Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spirit (4)

The sands of time.  Picture an hourglass with the sand slowly trickling from one half to the other.  Now picture the hourglass of your life, filled with x-number of grains of sand that slowly trickle from the upper to the lower level while you live your life.  Stop and do nothing.  Pause and watch the small stream of sand.  It continues regardless of whether you are busy or idle, doing things which you consider useful, or a waste of time.  Nothing stops the sand, nothing can impede its flow.  No, don't panic!  It doesn't mean that you have to worry about how you use each moment.  You don't need to plan or fret or rush about.  Yes, your time in this life is limited - limited from the moment that you were conceived - but that isn't what matters.  For whatever time you have will be sufficient for whatever it is that you need to do.  And what that need will encompass will be every moment of your life - the bad as well as the good, the mistakes as well as the right choices, the daydreams as much as the decisive action, the heartbreaks as well as the joys.  You need it all, all the experiences, all the emotions, because they make up the fabric of your life - they are the grains of sand in the hourglass of your life's time.

Living on a sailboat, you are far away from the work-a-day world back home.  Time stretches out, as if it were elastic.  Days can follow one another in a tumble of activity, all interests chosen specifically because they are of interest.  One peels away many layers.  There is no job to go to.  No children or other people to take care of.  No large house or garage full of cars.  No ongoing social life.  No religious affiliation with its attendant duties.  No television, no evening news, and no newspaper.  In essence, the world is left behind so that one may find the world.  The busyness is dissipated and a peaceful calm evolves.

When living on a sailboat, nature is not something observed on a television screen, but rather is something experienced first-hand in the ocean, in the surrounding lands, in the sky, in the very stars above.  One no longer looks at four walls but rather at beautiful vistas that pry open the soul with their loveliness.  A gentle breeze caresses the cheek and ruffles the hair.  The sea envelops one like a warm bath.  The sands of the beaches are fleetingly impressed with one's footsteps, until the surf again washes them away.  Birds fly about their business, some diving for fish and then rising again with a splash of silver held in their beaks.  Terns swoop past while calling out their messages in a Morse Code of sounds.  Frigate birds soar above using their scissor tails as airborne rudders.  Fish swim and glide in a world of color and coral and delicate swaying fans.  It would be news to them to hear that anything of importance exists beyond their watery realm.  In the midst of it all, you sit on the deck of your home afloat, and seep in the rightness of the world around you.

(More to follow.)

1 comment:

Vicki Lane said...

Beautifully said. I've never lived on a sailboat but experienced much the same timeless calm in a three month camping trip or a ten day walking tour. Wake eat walk eat walk eat sleep ... repeat. Beautiful.