Life bears us on like the stream of a mighty river. Our boat at first glides down the narrow channel through the playful murmurings of the little brook, and the winding of the grassy borders. The trees shed their blossoms over our young heads, the flowers on the brink seem to offer themselves to our young hands; we are happy in hope, and we grasp eagerly at the beauties around us; but the stream hurries us on, and still our hands are empty. Our course in youth and manhood is along a wilder and deeper flood, amid objects more striking and magnificent. We are animated at the moving pictures of enjoyment and industry passing around us. We are excited at some short–lived disappointment. The stream bears us on, and our joys and griefs are alike left behind us. We may be shipwrecked – we cannot be delayed; whether rough or smooth, the river hastens to its home, till the roar of the ocean is in our ears, and the tossing of the waves is beneath our feet, and the land lessens from our eyes, and the floods are lifted up around us, and we take our leave of earth and its inhabitants, until of our further voyage there is no witness save the Infinite and Eternal.
~ Reginald Heber
Digital painting done by me.