I've been thinking about getting a boat lately. Nothing fancy, just a little sailboat I could take out on a nice, breezy day or a moonlit evening. I grew up sailing with my family, my dad a lover of sailing, his Norweigan blood always drawing him to the water.
When you grow up sailing, you have to learn the terms, and some are more important than others. One of the sailing calls you learn to perk up your ears for is " We are coming about!" also known as "tacking".
This means if you are in the stern of the sailboat, you need to duck, fast, because the boom is about the swing from one side of the boat to the other so that the wind hits the sails from the opposite direction. This is a loud maneuver in a good sized boat, with quick movements, lots of ropes humming out and being reeled in hard , sails flapping, boom swinging. Right before the wind fills the sails again, the boat feels wrong, sometimes violent waves slamming it because of the wind hitting it at an awkward angle and everything being adjusted for the new course. I was always relieved when things quieted back down and we found ourselves underway again. . First timers on a sailboat, not heeding the call to duck, will find themselves taking a dunk in the lake when the boom comes slamming full steam across the boat.
My experience the past 15 years or so have not been a nice, smooth sail- divorce, blending a family, being diagnosed with breast cancer, being a member of the "sandwich generation", and a few challenging odds and ends thrown in for the fun of it- I have found myself trying to "come about" many times, trying to react, to shift direction when I need to without being knocked off the boat. Tightening my sails back up, and finding a new course, or at least a modified one.
I'm still working on it, but having practice makes you better at paying attention to where the wind is coming from while holding steady. I've found that the wind is more forgiving when I am able to allow some give in my sails and not try to control everything at once. Sometimes you've got to allow those big waves to slam into you while waiting for the wind to fill your sails. The important part is to remember that the wind is your friend. To work with it, not against it.
What I know for sure is that when we let go and instead of fearing change, embrace it and adjust our sails, we will find our way to gentle winds and a steady course again.
Painting helps me make sense of my life. It allows me to process things I'm not even aware of feeling. Sometimes I have no idea why I'm painting something until I'm finished and it speaks to me. This one wouldn't let me go until I wrote about it.
Thank you for reading it.