used… for doing nothing at all.

You see, when your life becomes composed of nothing but sailing through the treacherous seas that fill your life in the Coast Guard, you learn to appreciate every single moment you get where you can do absolutely nothing at all. Yet even as I sit here, I can see a squall gathering strength on the horizon. Its time to set sail again, because I can feel the water slowly start to swirl around my feet as this island of “Done” sinks back beneath the tumultuous waves of homework and military obligations from whence it came. It may be just my imagination… but those red stained shores of third class year, look just a tad bit closer than they did yesterday.

As always,
Semper P.
4/c Stephen Nolan

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