Three Ships

How will you live your life? Follow a man's life through this parable for the modern age, and learn the lesson he learned, maybe too late.

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1. Three Ships

Each  day, with the first hint of sunrise, I would make my way to the  sea-front to feel the first rays, listen to the unfolding aural array of  seabirds, alone with the steady rolling waves on the shore.
There  came a day when a freshly painted fishing boat passed close enough for a  young trawlerman to shout a greeting that caught the breeze.
"Hello, " he said, "A fine morning."
I nodded. It was, like every morning I came, fine. He passed, and I was glad of the peace again.
The next day, the dawn was subdued by an ethereal mist, casting an almost preturnatural start to the day.
A  motorboat came by, churning the waves, drowning out the soft distant  calls of gulls. The man aboard, seemed familiar, his hair streaked with  gray.
He greeted me, "Hello again, a fine morning."
I  was somewhat annoyed, surprised at the man's familiarity.  I grunted an  affirmation, and was glad when the motorboat and its din disappeared  into the distance, leaving me to revel in the still, new day.
On the third day, it was an orange hued dawn, like the aeons in the strata ofrock.
A  yacht thundered into view, a spike in the expansive panorama. Aboard  were a family, and the man again seemed familiar, but his hair was  white. Accompanying him were four adults and six children, enjoying  themselves, and dancing to music that played from below the deck.
The man waved again, "A fine day. We are so lucky to have such weather."
Finally, I agreed, and smiled, and waved to them appreciatively. 
Today,  I felt a sense of longing, and even missed the music as it disappeared  into the sound of the sea and the yearning calls of gulls.
I waited on the shore for further ships for several more days,  but saw none. Finally, I accepted the dawn in itself once more. 
On  the final day, watching the dawn rise over the shore as crisply and  clearly as ever I had seen it, a man joined me to watch the new day  arise with me. It was good to share this moment. 
I turned, and recognized with shock that this was the same man as on each of the three boats, but frail and elderly.
He smiled at me, and put one arm around my shoulders. 
"It  was a good life. But however busy I was, however much time I spent  loving my family, whatever I achieved, there was always the dawn."
With sadness, I realized I too was old, my life fading from me. 
I turned, and walked from the shore. For me, there had only been the dawn.

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