When I am by the sea, I like to take the sailboat early and let the wind take me. Without destination or purpose, I am a wanderer. Hull skimming the flat, crystalline waters of the morning ocean, I lose inhibition or thought. I explore. I refresh. To wander is to live. This I believe.
Just as the sun is rising behind me, I catch its rays out into the Atlantic. Standing on the very precipice of the boat’s bow and gazing into clear, turquoise water below me, I feel like I can touch the bottom. Standing there I feel free from time and space, suspended from thought or limitation. The cool salt air rushes over my skin and weaves its fingers through my hair, a cleansing flow that refreshes. In these moments the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.
Exploring mangroves and coastline, I am master of my realm. Nothing stands between me and reality – faraway ideas and explanations hold no credence in this moment. Like the torpedo-like barracuda swimming underneath my bow, all I know is the warm sunlight and musty scent off the salty swamps. I am a creature in the wild. Colors become clearer. The critic disappears and the perfect emerges. This is happiness.
As the sun rises high in the sky, scale emerges. Billowing squall clouds from far out to sea tower in 50,000 foot columns of power. Casting a long shadow of might and mercy, their purple lighting laces through the noon air and puffs cool breeze across the wave tops. I see myself as part of something larger, insignificant yes. Resurrecting true priorities, life itself is easier to grasp. Suddenly things seem small, yet the sunlight on a particular palm looks all the more special in the grand plan. They are towers of heaven, reaching to earthly altitudes and depths of character unreachable by anything man has designed. Made of the same stuff as me, I am the rain and the rain is me. Grasping the halyard and leaning out over the water, fear doesn’t exist. The world wraps up into one magical instant.
I savor and treasure these moments. They define me at my deepest core and put perspective into life. To take time to try and grab hold of the breeze breathes meaning into us. In ironic twist, the thing that is fleeting is most constant. Wander and follow your own wisps of scent. If you do, and do it deliberately, you will tie up back at your dock and truly know the place for the first time. This I believe and this I know.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.