14 Feb A love letter to sailing
It’s Valentine’s Day, and my thoughts turn to love…of sailing. It doesn’t help that Valentine’s occurs smack in the middle of winter here in the Northeast, when sailing season feels very far away. It’s hard when the thing you love is out of reach, for the time being at least.
I’m missing it desperately right now. I miss it like I miss anyone or anything close to my heart – with a deep sense of longing to be close once again. If I try very hard, I can conjure up my my best sailing day. I can see the blue of the sky and water, hear the sound of the hull slicing through the water, and feel the sun on my face and wind on my cheek.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a love letter to sailing.
A love letter to sailing
I love sailing because it makes me feel awake and alive – but also because it gives me moments of peace, meditation and stillness. I love the way it makes me feel powerful – and at the same time, very small in the scheme of the universe. I love that I have to be completely tuned in to the moment and my surroundings. I love that it connects me to nature, and makes me notice the shape of the clouds, the height of a wave, the pull of a current. I love that it makes me see things that are invisible to others – the direction of the wind, and the cat scratch of a puff on the water. I love the elegant lines of a sailboat, and that feeling when the sails are perfectly trimmed and the boat is balanced and sails with incredible ease. I love the sense of order on a boat, where everything has a place and a function, and it’s possible to make everything shipshape. I love the pale first light of day on a boat, the late afternoon sun glinting on the water like diamonds, and especially the sunsets. Sometimes soft and pastel, sometimes fierce and fiery – sunsets on the water are like nothing else.
Sailing has given me gifts I never knew I wanted – or so desperately needed. It’s filled my soul with joy and longing and sometimes fear, but the joy is what I choose to keep. It’s connected me to the most wonderful community of sailors, who understand and share the obsession with boats, wind, water and waves. It’s given me the discipline to focus on the unseen and how it impacts my course. It’s made me whole in ways I can’t even explain. And I guess that’s why sailing will always be my life long love.
This is my love letter to sailing. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Need the perfect soundtrack for sailing? You can find it here: Sailing Songs – The Ultimate Sailor’s Playlist