There is so much learning in everyday life. But believe me, eight weeks on a boat with one person is an education you won't get anywhere else! Yeah, there were a few times when I wanted to tell (but, didn't) Tad that if he didn't jump, I was going to push him overboard. But, looking back at the journey, 99% of the time was amazing and these are the five things that stood out above the rest.
1. Trust your captain
It's easy to let un-chartered waters create fear and anxiety - both in reality and metaphor.
Tad has raced sailboats all over the US and sailed the Caribbean for an entire year; yet in the beginning I questioned (poor guy) almost every move he made.
See, I was focused on the horizon and what might exist past its well-defined line. Trust requires us to not only look forward, but to also look back at the past to help create a foundation of faith for today.
2. I'm a working girl at heart
While I enjoyed the awe of affluent ports lined by million-dollar mansions, I was most comfortable in the working ports.
Don't get me wrong, the mansion-lined ports were breathtaking! All the beautiful homes along the shore flaunting like peacocks in full fan. But, the working ports, they b r e a t h e d invitation! Fishing boats with hopeful captains who nodded as you passed, dilapidated buildings and businesses dressed in flags and bright welcoming colors. The bustle of laboring people gave evidence to life, which to the mansion lined shores seemed held secret by break-walls and long driveways. I am a working girl at heart, no doubt about it.
3. Shinny doesn't always glisten
When downloading our pictures one night, Tad asked "what's the deal with all the broken boat and building pictures?" To be honest, I wasn't quite sure.
With further reflection I realized I'm rarely attracted to perfection. I am drawn to places and things old, worn, and bulging at the seams with story. I see beauty in the broken and hope in boarded up windows that preserve for a dream not yet birthed.
Maybe not the norm, but hey, I'm okay with that!
4. Having your smallness laid out before you
We were anchored off Block Island. It was a beautiful lazy summer day when without any warning, the horizon burst into blackened sky. The wind began to roar and within seconds the blackness, as if hit by a water balloon dripped long streaks of grey. We were caught in a squall.
Winds raging over 45 mph tossed boats like toothpicks, often landing them on top of each other. We grabbed for our life jackets when a large yacht crested a raging wave and crashed into us, embedding his anchor into our steel work. Fused together we tossed in the roaring sea and winds, twisting and grinding steel on steel, pulling each other over and under. There was nothing we could do but hold on tight, watch, and pray.
The squall left just as suddenly as it came, lasting only 20 minutes or so, but it forever imprinted the power of nature and God upon us. There is an astute awareness of ones smallness when harm and helplessness rips at our presumption of safety. Mother nature is powerful, but God, God is big!
5. I miss my dog
Over and over again, I saw people enjoying the companionship of their four-legged friends. Each time, I could feel the tugging of my heart-stings.
Pets give us a tangible glimpse of God's unconditional love. I miss that.
And with this posting, we end our 2019 summer boating excursion and return home to the west coast to sail in the rain!
Thanks for coming along and I look forward to sharing with you again in the spring of 2020!