An Ocean’s View Of Life
I went fishing the other day with my better half. He recently purchased a boat, and we try to enjoy it whenever the weather allows for a calm trip out into the ocean.
The day started like any other with preparations for a trip. We have two dogs, so doing anything without them is much like when the kids were little. How long will we be gone, who will check on them, do they have water, food, etc. I raced around trying my best to get it all done, as my husband checked the forecast for the 20th time to make sure winds were light. The wind is the difference between a moment of gratitude for the ocean’s beauty versus a nail-biting, tense, and at times frightening, day. Winds were light and variable. The sea should be smooth as glass.
It was a bit cool when we left early in the morning. I had on long underwear, thermal pants, three sweatshirts, heavy socks, and my wool hat. Always better to be prepared and warm. I could always take off something if I got warm. Being cold, along with the possibility of getting wet, is never a good thing. I was prepared.
We launched her into the water, and off we went. There is a channel to follow to get out into the ocean. We drive slowly through that, and then the engine opens once we are in deep water. The winds blew, and I was cold. Eventually, we lost sight of land and were surrounded by water as far as we can see. Most times, we don’t see another boat. I always take a deep breath. You can let yourself fall in love with the beauty around you, or you can have a panic attack. I try very hard always to stifle the panic.
The ocean has always scared me. For me, the unpredictable, untamable unknown scares the pants off me. My husband, also an avid lifelong surfer, loves it. He appreciates it, respects it, and can’t get enough. I tend to get caught up in the “what the hell just touched my foot” or the power of a small wave hitting shore to knock me down. I relax on the boat because winds will be light and variable. We see what we think is a whale coming up for air, a giant sea turtle, and fish swimming around the boat. I don’t dare look at the depth measurer because I will have a coronary if it is over 100 feet to the bottom.
As luck would have it, winds were not with us as predicated. The boat was rocking from side to side. I could see large swells if I looked to the left, so I looked straight ahead. I was cold. Clouds precluded any chance of warmth. I started catching fish and suddenly forgot it was cold, the boat was rocking, we were alone in the middle of the ocean, and I brazenly looked to see it was 85 feet to the bottom. We were laughing and having fun. What a beautiful cold, cloudy day on a rocking ocean with my best friend!
The ride back was rough. The channel markers were off, and we beached ourselves on a sandbar. My husband jumped out into the 40-degree water to push the boat off like a scuba Charles Atlas. The engine oil failure alarm sounded next. I never even flinched. My neurosis stayed in check. I have always had complete trust and faith in my husband. We made it back, had a great fish dinner with my catch, and the dogs didn’t hate us too much for leaving them.
The entire day was a synonym for life. We always have plans, ideas, or dreams of how it will be. We rarely end up with the vision. We tend to get wrapped up in what we don’t have rather than stop and be grateful for what is. I could be angry at the weather forecast inaccuracy, or I could flow. Prepare as best you can but know that you can’t prepare for everything. We can’t control what happens around us, much like I can’t control the power of the ocean. We have to learn to go with it. Let the riptide take you out. Eventually, it will release you. We have to overcome our fears, or we will miss out on beautiful experiences. Put a hat on if it’s cloudy because eventually, the sun will come out, and you can take it off.
Find a partner who can make you laugh and forget that its a 100 feet to the bottom. Be with someone who stretches and challenges you. Safe is just that. It’s safe. We can’t live without the risk, or we are not living.
Sometimes we learn the lessons too late, but a lesson learned is a lesson learned nonetheless. I wish you winds that are light and variable but the faith to know that you can handle rough seas.
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