Monday, 10 February 2014

The Joy of Feeling Small


I love images that remind me of how big and wonderful nature is. This Turner painting is one of my favourites, as it captures the awesome power of wind and waves.

Having experienced sailing, it is always easier to be in the boat as it rides the waves and uses the wind to power it forward. My focus at the helm is to be on the fixed points which show me reliably the safe direction to head. What I have learned from sailing is that the winds and waves come and go unpredictably, I only have control over myself and the ropes and rudder in my hands. What helps me be effective in surfing the waves and using the wind, is my ability to calm myself and observe the wind direction, strength and sense it's rises and falls.

In other words, there is no better example of being truly mindful of your environment than when you are sailing. It is a powerful lesson, in accepting life and circumstances as they are, and making the most of them to propel myself forward in life.

When I look into this painting I don't see a ship in danger, I see a ship that is surviving and managing despite its brokeness to ride the stormy waves.