Everyone has something they were good at or enjoyed as a kid/teen. I spent about a year begging my parents for horseback riding lessons before they relented … leading to about three years of lessons and a lifetime dream of being a cowgirl. Greg’s parents were accomplished sailors and shared that with him (and his brother) so he sailed as a teen and beyond, winning trophies and even working in the industry in college.
Honestly, there were many times in my life I considered running away, finding a working cattle ranch and making that dream come true. Alas, life throws up barriers to those dreams and we tuck them safely away in our memories. We get on with raising our kids and moving around the country and paying bills (#adulting).
A few weeks ago, Greg and I made a bet about some new houses going up in our neighborhood. The winner got to pick a destination for a weekend getaway. He won and he chose San Diego. He wanted to rent a sailboat and hit the water. He reserved the boat, I made hotel reservations, we loaded up the car and drove across Interstate 8 through the dunes and heat of the desert, bound for ocean breezes.
After an hour-or-so wandering the waterfront, we checked in for our reservation. Greg had prepared a comprehensive sailing resume outlining his more than 50-years of sailing experience … but forgot to bring it. No matter, when the young woman asked about his experience, he had her at “54-foot Herreshoff ketch.” He was well-qualified to skipper the little Capri 22. Much to Greg’s chagrin, we motored out of the harbor since it was a requirement before raising the mainsail, unfurling the jib, and shutting off the power to the outboard motor. We were SAILING!
I watched the smile on his face … bigger than normal and unwavering. He relaxed and slipped into a state of joy that can only be achieved when you are comfortable with what you’re doing and loving the sensation of recapturing a youthful joy.
We spent two hours on the water wandering among the other boats, ships and jet skis. We yelled greetings to several other sailboats as we cruised past.
Greg offered up instructions to me so I could help raise the sails and tack.
We loved every minute of it … but for different reasons. He was able to go back to his heyday of sailing for a couple of hours. He was in command of a vessel on open water and totally in his comfort zone. I was loving watching him relax and settle into an easy rhythm on the water.
The bright Southern California sun baked our necks and noses before we surrendered the boat at the end of our rental window. We popped into a nearby bar to enjoy an afternoon cocktail and wallow in our heady glee.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Go ahead and recapture something fun from your past while you’re exploring.