For the first time she had options. It was if for years she had been shackled in a windowless cell with no possibility whatsoever of escape. But she had been transferred. Still imprisoned, true. But no chains holding her arms. Far fewer guards patrolling the facility A room with a window and a less forbidding door.

The utter powerlessness of her life to this point completely validated her justifications for her circumstance. But now, in this new place, one could only cast a skeptical eye toward her when she claimed that she had no way out.

Escaping wouldn’t be easy. Granted. But not anything approaching impossible.

Did she have the will? Had she been sufficiently seized by desperation? Had she drunk so deeply from the cup of suffering that she was willing to breathe deeply, wipe the blood from her brow, and make a true break for it?

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Some waters are deep and powerful, determined and relentless, effortlessly thrusting aside everything in their path. Others are pressed on every side, tortured and twisted in painful, cascading descents, sometimes frustrated behind seemingly impenetrable dams over which little trickles. But the silent, mighty river and the frantic, complaining creek are brothers destined for the same end. When the exhausted creek meets the river, he is relieved to surrender to it, to ride on the river’s back ever onward. Both run together toward the place where all waters join, and their identities are subsumed by the sea, in which they all find rest and unity.

None are mightier or weaker.

Nor do any hold greater importance or make a greater contribution to the sea; they all become one, and the memories of their journeys fade into the ocean’s depths.

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