The Sail and the Anchor

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.

12 Comments

Filed under Observations, Sunday Night Sonnet

12 responses to “The Sail and the Anchor

  1. jimmy Bowen

    I really like this one Jen!! merry Christmas.. Jimmy

  2. Jerry Frensley

    So often in this life we have shared together, you have been the wind in my sails. JTF

    • This was so unexpected and put a very big smile on my face. I’m glad I could be the wind in your sails, dad. You always supported my creative endeavors and continue to. I love you so much. Thank you for being a Busted Flip Flops fan and wonderful dad.

  3. ronald day

    well,about time.i miss your blogs.MERRY CHRISTMAS to u and Ian.
    luv ya my friend.stay safe and healthy

  4. Yes, friends of all kinds can be fleeting, drifting slowly away, while others anchor and harbor. The joy is how winds sometimes send the voyagers back into our ports.

    • Thank you, Mike! It was so nice to see your comment here. You brought a whole other perspective to this idea of anchoring and harboring– the movement of wind as a force (sometimes predicted but many times sudden) to transport loved ones “back into our ports”. I love this!!

      • You’re welcome. It’s classy that you respond back to responders on your WP site, something I still enjoy reading. Continue your insightful thoughts on life and sharing with others. Stay well.

  5. BETH VANDERGRIFT

    Love it, Very thought provoking and true. Hope you are doing well. Hope 2022 is a great year for you!

  6. Jeff Benefiel

    Well said. Curious how some are just ships that pass in the night and others are part of our fleets. Never know where the sea will take you!

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