"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 still 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 kind of 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 looked around. I was only one swimmer, one person, standing in the middle of this vast 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 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.