On the Path of Wind and Water

Sailing on water
created by winds of thought,
my soul travels on.

Many years ago, in the late 1970s, a 29 foot sailboat carried me around the Hawaiian Islands on a path of wind and water. Although the old photos that I have are fading, I clearly remember the scent of salt water in the air, and the sound of the boat sliding (often pounding) through the waves—as if it was yesterday.

It was an entirely new experience for me, and I learned a lot from those sailing trips: Be aware of your surroundings and do not be complacent (don’t fall asleep at the helm). The environment and life itself is always changing, so take nothing for granted. There are no guarantees.

Personally, I loved the calm days when the ocean slept quietly within itself and the voice of the sea-breeze gently sang as it passed through the rigging. Do you see the diamonds of sparkling sunlight dancing on the water? Joy!
Sailing Hawaii blue sea
But life is unpredictable and Mother Nature can quickly change a gentle breeze into a screaming wind that churns the sea into an angry rage. Sometimes life is not easy, but there is no time to worry or complain when ocean waves are rising.  Reef the mainsail, raise the storm jib, say a prayer, and keep moving forward.

A sea-bird flew along with the sailboat through a storm one day, showing me that it is possible to maintain a calm and steady state of mind even in a bad situation. I watched it glide smoothly through incredibly strong winds for several hours, barely moving its wings—no worries.

It has been 37 years since the last time I have been sailing but, over the years, my life has often resembled a rough sea with all of its ups and downs.

The biggest storm in my life happened in the late 1980s, when my first husband decided to change and go down a completely different path. The new lifestyle he had chosen did not and could not include me. I had to leave. I had to run. No choice.  Suddenly, I found myself adrift on dry land with no anchor and no place to call home. What happened to me after that is a long and almost unbelievable story. There were good things (almost miraculous) that came my way, but there were also days when I was completely exhausted and wanted to give up.

I would like to tell the whole story, but I don’t know if I will ever have the strength to write about all of the strange twists and turns that I went through. In order to write about that portion of my life–I would have to sift through old memories and deal with some painful ones that I have tried to forget. Writer’s block!

For now, I will end with the simple fact that everything in my life has continued to change over the years. Like everything else in this world, I have grown older. But my soul remains the same and travels on with the wisdom of the path of wind and water.


About Mary Strong-Spaid

You can find me any time wandering around in my own mind gathering thoughts.
This entry was posted in Memories, Nature, ocean, Photo Essay and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to On the Path of Wind and Water

  1. sarasinart says:

    That is a lovely story, and so much wisdom is in your words.

  2. Clanmother says:

    The power of photography is that is can stop time, allowing us to recall the moment with a visual clarity. Looking back at my photos, I see a young woman ready to take on the world. And we did – both of us, with the strength was given for that day. Resilience comes when the path seems unclear and we come upon an unexpected turn in the road. I love Robert Frost’s thought: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life — It goes on.” Always enjoy your posts!

  3. Lisa Gordon says:

    This is a truly beautiful and inspirational story, Mary.
    Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful week.

    • Thank you Lisa. Because this story was personal–it took me a long time to write and it gave me a headache. I had to edit it about 8 times, because I still couldn’t say what I wanted to say. Writer’s block! I think now though, I have said it well enough… 🙂

  4. katelon says:

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing Mary!

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