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.

26 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!


    • I tried several times to write this story, but it was extremely difficult. Usually it is easy for me to write, but not this time. I am and may always be — a ‘story with no book.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dina says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed your conversation, Mary and Rebecca! xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • It always surprises me when I look back through old blogs that I have written, and find that I failed to answer a comment or two. Certainly, now I don’t remember what I was doing on July, 30 2018. Now it is July 19, 2020–and the fear and uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 virus have been with tossing the world around since February 2020 (it is starting to feel like forever). Back in 2018, in her comment above, Rebecca quoted the wisdom of Robert Frost:–“In three words, I can sum everything I have learned about life–it goes on!”
        Well, I do hope this storm ends soon and life can go on without it!.


  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!


  5. beautiful post Mary and fabulous pix!


  6. You always say so much in such simple prose. Your writings are like concentrate of a precious elixer Mary, even if this was painful to write in more ways than one. Keep counting your blessings and celebrating life as you do, inspiring others along the way as you traverse life’s rocky roads. xx


    • Thank you! After being caught in rough ocean seas many times, I appreciate days of calm, solid earth under my feet. 🙂
      Earth Under my Feet—whenever I see the name of your blog, I always think of my grandson and his rock collection. Being around him made me take a much closer look at the land around me. I have probably shown you the link before–but hearing from you always makes me go back and read it again.
      He had grown a few years older by the time I posted the story and photos about his rock collection.
      After I showed it to him, he asked if he could make a story with me about the king of trees and bushes (he would play the part of the king).
      He came up with all the ideas for the photos as he outlined the story for me, but he did not give me an ending. When I asked him how he wanted his story to end, he answered: “It just has to be happy. Make it happy.”
      And I so did.
      Then he said, “If I write a poem by myself, can you put it after the story?”
      “OK, I said. “No problem!” (He named the poem ‘Never Lick a Stick’)
      He told me that the end of his poem was not going to be like the rest–because he wanted to surprise people and make them laugh.
      He was right about that. Even though I have read his poem many times before, it always makes me laugh.
      I am so glad that he made that story with me–seems so long ago now!
      It was a wonderful experience that I will always treasure.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I see the creative genes run in the family Mary 🙂 It’s a delightful story. And yes, I too appreciate days of calm, solid earth under my feet. 🙂 They are always good for the soul and for recalibrating and connecting with nature,


  7. I have nominated you for the Versatile Blog Award. Please follow the link below to accept. https://soeyewrite.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/versatile-blog-award/


  8. Eric says:

    Some tread on paths of soil, some on the ocean’s waves, but it is the one who prances in the clouds of the mind to bring what they learn to the earth, these are the master story tellers. Life is a pretzel. We can either bind ourselves tightly within its bonds or we can eat of it and be part of it and make it our own. I believe I will chew mine on the highest peaks in the heavens. Sail on! Carpe Diem.


  9. Change is a constant law in nature. I enjoyed reading your story.😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ok–Now it is July 19, 2020! Certainly took me a long time to respond!..
      I agree. Change is a constant law in nature, and life has changed a lot since 2018.
      Not so great right now, with everyone still avoiding close contact with others and wearing masks due to fear of Covid-19. Seems like this pandemic is going on and on and on.
      I hope and pray that–somehow–that this situation changes (for the better) soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Rabindranath Pradhan says:

    A beautiful post with beautiful story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Raven ❤️ says:

    Thank you for sharing.
    Such a change in direction often leaves us with no compass.
    It’s a scary place to be.
    I often wonder how people who do not right cope.
    I find putting words onto the page help me make sense of situations.
    Then two later look back and read this part of our journey makes us realise just how strong we actually are.


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