Dry Dock: A Poem

By
Pattie Vargas
Pattie Vargas' son, wearing a black t-shirt and khakis, sitting by the sea shore

When first you were gone, I was adrift. 
There were no moorings – nothing to anchor into, hold onto – and nothing to hold onto me. 
Just this frightful floating – aimless, meaningless, purposeless. 
I longed for a safe place – somewhere insulated from the thoughts, accusations and fears that were assaulting me like the raw, naked elements of the sea. 

So I allowed myself to float into dry dock. 
Protected from the relentless pounding of the waves. 
And as the sea water emptied out I felt a release – no one can expect anything of me here. 
I’m tucked away – awaiting repairs. Awaiting healing. 

In dry dock I’m not really of any use to anyone. 
I’m not fulfilling my purpose.
After all, I am called to the sea and yet here I sit – removed from my destiny. 

But a shattered craft is of no use to anyone. 
It takes more than a simple patch to fix the wreckage the brutal winds and waters have caused. 
This is where the healing occurs – carefully ensconced in a scaffolding with a Master Craftsman who knows how to repair the breaches. 
The safest of all safe harbors.  

And after a while, I began to sense a glimmer of hope that maybe I will be of use again. 
Maybe this broken vessel can answer the call of the sea and find purpose once again. 
And as life begins to slowly flow back into my being I feel the sea water slowly filling the dry dock - gently lifting me, reminding me of what I was made for. 
Testing, venturing out, giving myself time and space to ease into the channel. 

Emerging, not as I was before. 
Before you left. Before my heart was shattered into a million pieces. 
Not as I was before – different. 
Restored for a new destiny – retrofitted for a new use. 

I’ll return to dry dock often. There’s no shame in that.
I’m not immune to the ravages of time and sorrow any more than a ship is immune to the harsh elements of the sea. 
I’m finding that the relentless demands of grief and the call to serve are intricately braided together and have become my lifeline, finding my way back to me. 


Pattie Vargas is a Shatterproof Ambassador.

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