“The wind freshened, and the Spray rounded Deer Island light at the rate of seven knots.
Passing it, she squared away direct for Gloucester to procure there some fisherman’s stores. Waves dancing joyously across Massachusetts Bay met her coming out of the harbor to dash them into myriads of sparkling gems that hung about her at every surge. The day was perfect, the sunlight clear and strong. Every particle of water thrown into the air became a gem, and the Spray, bounding ahead, snatched necklace after necklace from the sea, and as often threw them away. We have all seen miniature rainbows about a ship’s prow, but the Spray flung out a bow of her own that day, such as I had never seen before. Her good angel had embarked on the voyage; I so read it in the sea.” – Josh Slocum, Sailing Alone Around the World
I’ve read that passage a few times over the years since first reading this book, and did so again last night. There’s magic in setting out on a new adventure, and I feel this paragraph captures that exhilaration. These are the highlighter moments in the novel of life; the first ride without the training wheels when you have balance and velocity with you and you feel like you’re flying, boarding a plane for a flight overseas to a place you’ve always dreamed of going, or simply the first feeling out steps on a long hike when you realize everything is good to go. Preparedness meets possibility, and the world is in front of you welcoming you to explore your potential. Ready? Go!
Of course, not every moment is a highlight moment, but there should be something in every day that makes you feel alive. Every dawn is full of possibility, if we’ll only get out and greet the day. Over the weekend I re-acquainted myself with my sister’s dog Parker. She’s a yellow lab with a highly expressive face and eyes that tell you everything you need to know. Reading about Slocum’s boat Spray, I thought of Parker’s expression as she realized she was going for a swim in the bay. Sheer delight, and a sprint to the water. May we all have more of that in our time here.
What shall we make of this day?