In July, on the lovely Tall Ship Hawaiian Chieftain, I got to sail through the San Juan Islands, with my 7 year old granddaughter in tow to boot! Learned so much. Lived so much. And had a little discovery afterwards that I want to share…
At the end of the day on a tall ship, the Captain holds muster. The crew gathers and waits respectfully for the Captain to speak. I was surprised to notice a common occurrence during muster on both ships and with both Captains that I’ve now had the wicked opportunity to crew with. It is this: If we had gotten to sail that day – if the winds were fair, the sails set, and we got to feel the magic of a large tall ship slicing its way through the ocean powered by wind alone – then on those days, the Captains would start muster with: “We sailed.”
And then, it was like nothing more need be said. “We sailed” said it all. We had lived our passion and purpose that day, nothing else mattered. The crew would all nod their heads, contentment and a hint of pride on their faces. It takes a lot for a Tall Ship to be maintained and ready to sail, let alone actually sailing her. The crew and Captain deserve to have this moment of complete satisfaction. You can be sure, too, the crew were kindred in knowing those days ‘we sailed’ would keep them inspired as hours on end they tar lines and file rust to keep their ship shipshape. Muster always continued as it must (wait…is that how muster got its name?)… but I do recall one captain one evening adding, after the pause that followed”I sailed,” something along the lines of “I suppose we should talk about more things, but that does seem to be enough.”
Fast forward a few weeks. August. Driving in my car, fussing in my head about stressful things, feeling anxious about more changes coming up in my life – good changes, including another move, but unsettling in the process. Running endless details through my head and thinking myself into a bit of overwhelm. And then it happened: I heard myself think, “I sailed.” I grinned ear to ear. The fussing thoughts fizzled out like water was dropped on their fuse. It was like nothing more need be thought. Sure, it might not be everybody’s way of finding zen. But then, I also find zen in clay that goes entirely out of whack on a pottery wheel.
When I started thinking again…still grinning, I admit… I was simply reminded that life is always offering up grand things, even making impossible things possible, and will continue to. The proof is in the past (and surely in the future): I sailed.
That simple two word thought has now become my anchor. (sheesh, I’m so nautical now) When I’m feeling like I’m in a whirlwind of change, and uncertainty is feeling more unsettling than it is adventurous, I think “I sailed.” Another phrase I’ve used in the past and it’s even a better fit now with my “I sailed” is “Alls well.” Besides reminding me that, in truth, in the big picture of things, all is well, whether I as my mortal self can fully understand it or not, I am reminded of the calls of the first mate as each sail was set; “Mizzens well. Tops’l well…” When the sails are set just right, all’s well.
It was magical, really, how instantaneously my thoughts and my mood shifted when “I sailed” came to mind that day driving in the car. Nothing less than magical. You know the kind of magic… like faeries had dumped a bucket of “lighten up” dust on me. Or spirit guides rolled their eyes at what was going on with me and snapped their magic fingers to make me happier. You know that feeling, right?
I wish for everyone to have moments like that… and I suspect many of you have, being the curious and interesting folk that you are who follow this blog. In fact, I suspect everyone can have those magical thoughtshifting spiritlifting moments. They just need to find that anchor.
How about you? Anything that says, “all is well” even when life is a bit crazy? Yes, Life can get stormy. Seems there’s always going to be some uncharted stuff getting in the way. We can all use an anchor we can count on.
This post is dedicated to you, my friend who left me a message saying, “Janet, there’s no post in August. How are you? Hope alls well?” Thank you so much for caring. ~smile~
Friends and family… they are anchors, too, don’t you think?