Sailing A Peaceful Place

After yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, I decided it was time to take a break from the constant bombardment of controversy and go to my happy place.   I discovered my happy place as a young child when my parents took me, my brother and sister to Cape Cod to learn how to sail.  I was seven years old and six of us were crammed in to a Lightning which was a small but reliable sailboat.  The Captain who was teaching us had lost his left hand in the Korean war but was none the worse; man could he sail.  He would pull the sheets with his right hand and wrap it around his left each time he would tack or jibe (sheets are the ropes used to adjust the sails).  It was amazing.  Despite his misfortune of losing that hand I remember thinking how happy and contented he looked.  He was obviously in his happy place as so many who sail are.  We blow boatmen as power boaters like to refer to us, are at peace when our sails are full.  The rushing of the water past the hull, the birds whistling, the lack of a goal in and of itself.  Sailing is all about the journey, not the destination.  It’s not a means to an end it’s a means.  It’s merging with nature and the sea in some small way.  The fresh air, the lack of stress, The Freedom!  I suppose it’s why I also love skiing.  There are similarities.  Over the years there were many fun and exciting journeys.  When school ended I would count the days until we would set sail to wherever we might be heading that day, often heading no where.  During the next few weeks, I will write about some of our adventures as there were many.   The sea can be beautiful and tranquil but can turn scary and ominous very quickly.  I remember my mother reading to us a short saying about life at sea.  It stated, “the sea did not invite you, expect from her neither sympathy nor compassion”.  On a number of occasions we experienced that first hand.  But most often the journeys were tranquil, exciting and adventurous.

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