Hidden lessons. Metaphoric meanings. Good, deeply hidden.
Sailing. My journey.
“Two days, and I’m exactly where I was when I started,” I told my friend Chip over the phone.
“WRONG!” he cried at me. “Physically you are. Geographically, yes, you are exactly where you were when you started. But mentally? You’re lightyears ahead of where you were when you left.”
My 23 year old son Brandon and I had set out early Thursday morning, hoping to make Solomon’s Island by mid-afternoon. An hour and a half we sat at idle in the creek where I have lived for the past year, waiting on a sport fishing boat named Sunrise to take on 675 gallons of fuel. We drifted, we did a few circles, we chatted with a nice couple from Quebec who were doing the same dance. Finally, our turn. Fuel. In. Out. Bam. Off we go.
Into fog as thick as soup.
Back we came. Up the creek (I have plenty of paddles, thank you), drop the anchor, be smart. Hidden blessings. Practice anchoring. Clean the boat. Have some laughs. Tomorrow’s another day.
Friday? Off we go! 7:57 am into a lifting fog, an 18 mph head wind, and a small craft advisory. The waters were fine, really. Hidden lessons, hidden blessings. Practice tethering onto the jackline, that line that keeps you tied to the boat when it rocks and rolls. But that whirring sound. What is that? Make note. Check a few things. Make progress. Enjoy the beauty of the bay, teach the first mate how to navigate. But that whirring. Hmm. It’s worse. Check again. Ok, it’s really bad now. Call Chip. It’s terrible, that sound, really. So, well, crap.
Ok! Be smart! Turn around. Sail home.
Today, limping home meant letting the jib out and sailing under blue November skies in water that shimmered like a trillion diamonds.There was a time recently when the jib wouldn’t unfurl (unroll) or furl again–which led to disappointment and boat work and dropping parts into the creek, which led to despair, and anxiety, and dealing with life. With frustration. With the burden of expectation.
But today? Today we sailed. We sailed, then we called a mechanic, and then we had a beer. It’s all ok, even though it’s not ok. I can only disappoint myself; if others take issue with my journey and my progress, if others feel a sense of failure in our return to our marina, that is their burden to bear. We sailed in with our heads held high, a little disappointed and a lot happy. It’s all part of the journey.