By my many references in this blog to sailing, you have probably figured out that I like being near the water. It can’t be fresh lake water, it has to be briny seawater. I grew up by the sea. Saltwater has been a part of me since I could walk.

When I’m out there everything changes. I’m free from land and somehow that makes me feel free from any worries I left on shore.

Herman Melville put it this way:

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off— then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

Is there a special place for you? The mountains, a certain stream in the woods, a beach? Or something you enjoy doing like sailing, fishing, bike riding, hiking, or playing chess with a friend? If you don’t have a place that settles you, find one. Find a place or activity that takes your mind off Leuk. Find your refuge and go there often.

My refuge lies in the smell of the marina as we leave the harbor, the salt air on the wind, the dolphin and seal, the islands, the sound of waves pounding the hull – it’s all out there for me. I’m whole out there.

I’m free.

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2 thoughts on “A Refuge

    • When I was 11 years old, I used to ride horses at Metter’s Riding Stables at Birch Bay. It’s long gone now. It’s hard to find riding stables anymore, probably too may worries about being sued.

      Anyway, my favorite horse was named Stockings. She had a colt that Mr. Metter often let follower her when we rode the trails. One day though the colt was left in the barn. Stockings and I had just reached the far end of Metter’s property when she suddenly decided it was time to check on her baby. She galloped full speed while I tried to hang on. Since the shortest distance between her and the barn was a straight line, she left the trails while I watch briar patches flying by.

      Well, at 11 years old holding on was not really an option. Down I went skinning up my back and knocking the breath out of me. (At least I’d missed the blackberry bushes.)

      I’ve ridden since then, but I have yet to give a horse it’s head. Maybe that’s why I took posting years later… It didn’t involve galloping!

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