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By Michael Dean Cook


When I was a lad, I was confident that I could sail my boat whenever and wherever I wanted. It would just be a matter of steering with the rudder.

So, I set sail, and soon found out that the sea was bigger than me, and it had a lot to say about my plans. The sea taught me it was best to cast off during the outgoing tide, and best to land with the rising incoming tide.

At sea, I found that currents and winds could take me off course, regardless of my clever use of sail and rudder. Also, there were the frustrating calms, and the devastating storms.

As I peered upward into the starry night, I wished I could recall what the old sailors had said about finding your way by the stars.

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