On a beach walk I saw a sailboat in the distance on the gulf of Mexico. From the shore it loomed nearer, although not in a morose way. It was big and sturdy and coasted easily on the calm, December water. Its sail was brown like dry earth, with writing I could not make out. All alone out there, no other boats crowding it as they usually do on a sunny, Saturday afternoon.
The boat made me think about people in my life. How some are just a long view away. Some are gliding along the shore, some so far away you can barely feel their presence. Others are lapping at the shoreline, either in happy rest or wanton attention. Some do not cast their nets. Some are long gone, or shipwrecked at the bottom of the sea.
There are the boats I try to hail and bring to me, to sit and take comfort in. Those I do not want to sail away. But sometimes they do, or will. And this brings a terror in me I cannot cultivate. It will end the peaceful stature I’ve tried so hard to bring forth and maintain.
Living in the present moment and letting things be as they may is not always simple. The past tries to spin me into its tormenting monsoon. Sometimes I want to moor the hailed boat on my shore and anchor it there forever. But the more I try, the more the boat wants to cast away to sail other blue waters.
If I let it go, will it come back?
If so, will it be solo or bring along a fleet of its own?
. . . . .
A sailboat glided along the distant shoreline
its stately stature coasting on blue December waters
The sail the color of dry earth with writing I could not make out
It appeared as so many people have
Some as that sailboat, just a long view away
Others so far away, their presence barely felt
And more, lapping at the shore line
In happy rest
Or wanton attention
Some do not cast their nets
Others are long gone
or shipwrecked at the bottom of the sea
I hail those which envelope comfort
and pray they stay
But some boats sail away
as they are meant to do
And I try not to think of this as a torrent of
sadness and regret
or fight to anchor them forever
For the more I struggle, the farther they sail
along other blue waters.