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My Fellow Mariners

Greta Garbo Harpers Bazaar 1930

I’m convinced life is easier for those born with a smile on their face. Maybe I had one. I don’t remember. And with both parents gone, I have no one to ask. But, if I did, then fairly early on it faded. Conflict started early. Growing up with an alcoholic meant chaos was just a breath away. Oddly enough, even though that conflict has never left me, I’m generally highly optimistic. And prone to bouts of spontaneous laughter. I even laugh by myself. I really can’t stand seriousness. But I’m like the water. I also have waves. 

I’ve worked hard to understand and master the waves. But they are what they are; they can easily interfere with my vibrational frequency; my outlook; my ability to move forward. Instead of gliding over glassy water, I’ve often found myself manning the helm trying to make sure no harm is done as the bow plunges low. Its exhausting. But it has given me a deeper appreciation for life. One that can’t be found on still water.

Nothing really compares to the feeling of looking back at what I’ve gone through knowing I made it. And every time the waves appear I get better at navigating them. I can’t say its thrilling in the moment. But much in the same way sleep never feels so good as it does after a hard days labor or a meal more delicious than after having gone hungry, nothing makes you feel more secure within yourself than knowing you can handle it when things go deep and life gets funky. The smile afterward is hard fought. 

I had a wave catch me by surprise recently. It shouldn’t have. I saw the storm coming. But I was lazy. With all the chaos in the world, the last place I wanted to find it was within me. Yet, there it was. Once alone, the outward smile faded and the wave crashed. I think some of you know the feeling.

As much as I dread those moments, my life has always been made richer because of them. Perhaps its because during those times I am forced to shut everything out and use laser sharp focus. And when I do, I hear more. I see more. And afterward when I am able to smile again, I smile wider. I dance freer. I play harder. I linger longer at the glory of nature. And most importantly, All That Is speaks clearer. 

We are all living our own journey – unique to us and only us. All going at our pace. Growing in our own way. For some its profoundly slow. Those who haven’t been wet a day in their life or don’t even understand the metaphor within these words. For others, we’re launched forward by a hard wind. I tend to gravitate toward fellow mariners. Those trying to figure out why they’re here, how it all works. Those who had to swim when they didn’t even have a boat. 

So to my fellow mariners, smile with me. You’ve earned it. Whether you are still underwater, making discoveries about yourself, life, and how we are all interconnected – finding your purpose. Or those who are, for a time, sitting on the bow enjoying a moment of calm. I want you to know, there’s a reason why you are here. You are moving forward quickly. You add to life because you navigate the waves. Every time you emerge, you do so with something more to offer. And if you can’t smile just yet, you are not alone. And you will again.