Here’s to the journey

Well, folks, I can sail. Yes I can.
I raised my own mainsail and my own working jib and, as forecast, headed out for my very first sail on my own sailboat last Tuesday (June 16).
It was a defining moment in my life.
Granted, I did have a consummate sailor friend on board who ensured my success by being there with good advice. But it was I, I Captain, who sailed the vessel.
The evening weather was perfect and the wind on Sand Bay allowed “Scout” to get in the groove and heel over. She cruised with a palpable energy—freed after nearly two years of land-locked stillness.
Under that dome of the present moment out on the lake, there was nothing in my mind except my focus on keeping a trim sail and a steady course, with the orchestra music of the humming keel whizzing along underwater.
A most humble “thank you” is due to the road so far—whose every winding and sometimes grinding bump, heartache, and heavy load got me to that incredibly happy “first ever” moment on the lake.
I could hear Maya Angelou saying, “Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”
After my partner, Jon Fistler, committed suicide in 2012, I came upon a bracelet at a local market that had beautiful jade beads and the words “For the Journey” stamped on a tiny piece of silver that hung from the black cording.
I wore it a lot in those months following his death, as a rite of passage I suppose, for all the unknowns I knew would come my way. After a long while, I took it off and put it away.
I put it back on in January, to help me once again, and vowed then to leave it on until I wore it out and it fell off. I believed that when it left my body, it would be a sign that I had reached an important crossroads in my life.
No word of a lie, the bracelet let go at noon last Tuesday—about five hours before I sailed my boat.
No date in history could have been more significant for that bracelet falling to the floor, given how I’ve struggled with my apprehension of taking the big leap—the one that meant the most, the one I wanted, the one I feared.
Truth be told, I think I’ve been on a long road since that cold and traumatic January day in 2012 and Jon’s suicide.
That was the day something inside me shifted out of place and ever since I’ve been on a personal journey to learn the lesson of letting go of what I cannot control, and to letting go of my fear of the unknown.
That day came on June 16.
“As I sail through change, my resolve remains the same
What I chose are magic moments,
Because ships are safe in the harbor
But that is not what ships are for.”
I know, for sure, I’m not done with my changes, and thank heaven I’m not.
But this “Little Miss” just sailed through something very, very big.

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