I spent the day with my gran in-law, who is visiting from Adelaide. We headed for the coast and our only plan was to let the day unfold before us.
The journey took us to the Bellarine Peninsula, south west of Melbourne. It's a place often bypassed by eager tourists (myself included) rushing towards the Great Ocean Road.
The day was perfect. Brilliant blue sky, water like glass and golden beaches that twinkled in the sun. It was heaven.
I brought my camera to snap a few memoirs, when I came across this boat (pictured above).
The image took my breath away. This small vessel bobbing on the water reminds me of us, our human experience... and a story I often tell myself.
We are birthed (or should I say berthed?), and our great voyage begins.
As we sail through life, we experience the full spectrum of what it is to be alive. The grey dull days and wild tumultuous storms soon make way for blissfully calm moments, where life is beautiful and time stands still.
When we find ourselves in the midst of a tempest, we have to remind ourselves that it is transient. Hold on. The clouds will part and the sun will shine. In the meantime, ride the waves and weather the storm.
This is something I came to repeat many times over when I encountered my own 'Groundhog Day'. I felt stuck in the treacherous Cape Horn, whose notoriously hazardous waters are dubbed to be a sailors' graveyard. My little boat metaphor became my mantra to keep Mr. Grim Reaper at bay.
And you know what? The skies did clear, and the waves did calm. As a result, I have become a better sailor and skilful navigator. I manage to dodge more storms today than when I was first at the helm and with each new day, I become wiser.
And another thing...
I learned that no matter how dinged up we get along the way, there's always a safe harbour we can pull into. Our holes can be plugged, the damage repaired and the weaknesses reinforced.
I've also come to the realisation that Project Grace 2010 is such a harbour. Maintenance and repair work is currently underway in preparation to celebrate 40 years sailing.
Until tomorrow... may you sail safely, avoid the storms and take time to explore your own backyard.
PS. I'm particularly touched by this post as I (and a number of people I love) have been directly impacted by depression. There are many worldwide initiatives to help people deal with this debilitating condition. Whilst my 'little boat on the seas' metaphor was (and is) a valuable self-coaching technique, it was not the only means that got me through. There are many safe harbours out there so please seek them, reach out and take time to heal.