It was the 13th of November. A random Tuesday, like the second day of every week. I was sitting at my desk, surfing the net for new-fangled content on history, travel and culture to feed my thirst for knowing all. A beautifully placid afternoon sun shone brightly up in the sky, a little to the west while the sky glimmered in the spectrum of yellow, orange and soft metallic shades of golden, spread all over. To me, afternoons are the most treasured times of the days. I sipped on my tea and clicked on this link in the Google explore page- ‘Columbus’s First Voyage’. I was delighted. Not only because this could make a prospective good afternoon read for me, but also because as the name suggested, the piece would have the elements that perk my interest- History (‘The First voyage’-) and travel (Columbus!)
A brief and crisp 3 minute read, the editorial was an excerpt from Arnold K Garr’s book ‘Christopher Columbus' published in 1992 at Brigham Young University. It traced the possibility of God, the all-mighty Lord, himself steering Columbus at various instances in his journey.
In the whole episode, these lines ensnared my attention:
“For Columbus, this historic sighting was a rendezvous with destiny. He had proven, in spite of mounting opposition and a lack of faith on the part of his crew, that it was possible to sail westward across the great Atlantic.”
Perhaps, this was not meant to be the highlight of this essay by Gary, however, this is what effectuated me to ponder over the ‘First”. There’s a ‘First’ to everything; say, your first day to kindergarten, your first day to school, first day at college, first day at work; your first time at endeavouring to learn something new or even your first tryst with failure. The first attempt is to many, more often than not, the scariest one. Perhaps for we do not know what will follow next. The dawning thought that crosses our mind is- Will I make it or will I not? And what if I don’t? Indeed, the thought of trailing on something new is scary but so is the thought of living without not giving it an attempt. If you ask me, “What if I fail?”, I would quote Erin Hanson and retort “But my darling, what if you fly? “ and in the case, you don’t make it, words of the ever-enthralling Browning would come handy:
Have you ever wondered? What if the sand is a gigantic stretch of canvas, your feet the paint brush, you the artist, creating with an amalgamation of your soul, heart and mind in perfect coordination, walking trough the lands following your desire and passion? If you hold back your first step, will you not be leaving your canvas blank? Of course, we are all not Picassos, but we were all definitely the 5-year-old kid once who adorably turned pages after pages while nibbling over the ends of our pencils each pretending to be Zuckerbergs (haha), so why not at least scribble until we learn painting through here!
The canvas awaits your first stroke, my friend
When will you start sailing, Columbus?