One of my favorite sea faring stories is about the great French solo sailor Bernard Moitessier. He perhaps is best known for his participation in the Golden Globe Race to circumnavigate the earth alone and non-stop. As he was on the last leg of the journey, having come around Cape Horn and its fearsome winds and waves, he decided to continue sailing rather than return to England where the race would end.
His decision to quit the race was largely due to his becoming comfortable with his solitude. Although driven and competitive, he did not want to return to the crowds, cameras, fame and a sailing trophy. Instead, he sailed on for three more months. Although he abandoned the race, Moitessier still circumnavigated the world, crossing his path off South Africa, and then sailing almost two-thirds of the way round a second time, all non-stop and mostly in the Roaring Forties.
I can relate to Bernard as today I feel like withdrawing. It is my first day back at work after a lovely few days of holiday. I actually don't want to deal with the onslaught of emails and meetings that are already being scheduled to fill up the week. But mostly, I received a sad shock that a colleague of mine died in an accident at his home on Dec. 31. He was an avid dog lover, a good sailor, and an exacting scientist.
So I can relate to sailing on and not getting back to the madding crowd. Thankfully, tonight I have my home group meeting. And thankfully, I can appreciate with full gratitude all that I do have in my life. No matter what may be happening around me, I can stop, say a prayer, regroup, and keep moving. I like the idea on the Just for Today prayer that "I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime." Amen to that.
You do not ask a tame seagull why it needs to disappear from time to time toward the open sea. It goes, that's all. Bernard Moitessier