Oceans and Health Teachers

On the ocean of life we find ourselves drifting aimlessly across there are many things to find. There are innumerable stormy seas threatening to capsize us again and again. There are hidden reefs ready to tear at us hidden beneath the surface. There are as many visitors to that ocean as there are moments, and occasionally we even find an island.

In grade school I had a health class teacher of the sort we all know. He wasn’t a popular teacher at all. In fact, he was one of those people you look back upon and cringe at how horrible his life must have been. No one respected him, not the students, not other teachers, no one. But he was always there and he always did his job. It was from his lips that I first learned the term “self esteem” and all that it implies. In one of my most powerful memories of that time, I recall him telling us that he had only two friends. He said he knew many people and was friendly with them, but he had only two friends that he would carry for the rest of his life. I used to think that was sad, an echo of the poor man he was in spirit. Lately I’ve come to understand how lucky he is.

Like those stormy seas or giant turtles, perhaps, friendships float by us all the time. We are fated to cross paths with so many in a lifetime that it is our devoir to forget more than we recall. Maybe this makes those special people all the more special, though. Those islands we find in our vast oceans are our navigation points, our anchors, our vacations at times. Mainly they are the real adventures for us to explore ourselves.

I think that poor despised teacher of mine had something really good going for him back then. Though I had nothing but pity, he didn’t need even that from me. He had his waypoints, his islands. And though there were only two of them, that’s more than enough to make the whole journey worth it.

It’s a well known fact to most people that I am luckier than the average person. Given fair odds, my coin will land on heads much more than one might expect. So when I take stock of my life and find four islands already, it doesn’t surprise me greatly.

Three of those islands are married now and the fourth claims she never will be. It fills me with joy to see them all so happy. One of my close friends had a child yesterday. Technically I believe the date was the 16th when the baby boy finally joined the world. In this miracle, I see the reflection of my own life and smile at the brilliant harmony of it all. No matter what ills befall us all in the future, we have those people we love. Nothing, not death or fights or bad cooking can take that away from us. They are islands and they aren’t going anywhere, like it or not.

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