I know this is a blog about my sailing adventures, but a huge part of why I embark upon these adventures in the first place is because sailing brings me the greatest solace I have ever known. This post may not be about techy sailing stuff, but my emotional reasons for sailing are just as important to me (if not more so) than all of that learning.
I had a very emotionally challenging week this week. I wont go into the specific reasons, but I will say that it was a result of these things building up and not allowing myself the space to feel and process them. This has been a habit lately, and one that I am very aware does not serve me well at all. At any rate, a deep melancholy had set in and I could not shake it. I could think of nothing better for me to do than to set sail alone on my boat. This always seems to clear my head and create the space I need to sort things out (really to let them settle). My original thought was to go over to Catalina for a couple of nights with my art stuff and my journal, but the weather forecast wasn’t cooperating with my idea, so instead I set out on a long day sail. Apart from my attempted race a few weeks ago, it was my first solo sail in months. Within minutes of heading out of my slip, I could feel the confusion and sadness falling away. I felt a sense of joy bubbling up that only increased as the day went on, and only happens when I am sailing, especially on my own.
The wind was light but steady, and the horizon was moody with the potential of storms painting a dramatic scene. As I got underway, a light rain graced us and seemed to cleanse all that needed healing. I was actually sad when it stopped. The day was blissful and lovely…a vacillation between clouds and sun, wind and calm. No matter how light it got, I said to myself that I would not stop sailing unless my sails started luffing and flopping. We held out even to the point of moving along at .5 knots at one point. I guess my light air sail trim is finally getting better (see, there was a little techy sailing talk :-))
Accompanied by my favorite music, Haunani and I made a fine pair out there all on our own, far away from anyone else or the pull of earthly worries. I gave thanks for all that is beautiful in my life, and also for all that is challenging. The theme of the day, which I have re-visited many times in my life, was keeping my heart open despite the pain doing so can (and often does) cause. I say that as if I have a choice, because despite the very real risk of hearts closing down in the face of pain, mine seems to stay filleted open on the table no matter what. I am being a bit facetious here, but truthfully, despite the agony of that choice, I would never ever trade it for anything. The richness it brings far outweighs the pain, and I just need to remember to give myself time and space to feel all that comes along with living my life in this way. One of my heroes in life, Brene’ Brown speaks to this topic very eloquently (and if you have not read her work, please do yourself a favor, it will change your life):
“To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.”― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
I returned to the marina with a clear mind and heart, feeling grateful for every twist and turn of my life. It was a magical day only to be topped off by arriving home to a cheesy movie night and a surprise home cooked meal by one of my sweet soul sisters! Life is good!
my view from the bow while my amazing autopilot kept us on track