Floating Dinghy of Terror

20160617_133459_resizedWe take so much for granted. The next day is expected to come when we open our eyes. But things can change in the blink of an eye. Within seconds the life that you take for granted can be changed forever. In the blink of an eye!

I was reminded of this fact over the weekend. We were in Florida spending time with some dear friends. Of course a trip to the beach is a must when one is in sunny Florida. So we arrived at the beach with a variety of flotation devices in tow.

Our friends brought something I had never thought to bring to the beach, but it was perfectly delightful! An air mattress. I’m talking the kind you blow up and sleep on. Not the small ones that your but hits the floor when you sit in the middle of it. This was a mammoth mattress that even a princess would not feel a pee if it was under it. It was at least 2 feet high when it was blown up.

Talk about floating in style!  We all played on it and laughed and had a great time. Then my friend and I decided it was our turn. We both climbed on. I can say it was quite a feat just getting on the floating hulk as the waves crashed against it!

We lay on our stomachs and were looking at each other talking for only a few minutes. Those were a sweet few minutes of peace and serenity enjoying good company and the rocking of the waves. Then we both rose up and looked around.

Now before I continue, I just have to add that I am not very fond of water. I am not a real swimmer. Sure I can get in a pool and propel myself from one side to the other. But stick me in the deep end where the water is over my head and my panic mode kicks in and it is not pretty! I sink really well!

So, my eyes fall on Dave on the shore and my friend’s husband swimming as hard as he can trying to reach us. That amazing, tall air mattress was an equally amazing sailboat! The combination of the waves and the wind propelled us out to sea in a matter of a few minutes. We were out in water well over my head and moving quite fast out to sea. We both stick our hands in the water and paddle but all we managed to do was to go in slight circles as we continued our journey to the open sea!

Dave is yelling from the beach, “Get off the mattress!” repeatedly! I very quickly realize that this could be very bad if I just sit here. I watched as my friend slid off on her side and started swimming while trying to drag the floating mattress with her. Her husband was still fighting the current but not quite reaching us.

I tested the side of the mattress to see if I would be able to hold it once I got into the water. Check. I should be able to grip it. Then I anxiously slipped off the relative safety of the floating dinghy of terror!

Upon hitting the water I realized that the water was well over my head and nothing but water touched my frantically moving toes! The once secure floating boat was also very hard to grip. The panic button inside my head went off and I had to focus on the task at hand. Kicking with my feet and desperately gripping the small ridge of plastic on the mattress.

Her husband reached us and started propelling us back toward the safety of dry land and eventually my feet touched sand. I have never been so happy to feel that course sand under my toes as I was that day.

But as I sat on the beach watching everyone play I realized how fast everything can change. The secure life that we live can be turned into a nightmare, in a blink of an eye.

Had we waited to sit up for just a few more minutes there would have been nothing anyone could have done but watch us float out to sea and call the coast guard to rescue us.

You may not have a powerful fear of the water like me so this may not have been a problem for you. But that is just an example of how fast things can go from good to bad.

Cherish the good. Value those in your life that make you smile. Embrace the joys and even the sorrows. Because in a split second it can all change. And it will! In the blink of an eye, it will!


  • Marcy

    Reply Reply June 25, 2016

    Wow, what a powerful post! I felt like I was right there, wait, I was! Ha Ha. What a gift you have for bringing out spiritual examples from everyday (well maybe not everyday) occurrences! Thanks for the reminder to not take things for granted! M.

    • Angela Smuin

      Reply Reply June 25, 2016

      It is in the simplicity of the everyday that we can learn the most! I’m glad we shared this moment in time together!

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