I started out to power wash the bottom of the boat. A week out of the water and the marine growth dried and started to curl at the edges. Last year I spent four hours with a garden hose and a scrub brush. This year I had a better tool and the pressure washer was all ready to go. The anomaly this night was that it ‘is’ night. Late October, its dark at seven p.m. and there’s a cloud cover. One side of the boat was lit by the garage lights but they were no good for the bottom on the far side. I started anyway. It had to be done.
Washing the boat is a labor of love. Not that oversexed sensual Hollywood driven physical passion most people think of when one says the word. I’m talking about real love, that which is committed to the welfare of another. That kind of love that requires effort at chores normally undesirable to perform. Tonight I was bending over half-way or kneeling down, spraying mud and algae at an angle that was sure to ensure I would be covered in a good layer of it before I finished.
How often do we chose to ‘get dirty’ for love? What makes caring for something, or more importantly someone, worth the time and effort to do difficult things to build, preserve, and/or repair that which we are loving? Tonight’s boat cleaning means there will be less dirt, salt, mold and all around life clinging to the hull when spring comes. It means when I take Lifeline to the boat works for her deck repairs we’ll be able to better see her ‘wounds’ without the camouflage’. We’ll make better plans and therefore better repairs. You see, once I started and slipped across the gunn’ls I saw how dirty the deck was. So I kept going. Bottom to top, Lifeline was cleaned with the pressure washer.
Most of us wash our bodies routinely. Probably we zone out thinking we’re clearing our minds with television or video games. There are still a lot of readers, if the commercials selling the electronic ones are a good measure. A true washing of the mind requires… ….that’s right… …silence and a lack of stimulation. A few of us wash our souls in one way or another (that reminds me, I need to get to reconciliation in the near future). Making those moral or ethical errors requires some contrition and a conscious effort to change our character.
Lifeline has her external and internal wash for the fall. I’m still working on my internal one, but loving her in such a way was a good start.