‘A ship in harbour is safe ; but that is not what ships are built for’ – I don’t think it is what I was built for either. At the age of 56 I still have the same urge to indulge my wanderlust I did at the age of 16, when I first joined a cruise on the SS Uganda with sea cadets, and knew that the sea, and a longing for the sea , would play a big part in my life. ( note to self to write about this)
While sitting on the deck at Liz’s house in Littleton, MA on my last day with her last week, I felt a sudden breeze rise and blow past me and it ruffled the folds of the canvas umbrella at the table where I sat. The sound of the canvas flapping and whipping in the wind reminded me instantly of the sound of the sails of a yacht, and I thought of how I am also adjusting and setting my own sails to determine my direction and the way I will go, and how I check in with myself and the wind and adjust my sails accordingly, again and again and again.
As I prepared to leave Toronto yesterday, amid the love and connection and conversations with the women I met there, I was mindful of the poem The Ship by Bishop Brent. It is actually about dying, and was a part of my father’s funeral service. Four years ago, as I was about to be made redundant from the work I had done with young families for 15 years and venture into the unknown future , he reminded me of this poem. He said that as I was preparing to leave that particular world of work, other people were preparing to welcome me into another future world of work. And that is exactly what has happened.
This is exactly how this trip is for me – as I leave one friend , one pair of loving arms, another friend is waiting, waiting with arms reaching out for a hug, arms to lean into and to feel held . Someone says ‘ she is gone’ as someone else says ‘ here she comes’ and I am once more welcomed with open arms and open hearts.
A ship sails and spreads her white sails to the morning breeze, and starts for the ocean, she is an object of beauty
and I stand watching her until she fades on the horizon.
Someone at my side says, “She is gone.”
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large as when I saw her.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment, when someone at your side says, “She is gone”
There are others who are watching her coming.
And other voices take up the glad shout.
“Here she comes!”
As I arrived in Winnipeg I was met with big smiles and hugs, my journey across Canada continues .and as my host in Toronto observed ‘ My global heart is expanding’
As I write my morning pages I realise how my current writing and experiences bring up memories and experiences from my past and so there may be some upcoming posts which link back to times past. Such is life, a spiral which comes around again. onwards and upwards and ever expanding.