I took the summer off from school for a mental break. Three years of study, every quarter, every semester, working a new job and learning about that, and trying to make the household run as it should… nope… time for a break.
Then, I threw a wrench into the cogs. Well, maybe the more domestic of you will better understand if I say, ‘I put a fork into the garbage disposal’. Yup, that’s it. I bought six laying hens.
Now, before I get you thinking I’m going to talk about the craziness of the summer that WASN’T a mental break, or thinking I’m going to talk about chickens, let me tell you here that this is about figuring out what I lost in all this entropy. (Sorry) Chaos.
I haven’t been sailing.
Sailing is my respite. Sailing is where I’m doing and thinking a thousand things at once about the boat, yet there is order and expectation that if one tiny change is made the boat will sail better, safer, even prettier. Sailing is where the din of the entropy wanes and the order of the Divine Initial Aims can be seen to be at work, in spite of all that we humans do to block it out in the name of our progress and civilization. Sailing is where I go to find my own Divine Initial Aim. And, when the torrents of the wind and the waves remind me there is such a thing as entropy, that even in nature there is a torrid of energy that pounds against me, I know and trust Lifeline because of all the time and effort I spend with her, keeping her strong, keeping her well, for just such moments. I trust my vessel. I trust the routine created in the times less torrid and less chaotic to see me through the other.
I was reminded of this indirectly and unknown to them. Carin put out a note on our yacht club’s message board she was looking for a small day-sailing boat to ‘dink around in’ on her weekend vacation with friends. I happened to have one sitting in my driveway… sitting in my driveway for four years, waiting for me to get some time to fix her up and get her ready for sailing with, and I hope by, my grandkids. Some of them are old enough to do so, now. But, you know already, I bought chickens, and building a coop takes time, and money.
But seeing Carin’s request, I thought it would be nice to see the small boat used. I wrote her and she responded with all the glee one can see in a modern email/text message. We arranged to have her come by and see it. That meant I now had to make time to work on the sailboat. I came home on Monday and began power washing it. I started after supper and it was a cloudy night. Darkness came and I was still washing. I stopped, finally, when the lights from the garage door were brighter than the dark around me, and I could no longer see the boat.
Tuesday brought sunny skies and Carin was due at 6:30. I got home at 6:00 and pulled out the sails, laying them out for her to see. They were in fine shape. I draped the spinnaker sail, a greyish-blue, over the truck. It’s a fine cloths and laying it on the ground would damage it. The anchor, the lines, the equipment, all in decent shape save for the halyards left on the mast and exposed constantly. None-the-less, when Carin arrive and Regis followed, we three stepped the mast and rigged one mainsail. Cleaned up and rigged, she looked wonderful, my little boat, and that’s when I was reminded of what I had been missing.
The last real sail I had was back in June, under the full moon. I watched the sunset and the moonrise took photos with my cell phone cam and drifted about as the wind fell off for five hours. July brought a motor adventure with family aboard to watch the fireworks. Where July met August, I trailered Lifeline up to Lake Erie and sailed over to Bay Week on South Bass Island. For some, that might be a summer. For me, it was long walks in a hot desert between oasis’ and drafts of cool water. Last year I was on the water twice a week, including the afore mentioned events. Two years ago, I was on the water four times a week, teaching and racing and socializing. This year has been so different.
There’s time left to change all that. There are two weeks left in August, and two months, minimum, after that to spend on the water. There’s even time to go back to Lake Erie if I want to. Yes, I’m back in school. Yes, it has become even more intense at work, now that I have an idea of what my new job is supposed to be. Yes, the chickens need a yard to exercise in and windows, and their boxes filled with straw, and… well, you get the picture. And I’ve probably reminded you of your own chores by now. Stephen Covey told us in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to take time to sharpen the saw. He meant to take a break from driving the machine of our labor to tend to the details that keep it running.
Not so oddly, we were told this long ago by a greater Teacher, “Thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath” yet even many of those professing faith forget and fill their Sabbaths as they fill the rest of the week. We need, we all need, to take a step back and let the wonder of the Divine Initial Aim reveal itself in our lives. God said, at least once a week, though we are called every day. He gave me a sailboat to use on that day, so I could spend time with the Ship’s Carpenter.
The little sailboat rolled out of my driveway Thursday evening, after we tested the hull for leaks. She still needs a few pins to fit the rigging properly. The halyards need soaked to clean them up. Some Sailkote on the blocks will make the pulleys run more smoothly. And the lights on the trailer need attention. These are all chores of love and relaxation. Carin’s enthusiasm will make those into a labor of love and she’ll have a good time with her friends on the boat.
Where will you make time this week to meet your Maker and learn or be reminded of your Divine Initial Aim? I wish you well in His presence. Pax Chrisiti
11:17 am 8-29-14
Carin texted me from Michigan “Pretty sure the rudder is still at your house. Can you confirm?” All the work, all the effort, all the fun we had… she pulled the boat all the way to Michigan… oh… damn…”In the corner of the garage, nice and dry.”