The Ocean and Me
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
This is how I’ve been feeling. And it seems I’m not alone, especially as we navigate these times.
I’m on the ocean, in a yacht, and there’s a heavy swell. This yacht has a motor, as well as sails, and is heading roughly in the right direction. I know this because when the waves lift the yacht high up I can see far into the the distance and I can see where we’re heading.
I don’t see exactly what’s there but it’s enticing! I know there are fascinating people, interesting places to explore, exciting games to play and golden sands. It feels right. And when I look up, the North Star tells me I’m on track.
Mostly I remember this, even when I can’t see it, when I’m in the dips between the waves. I know it’s there and the North Star is keeping me on track.
Occasionally though the winds pick up. The waves get bigger and I’m clinging on. And once in a while a wave crashes over me. The North Star is momentarily gone and I’m battling to keep myself safe and dry. There’s no risk of the yacht sinking; it’s a strong, resilient yacht and it’s proven itself on the wild oceans before. But I sometimes forget that and I’m scared of going under.
This sounds like a struggle to get the yacht to a safe harbour, right? And some days it does feel like that. But most days it doesn’t. Most days there are new exciting discoveries along the way! We cross paths with ocean life and other boats - the occasional dolphin to surprise and delight us, a curious object floating past, other people in dinghies and cruise ships on their own journeys to different lands and, in recent weeks, a few boats in trouble.
The yacht is not a lonely place to be. Nor is it lacking. Everything I need is right here - my crew, maps, radar and more. There is time to relax and the sun often comes out. Sometimes the waves subside and sometimes they don’t - there are days the waves tower over us and yet the yacht and its happy crew continue unaffected.
Some days a small gust of wind takes us by surprise, knocking us off course and giving us the opportunity to remember where we are heading and why. We course-correct and carry on. It’s a lesson to be aware of drifting off course.
The ocean is always there, it’s part of us and we are part of it. Somedays it challenges us and we have to work a little harder to stay on track. Sometimes it supports us and encourages us along. What we discover on the journey is that when we have a North Star, when we know we are heading in the right direction, we don’t have to know exactly what the destination looks like - in fact, we look inside the yacht and to the ocean just around us and notice it’s been with us all along.
This article is part of 100 Days of Creation, my challenge to myself to write 100 articles in 140 days, each taking no longer than 30 minutes to write and publish.