Jan 22, 2013

Are You Hooked? Life at the End of a Line, Hanging by a Thread

Happy and Generous 2013

Sitting at anchor (hooked) in Punta Mita – and wondering why they use that term ‘sitting’ when in reality you are bobbing in the water in somewhat the ‘same’ position (one of the meanings of sitting) at the end of a chain or rope, which, in the scheme of things, is quite like the size of a line or thread when compared to the larger proportion or weight of a vessel.

I ponder how much confidence or trust must go into something so small to keep you and your vessel safe despite waves, winds, other marine traffic, etc.; your vessel in many cases being your home, a huge monetary expense connected to many cherished memories.

More than the idea of being tied down via ‘ground tackle’ that seems of diminutive size is the idea that one has to be tied via a soft, flowing non - rigid kind of way. Everything about a sailboat is about movement. Unlike life in a house solidly and immutably (well almost) built on the ground, sailboats pick up every small nuance of winds, ripples, waves, or weather affecting them much more than their land dwellers. Should one try to stiffen any of the ties too much, it only leads to breakages and sharp uneasy movements of the boat, making it too uncomfortable to enjoy being aboard.

I believe living aboard a sailboat is mirroring much more what life is like = flowing, ever changing, rather than existing in the same room, same location, facing the same direction for decades. We learn malleability, tolerance, adaptability, much more readily when all that connect us are a flexible chain or a line/thread bobbing with others who are also dancing to the movements of the water, affected by winds, seeing new horizons or constellations each time their boat faces a new cardinal point. Collectively in one anchorage we all seem to face a similar direction, following the same weather circumstances, yet all in a fluid, unforced, flexible manner.

One learns not to expect anything concrete but to enjoy the fleeting moments connected like small dots throughout the days, weeks, months, etc. We are constantly reminded of how everything quickly passes.

So in this New Year 2013 – enjoy the grace of the flow…

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