Paul Cowper | 05/05/2017
I met a man once. We were seated together on a flight to Jordan.
We spoke only towards the end of the flight.
He was in his early 30’s, tall, lean.
He had fought in Iraq. He didn’t say so but it was pretty clear he had been in the SAS.
He had left the armed forces. He worked in security now.
Times were still dangerous.
He had two more contracts, then he was getting out.
He was going to set up a business, a courier business.
Whenever he found himself in a tricky situation and needed a calm image to help him through he
would see himself driving through the hills and valleys of mid Wales in a white van.
It was his refuge, his sanctuary, his home
Not his only home: he had a partner and a child but when it came to coping with episodes of
extreme peril the white van won the day.
What thoughts sustain the mariner through the highs and lows of a life at sea.
Though danger may not be as frequent and lethal as with the soldier
nevertheless it is real and present often enough.
Storms never ending, waves big as houses, reef lined shores.
But often harder to bear those endless days of nothing
Skipper and crew must be always vigilant
Guard against boredom and complacency.
Be alert, peril is always close by .
Carry those images, those home thoughts.
And when you need it most, bring out your white van.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.