Today, when our sailing trip with my Dad was cancelled due to strong winds, I discovered that even when you have a yacht, going sailing isn’t guaranteed and smooth sailing isn’t as easy as I thought.
Apparently, one of the first things you need to learn about sailing, is that just because you have a yacht or access to one and you’ve made plans, that there’s no guarantee that you’ll get out on the water as planned.
Indeed, it turns out that having a yacht is only a very elementary part of going sailing. Unfortunately, sailing is at the mercy of that greatest of vagaries…the weather. Of course, you don’t want to take unnecessary risks. However, when you’ve been counting down the days and you can already feel the wind in your hair, it’s only natural to feel upset. Want to fight back. Ignore the weather report. After all, where there’s a will there’s a way.
It’s good my Dad knows when to call it quits. Moreover, quite aside from risking lives, taking the kids out in rough conditions is counterproductive. We need each and every sailing experience to be a good one when they’re starting out. So, I had to be sensible and find an alternative to lessen the disappointment.
Today, we’d arranged to go sailing with my Dad. I had a routine appointment with my lung specialist in Sydney and sailing fitted in well afterwards. So, I’m sure you’ll understand that while I’m coughing away having lung function tests, that I was picturing being out on the water enjoying some smooth sailing and my disappointment when it didn’t happen. As we were driving back from the hospital, the wind was whipping through the trees and although my knowledge of sailing is pretty basic, it was looking like we wouldn’t get out.
Yet, I’m a pretty determined person and live that old adage: “where there’s a will there’s a way”.
However, you also need to be responsible and know when it’s time to think laterally and find something else to do…especially when the weather bureau is reporting 30 knot winds and making special, additional reports.
Clearly, it wasn’t the day to go out.
Yet, Geoff has the week off work and the kids are on school holidays and I didn’t feel like simply going home. We decided to stop off at Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River on the way home.
In the meantime, Dad was taking a few photos of the garden and I decided to retrieve the camera from the boot and go hunting. We’re just edging into Spring in Sydney. Lush green leaves are budding on deciduous trees, flowers are blooming and inspiration was everywhere.
My parents have a very established garden, which was initially developed by an avid gardener with then exotic plants. There’s a jungle of azaleas front and back and numerous camellias including the ginormous reticulatas, which Dad planted and more dainty sasanquas. Their garden also has quite a range of Japanese maples and there’s a stunning Crab Apple flowering by the front door at the moment.
If you are also seriously into photography, you’ll know what I mean when I say that I was walking through the garden looking through the lens, trying to pluck things out of the under and overgrowth, which would take on a life of their own in 6 x 4.
I spotted bare branches with a maze of dark sticks silhouetted against the azure sky. I saw that proverbial fork in the road as the branches split and branched out but then as you moved out toward the twiggy ends, there was such a maze of sticks. This reminded me of what it’s like to get lost and how your plans can get so badly scrambled, that you get lost in the maze..where am I? Do I even know who I am?
Fueled by the strong wings, clouds were sprinting across the sky, whisking me out of myself and into their arms. Senses overloaded, I lay down on the grass using my camera bag as a pillow, opening the eyes of my heart up to the sky. White, flossy cloud streaked across the intense blue sky like trails of cotton wool. The leaves were rustling and chattering in the wind and various birds flew by.
Indeed, while I was lying there I heard a “Scratch! Scratch!” in the undergrowth and a brush turkey was wandering by.
Despite all these “distractions”, I could feel myself melting into the grass and the full weight of life’s burdens being lifted from my shoulders. I can’t remember the last time I lay down on the grass and looked at the sky and stopped. Completely stopped…my heart rate slowing right down to R for rest.
So, although we didn’t get out on the water today, I was able to experience the same sense of deep relaxation on land.
This is an important skill for a sailor to learn. After all, just like you don’t catch a fish every time, you can’t always get a sail. So, instead of succumbing to the disappointment, you’re better off keeping an open mind and finding other ways to carpe diem seize the day.
That is, instead of dwelling on the yacht which got away.
Have you ever been sailing? Please let your stories flow!