A Year of Gifts
Courage reveals itself in many ways. Sometimes it’s the courage to get up out of bed and face a challenging day. It might be the courage to walk away from a situation that doesn’t serve you when it would be easier to stay. Sometimes, when you least expect it, you may face a split second decision that could mean saving a stranger’s life.
Years ago, we took a summer vacation to a lake resort. Our cabins ringed a beach on the shores of Leech Lake, one of the largest lakes in Minnesota. It was a hot summer day. A storm was brewing. Our kids were small and we were playing on the beach. My husband and my father were fishing out on the lake.
The sky started to roll and took on a greenish tinge. Cold, hard rain began to fall. We grabbed up all the beach toys, hustled the kids into the largest cabin, and convinced them to all go into an inner bathroom, away from windows. We kept a nervous eye out for the fishermen to return. Massive waves battered the shoreline. It was a dangerous situation, made worse because they weren’t familiar with the lake.
We breathed a sigh of relief when we saw them coming in, their boat tossed around like a toy. We watched through windows facing the lake, wind making the glass tremble. The resort owner met them on shore. We assumed he would help them secure the boat. Instead, he was making huge motions with his arms and pointing toward the horizon. To our dismay, the boat turned around and headed back out, over the angry waves. The owner remained on shore, watching, pacing. Something was wrong and we were terrified.
We learned there was another boat, stranded out on the lake. The guide, who'd been taking a mother and two children out fishing, couldn't find his way back in the storm. Having no other options and little time, the panicked owner asked our guys to go help them.
The minutes dragged on. We couldn’t see much through the storm. A huge branch broke off behind the cabins and smashed down on someone’s pickup. Where were they?
Finally, we could see them heading back in, guiding a smaller boat. Later, they’d tell us how the kids had been huddled under a tarp in the bottom of the boat, terrified. Huge waves and pouring rain threatened to swamp their boat, making it heavy and hard to manuever. The guide had no GPS and was disoriented in the storm. The mother was so scared she wanted to try to jump into the larger boat. Dad convinced her to stay put. My husband used his GPS and larger boat to help guide the smaller boat back to the resort.
The whole situation could have had a tragic ending, but because two men never hesitated when faced with a potentially life or death situation, everyone survived that summer storm.
The appreciation shown to the rescuers was a powerful thing for our kids to witness, as was their act of bravery. People could have died if there would have been any hesitation.
Sometimes an act of courage can save a stranger’s life. Sometimes it can save your own. The danger may be imminent or it may be something else entirely. You may need to take a deep breath, muster up your own courage, and make a difficult decision because your heart tells you a change is necessary to improve your life.
I love this quote from A. Nin: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
Choose to live bravely. Expand your life. Cheering you on, Kim
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a self-published fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!