Horsey Therapist

Friday, November 21, 2008

Waiting for the next squall



A couple of years ago, RNB and I went sailing. Not just an afternoon excursion on the big lake in our little sailboat. No, this was a week on a chartered sailboat on some open and windy parts of the Atlantic. RNB skippered the boat and I crewed. It was a challenge for me. My preferred risks are land-based and mostly involving big, quick, hoofed mammals. RNB likes the ocean and I like the idea of the ocean.

What I didn't know when we left land was that RNB would be happy fighting for survival on a sailboat in a hurricane. Me? I would be happy drifting lazily on calm seas.

Our sailing was mostly somewhere in the middle -- steady winds except in harbor, moderate swells at times, some swift tides to negotiate entering some gorgeous areas where we could moor the boat for overnights and snorkeling.

What neither of us knew is that we would encounter major squalls on our way back the last day. The wind would come up suddenly and we would fight to stay on board while lowering some sail in the hopes of riding out the gigantic waves without being blown over or off course too much. Then the wind would quiet and we would rest. Well, RNB would fall asleep while I fretted about what had just happened and fretted that it may happen again. Which it did... I remember the feeling of bracing myself with all four hands and feet, steering while RNB was hauling in the lines, lowering or raising a sail.

Why am I writing about this now?

Lately life seems like that sailing trip we took. We are on a boat with no other option but keep sailing. Moderate steady winds are the norm. And with a few major squalls already weathered, I am waiting for the next one to come. It could blow like that at any time. And when the next squall hits, all I will be able to do is focus, hold on with every fiber of my being, and hope we are spared by the forces threatening to overpower us. Then breathe deeply and relish the calm seas that surprise me as much as the squalls.

1 Comments:

At 26 November, 2008 07:24, Blogger Victoria Cummings said...

I appreciate your sailing story because my first husband's father was a die-hard (literally) sailor. If the weather looked horrible, that was his favorite time to drag his wife out on their 36 ft. steel hulled boat - built to sail across the Atlantic. He used to tie her into the bunk when it got too rough to stand. True insanity.

As for the weathering of life's squalls, I think we all feel that way right now. These are scary times. Having gone through earthquakes, hurricanes, and numerous terrifying events with my husband for almost 20 years, I find that his philosophy of just pushing forward and focusing on getting through it is much less painful than my approach of worrying and fretting about what could happen next. "Stop complaining and get 'er done!" he always tells me. So, I ask the Universe for a big dose of trust and keep going. Here's a big virtual hug for you!

 

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