Taking Sail

 photo of: Julie, Toby and Peter on Windspiel in 2007

This week, we are sailing on the Chesapeake Bay — for ten days! It’s a sort of moving camping trip, but with a real toilet (sorry — that’s "head").

Sailing is magical. There’s nothing cooler than cutting the engine once the sails are up. The silence is wonderful — then, you start to notice the sound of the water swooshing past the hull, cries of birds nesting atop the channel markers, and other sensory gifts not available when using the "iron genny" (aka, engine). This truly is solar power at its most generous.

I’m reminded of William McDonough ‘s 1993 speech at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in which he told a story about Emerson:

In the 1830s, when his wife died, he went to Europe on a sailboat and returned on a steamship. He remarked on the return voyage that he missed the "Aeolian connection." If we abstract this, he went over on a solar-powered recyclable vehicle operated by craftspersons, working in the open air, practicing ancient arts. He returned in a steel rust bucket, spilling oil on the water and smoke into the sky, operated by people in a black dungeon shoveling coal into the mouth of a boiler. Both ships are objects of the same design. Both are manifestations of human intention.

When you make decisions, how aware are you of your intentions? We are all about intention and awareness here are GOforChange. The first two weeks of the EcoBlueprint Home Study course dig into this deeply. We have two new programs coming as well! Join me on a F*R*E*E phonecall to hear more: Friday, July 3 at 11:00 a.m. EST.

I’m writing this post the day before our trip, with some nervousness because the forecast calls for big winds tomorrow, out of the south, which is exactly where we are headed. *Sigh* Guess we’ll be spending the day on our ear, tacking our way down the Bay. Time to get out the ginger root!

Since sailing is such a treat for the senses, I’m moved to share this poem I recently came across. It was written lovingly on the chalkboard at the wonderful Dogwood Cafe at the Women’s Industrial Exchange (a Baltimore landmark of self-sufficiency for women artisans). Since Mary Oliver is one my all-time faves, I had to copy it down. (follow this! your heart will thank you!)

The Plum Trees

Such richness flowing
through the branches of summer into

the body, carried inward on the five
rivers! Disorder and astonishment

rattle your thoughts and your heart
cries for rest but don’t

succumb, there’s nothing
so sensible as sensual inundation. Joy

is a taste before
it’s anything else, and the body

can lounge for hours devouring
the important moments. Listen,

the only way
to tempt happiness into your mind is by taking it

into the body first, like
small wild plums.

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