"Now I drive my Downeaster Alexa
more and more miles from shore every year."
- Billy Joel
|Leaving the shore, ready for the day's adventure.|
There was a window of opportunity to get back on the water yesterday and the forecast was promising some lively conditions off the north shore of Gabriola Island. The plan was to paddle out towards Entrance Island .
For the sea kayaker, there's always a thrill and a sense of excitement as the shore is left behind, with the day's promised adventure unfolding ahead. Paddling out, I found myself thinking about a line in a Billy Joel song that goes, "more and more miles from shore every year." How true that is in life.
Life's "shores" are places that are familiar, knowable, comfortable, and safe. We're sometimes reluctant to leave the known behind...for the unknown. I remember leaving home for the first time, to attend university in another city - a whopping 45 miles away! Excited, yes, but a tiny bit anxious too. And then there was enrolment with the Canadian Forces chaplaincy, with the required 14 weeks of army BOTC (basic training)...bearded, long-haired, and ten years a parish minister. ("I'm going to have to do what?!") Early mid-life crisis? Well, maybe. Most of life's significant events are like that. Whether it's leaving home for the first time, discerning / changing an occupation, choosing a life-partner, having children, moving from one place to another, retiring (or "re-configuring" as I call it) - there's excitement, but there may also be anxiety.
Sometimes, we leave one shore behind, with no real sense of where or when another shore will greet us. We need to be confident, however, that there is usually a map and compass within us that will guide us on our way. Yes, sometimes that takes trust.
|Trust...when no "shoreline" is in sight.|
I've learned, over the years, that the willingness to leave the familiar and comfortable behind to explore new horizons has always been the right thing to do. There have certainly been times of second-guessing but the new discoveries that one makes along the way and the personal growth that accompanies those discoveries makes it all worthwhile - and more.
"Shores" (in a metaphorical sense) help us locate ourselves and provide sources of meaning and value. When we leave the familiar, we need to trust that we will discover new sources of meaning that will sustain and give our lives value.
The thing is, even when we find ourselves in life's "troughs", we must trust that the next wave will bring us up again and offer to us enhanced "visibility". We will see that wherever we go, there will be a new and unexplored shore waiting for us.
|In the trough, but on the way up.|
|Entrance Island, straight ahead.|
And there's always time for one more picture. :)
|Keep your hands on the paddle, Joan!|
As always, thanks for coming by.