Each creature in its own manner clung tighty to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.
But one creature said at last, ‘I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.’
The other creatures laughed and said, ‘Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!’
But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, ‘See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!’
And the one carried in the current said, ‘I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.’
But they cried the more, ‘Saviour!’ all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Saviour.
Richard Bach, Illusions. 1977. Heinemann
This has been one of my favourite books since the 1970s. I have tried to live by its suggestions, but it has not been easy. Just lately I've been thinking I should read it again, to revise what I've been doing wrong recently. Then fellow blogger Stew posted something about letting go, and I immediately thought of this passage. I could just as easily have selected others from this lovely little book. If you haven't read it, I beg you: please go out and buy a copy now!