May 9, 2023

Dear journal,

Today, I walked along the shore, the sun casting long shadows as it approached the horizon. The sea roared like an old friend, its waves crashing upon the shore, a relentless dance between the land and water. In that dance, I saw the eternal struggle of balance and thought of self-care.

As I walked, I found a small boat, half-buried in the sand, its wood weathered and worn. I pondered on how the boat, abandoned and neglected, had lost its purpose. There, it could not carry anyone to the safety of the shore or the excitement of the open sea. It was a reflection of the self, and how one must tend to one’s own vessel before embarking on a voyage to aid others.

In the distance, I spotted an old man, his beard long and white, tangled like the seaweed that adorned the shore. He labored at the water’s edge, his hands strong and calloused, pulling in a net brimming with fish. I approached him, curious about the wisdom he surely possessed.

The old man looked at me, his eyes tired but clear, like the water that surrounded us. He spoke of the need to care for oneself and how, in doing so, one becomes a beacon of strength for others. “The sea can be merciless,” he said, “but if we maintain our vessel, if we keep our minds and bodies strong, we can weather any storm.”

He motioned to the fish, their silver scales glistening in the fading light. “These fish will feed my family,” he said, “but before I can provide for them, I must care for myself. If I allow my body to wither, my hands to weaken, I cannot cast my nets or bring them sustenance.”

I nodded, understanding the simple yet profound wisdom the old man shared. The sky deepened, the stars emerging like jewels on a velvet canvas. As I walked back along the shore, the waves continued their dance, and I felt a renewed sense of purpose.

I would care for my vessel, tending to my needs so that I may help others. In the days and nights to come, I will strive to maintain my balance, my strength, and my resilience, like the sea that surrounds us all. For only in caring for myself can I truly be of service to others, navigating the waters of life with a steady hand and a watchful eye.