Here is the last in this story excerpt from Ocean of Insight, a book in the works. I’m crowd-sourcing the project and welcome your feedback. Thanks for your input–H
For the rest of our Lake Superior family vacation I refuse to take the helm. As a matter of fact, I am so frightened, I consciously avoid stepping on a sailboat for the next ten years.
In time I come to understand what happened: we experienced what’s called a knock down and I could have prevented it had I positioned my sails for peak wind velocity. The seafarers’ lesson: trim not for the lesser but the greater blow.
Also, had I known to look, I could have seen the gust coming; strong winds shred waves into a dull gray line as the blow creeps forward.
These are technical lessons time and additional sailing made plain. But more meaningful spiritual lessons came about as well.
Despite my lifetime as an environmental advocate, despite my day-to-day dedication to transforming damaged urban lands into healthy ecosystems, I was a tourist in the wilderness. My eyes were blind to Mother Earth’s strength and capriciousness. I didn’t comprehend that what happens to the earth, water, and sky happens to me. I didn’t grasp the depth of my exposure to forces operating at a scale I can hardly comprehend. This experience was the first to water my seed of humility toward the workings of nature’s order.