"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown," said John Muir, "for going out, I found, was really going in."
As the current died down I decided to risk walking a little again. I stumbled a few times and was now getting impatient. I was standing close to the edge of what might be a waterfall to the left of me, I wasn't sure. But I couldn't see what was below the precipice. And then I decided to try to stand upright and not be knocked over, just to see what might happen.
And then I closed my eyes and prayed.
Please calm these waters, I said silently.
Like some Jedi mind trick, it worked. I suddenly felt warm, and I opened my eyes and saw the sun had come out. As it blanketed its yellow rays on me and the river around me, a butterfly flitted by, over the now calm waters.
I took it all in. I was only one swimmer, one person, standing in the middle of this vast, rushing body of water, surrounded by mountains and sun. I was the only person experiencing what I was experiencing right where I was—well, except for Steven and the family picnicking on the shore, who I was certain believed I was a Northern lunatic at this point. But they weren't there in the water with me. My viewpoint was mine alone.
It made all the risk to reach that point worth it.
As I walked forward slowly, every time I fell didn't hurt as much. Whether the waters stayed calm or not didn't matter. What mattered was I believed they were.