I could explain my blog absence by saying I was on vacation, or that I was blown up in a boat…both of which are true statements, but the real reason is that I just didn’t motivate myself to write. In my case, inspiration is sometimes low- key and achieving an inspired state of mind takes some effort. I prefer that thought to just flatly stating that I’ve been lazy and melancholy.
Here is the vacation & boat story. I will try to be brief. On August 24 our adult son flew home for a visit traveling from Boston Logan Airport to LAX where he had a 4-hour layover and then took his connecting flight home to SeaTac airport-Seattle where I joyously picked him up. His face upon arrival did not look joyful.
It seems that while getting on the plane in Boston the passengers were told the overhead bins were going to be full and passengers were asked to check their carry-on items if possible. Our son handed them his backpack containing personal items plus a Macbook, iPod and charging cords.
Yes, you guessed it. When he grabbed the backpack in Seattle off of the carousel, he un-zipped it and was stunned to find that the Macbook, iPod and charging cords had been stolen somewhere along the journey. Our son filled out the required airport “claim” form and we drove home arriving at midnight.
Exhausted, angry, shocked, I began what theft investigative connections I could and we called it a night. In the morning we finished packing for our pre-scheduled vacation with relatives in a beautiful spot several hours away on the shores of Puget Sound We towed behind us our newly acquired, used fishing boat. We had not yet launched it.
During the long drive to the campground I was depressed and seething, my mind reeling at the outrage of the theft, grieving the loss of unbacked up files and trying to decide what one does in such a situation. I also prayed for a change of heart in the thief, alternating that prayer with one hoping that the thief’s life became incredibly turbulent the second he touched that Macbook. I was not feeling pleasant.
We launched the boat into the clear blue water, snow-capped mountains in the distance, the wake of our boat like icy crystals. I tried to de-stress my mind and admire the rich colors of the sunset. The next morning we took the boat out for a longer cruise across the Sound near an island, ready to settle in for some serious salmon fishing.
It was an incredible blue-sky day, a soft breeze blowing and occasional glimpses of seals and whales. I watched the shoreline receed and made a vow to leave my anger and pilferage-recovery schemes on the shore, then pick it all up again when we returned to the campground if I needed to. As the boat cut cleanly through the water, I decided that I would only let peaceful thoughts into my mind and vowed to try and relish all the beauty and stillness around me.
It was so relaxing. At one point I sat alone at the back of the boat in a little seat next to the heavy, upholstered engine cover. I saw two silver salmon jump out of the water in a arching flash of light. I stood and pointed them out to my son and husband who sat in the front of the boat. I smiled, breathed the fresh air and decided not to sitting back in the small seat where I had been crouched. I leaned back against the upholstery of the engine cover, instantly it exploded and I was thrown in the air, landing in pain on the floor of the boat. I saw orange flames shooting up across the little seat where I had been sitting minutes before.
The fire was battled with an extinguisher, I clamped ice packs on my aching, swelling, bleeding legs while my son and husband kept the boat from taking on too much water. We were rescued, I was treated in an emergency room, miraculously escaping without any broken bones, burns or stitches. I was given crutches and have been hobbling around with them now for a days. My (very ouchy) left leg has deep tisssue damage and bleeding in my calf, and I was told by my local MD to keep down with my foot propped up above my heart for “awhile”.
This lengthy reclining position offers much contemplative time, and a thought occurred to me. Had I not chosen to leave my anger and distracted thinking at the campground shore the mishap may have turned out quite differently. I would have been sitting in that little seat, listlessly running my fingertips through the water ruminating theft-generated anger, fueling my depression and I might not have noticed the breathless beauty of the jumping salmon; I wouldn’t have stood up to share that sight with my family. I would have been still sitting on that small seat staring off into space when the fire exploded from the engine.
So, my thought for the day is–there is value in choosing to be fully present in your life and surroundings. There is value in keeping a calm perspective so you can benefit from the quiet promptings of God.