Stillness In Sailboats

I arise to the sounds of birds calling from my room.  At 5:00 am, I take it as wake up calls to get out of bed and take in the day.  I am staying on the Isle of Portland, in the Jurassic Coast.  This is the first time I have stayed overnight somewhere that was not my home in ten months, due to covid.  For a wanderluster, like me, it feels like years.  But as I watched the stillness of the sailboats, I realize I don’t need much to bring me to a place of tranquility.

I have been longing for this.  Months of non-stop work at my place of employment, and my side projects have kept me busy. Although I love staycations, and find enjoyment in my home, I do appreciate exploring the world outdoors.

Nobody in the hotel or town is up yet, and therefore I put on my shoes and light jacket and step outside.  I find the perfect spot for my morning meditation: sitting on the pier outside of my hotel.  Today my meditation consisted of closing my eyes, and simply focusing on the sense of sound.  There are seagulls but many other birds I can’t identify.  Are these mating calls, wake up calls, or simply shout outs to friends to gather nearby and find food?  I hear waves, not from the water in front of me, but somewhere in the distance.  The atmosphere appears silent, but in reality, it’s oozing with life.  And then I hear and sense the tiny raindrops that fall onto the water in front of me, and I sense them on my skin.  I do not run for cover.  It’s England.  I simply embrace the moment.  

Although I am one who loves travelling to exotic lands, or the ends of the earth, there is something refreshing with the stillness of sailboats in calm waters.  Perhaps as we are drawn to water, because so much of us internally consists of water.  Or the sailboats are reminiscent of memories I can’t place.  There is a universality to seeing sailboats in Old Saybrook Connecticut, Paros Greece, Honolulu, seas of Jordan, or Long Beach California.   It may be in our collective unconscious to find rejuvenation when gazing at the simplicity of a sailboat.  

When choosing a place to say, the Isle of Portland, became our hub.  Just outside our door, was the Navy and Air bases that were the departure points for DDay for many Americans, a castle built during the time of Henry the 8th, and a location hub for the Olympics in 2021 for sailing competitions.  Despite all this history, this town is modest, quiet, and non-elitist.  Other sites in Dorset county, pull the attention of tourists to it.  The hotel is no frills but boasts a beautiful view from the window sill of our room, which I make as my makeshift writing nook.  

We travel for adventure, vitality, escape, restoration, bragging rights, and a break from boredom.  But sometimes all we desire is a reason to slow down from the busy-ness of our everyday lives.   We don’t need a fancy hotel, expensive restaurants, or an over the top Instagram snapshot.  We solely need to view of the stillness of sailboats, and find once again the stillness that can exist within.  

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