This fall I can recall a day that was another beautiful simple living moment. The air was freshening up. The weather report was predicting that a tropical storm was approaching the coast of Massachusetts. Winds gusting to 45kts. I had asked Raymond if I could use a slip for the weekend to ride the storm out. He was very generous and showed me a slip that faced the south with a dock on both sides. I would be safer there than any of his other slips.
This was my first real test. I hadn’t truly taken full command of my boat yet. Last weekend during the schooner race, I did most of the sailing and Benji sat silently while I tried to figure things out and gain confidence. I freaked out, cried that I would never be able to feel in control on my boat, and then had a great sail at the helm. But Benji was there, and he did do a few things to help, and answered some questions too. Today, he wasn’t there, and I had to pull the boat into the narrow marina and the only slip that wasn’t occupied. It sat right next to a 37ft beautiful Shannon.
After I had spent 30min preparing the lines and fenders, I released myself from the mooring. I took a few turns around the other moored boats, came alongside them as though they were a dock, and then headed toward the marina. That was the moment. One brief moment of simple living…wind in my hair, squinting in the sun, I was moving my boat to prepare for the storm. I wasn’t just going home and shutting my door, I was responding to the weather. I was simply living, real living, real life.
Just as quickly as I realized the beauty of the moment it fell into the shadows of the cloud that lay seconds ahead. I had to dock the boat by myself. No one was around to lend a hand, catch a line, or fend the boat away from hitting the dock or, worse yet, another boat. I turned into the marina, missed the slip the first time, backed out and circled around to try again. That’s when I said I quick prayer. It seemed to have been working for me a lot lately; maybe someone was listening and especially wanting me to succeed. So, my quick prayer, “please, bring us home safely.” And as I approached the dock, I slowed the engine, coasted to a stop, and stepped off the boat. I had done it! I spent the next 40 minutes adjusting dock lines.
That night, trying to continue to keep up the peaceful feeling of simple life, I retire to my little boat, to enjoy some time with Dory my cat, a cup of hot cocoa, and some reflection. I’m lucky enough to have electricity today. Although, I prefer to imagine that it’s the solar panel I hope to acquire soon that is keeping my computer glowing. I sit down to write, my legs outstretched in front of me, Dory lying across them.