“Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. This is why we are here.”
–Jon J. Muth, The Three Questions
Her name is the Caddis, and I can promise you it was certainly not love at first sight. My experiences with sailing up to that point had been tainted with memories of my husband and brother-in-law spending my birthday in the ER for hypothermia. Not to mention the $300 bill from the hospital a month later (Maiden Spring Voyage). “But this one will be safer,” my husband promised. “2,000 pounds of lead. There’s no way this one will ever topple over. Besides, it will be so great for the boys. Think of the experiences they will have!” I finally gave in. The boat was shipped from Michigan a few weeks later.
It took a bit of coaxing, but soon I was spending one evening a week on a sailboat with an instructor and three others taking classes. I never really got the hang of it, nor did I catch the “sailing bug” while under those majestic, white sails. Although it was admittedly enjoyable to feel the cool breeze against my face and watch the sunset reflect on the water.
Every week as a family we took our new boat out at least once. We spent many nights tied up to the mooring watching the millions of stars, many mornings sipping hot cocoa and reading books inside our sleeping bags. On the fourth of July the boys joined in the annual parade and strung lights across the bow and up the mast and silently motored around the lake.
It may not have been love at first sight, but eventually I did fall in love. It wasn’t the sails unfurled under the deep blue sky. It wasn’t even the boat heeling into the water, splashing our feet as we dangled them over the edge. To be honest, it really wasn’t the sailing at all.
It was us.
It was no phones to answer. No texts to respond to. No emails, no TV, no worries of laundry or grass to mow, no dirty floors or prior engagements. No worries of tomorrow.
When we’re on the boat, it’s just those other bodies occupying that small space. Nothing else, simply breathing each other–our real selves–in. We laugh, we tussle, we sing, we read. We play Go Fish, we swim, we grill hot dogs and dangle our poles over the water. We admire God’s creations around us. We count the stars and wake up to the morning sun. We wave at the other sailors as they tack and jibe around our very own little world.
A few days ago as we sailed for the last time this season I was reading to my boys from our “sailing library” and found The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth. When we first put the books on the boat, we tried to keep the theme of boats and all things water. Somehow this one got in the mix. As I silently lamented the end of another wonderful sailing season and wished for more magical moments on the water with my family, this book hit me hard. It seemed so fitting. The Caddis has become a refuge for us, where nothing else matters but the people we are with. Time stands still and we can finally truly enjoy each other, pure and undiluted. Its a unique feeling in this fast-paced technology-run world.
“Who is the most important one?”
“What is the right thing to do?”
Somehow the Caddis puts it in perspective for me. It suddenly all makes sense. I love sailing not because of the thrill or the water, the adventure or the skill, but because of all that it represents for our family. This time, these relationships, this is why we are here.
What is your refuge from the crazy hustle and bustle of life, where you can give your everything to those you love?