I am standing upon the seashore and see a nearby ship spread her white sails to the morning breeze and start for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I watch her until at length she is only a speck of white cloud just where the sea and the sky meet and mingle. Then someone at my side exclaims, “she’s gone!” Gone where? Gone from my site, but that is all. She is just as large in hull and mast and spar as she was when she departed and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination. Her diminished size is in, me not her. And just at the moment when someone cries, “she’s gone,” there are other eyes watching for her arrival, and other voices that take up the glad shout, “There she comes!” And that is dying.
(Henry Van Dyke)
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