Three ways to ride rough seas:
From crest to trough, and back again; nausea and bewilderment accompanying me
Driven by the wind without steering; broaching in high waves and wrecking on the rocks
Using the wind and Divinity to steer a sane path to a safe harbor
The hater, having finished his spew, picked up his stool and walked through the square to where I sat. This had happened several times before, and each time I had motioned for my friends to leave. Each time, as they left, the hater turned about and left as well.
I resented his approach. I had come to cherish these mornings with my friends. These were women known as wise within the community, and men whose words were listened to. That they had chosen to sit with me, the madman and father of the hater, had astonished me at first. But I could see that their calm acceptance and patient tolerance had gone a long ways towards reducing the anger the townsfolk felt toward my son and myself.
Truth, it had done so for me as well, and i had come to look forward to those mornings as my safe harbor. And now the hater, my son the hater, threatened that as well.
This morning I did not ask them to leave, and they stayed and watched in calm surmise as the hater approached. And as he placed his stool down and sat upon it, the wise around me smiled calmly at the hater, then turned their gaze upon me.
I felt flushed with anger, near to bursting. I felt that my very survival was challenged and I rose to spew forth my own hate at this violation of my sanctuary.
And it was then that a wise woman spoke, but to the hater, ignoring me and my righteous indignation.
“Welcome, young man. We’ve been waiting for you. Have a scone.”
One of the men, then, turned to me where I stood, fists clenched and shaking with rage and fear.
“You are welcome to stay, of course, as long as you are calm. We’ve spent many mornings here preparing a safe harbor. All are welcome.”
And I calmed myself and took my stool and walked to the center of the square and placed myself where I belonged.
We take turns, my son and I, in the market square. One day soon, I hope to have the courage my son showed, to turn back and to take a seat at the table of sanity, where my son waits for me, in the presence of the Wise, in the shadow of the divine, in safe harbor.