“No longer forward nor behind I look in hope and fear; But, grateful, take the good I find, The best of now and here.”
— John Greenleaf Whittier
“White people have tense faces, staring eyes and a cruel demeanor … They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We don’t know what they want. We think they are mad.”
— Carl Jung recounting a conversation with a Native American Chief
Rising up most every morning with a cup of coffee to witness the sunrise and enjoy each sunset with a glass of wine, I realize that cruising allows one to be immersed in the simple joys of nature as our ancestors have for tens of thousands of years … only with refrigeration, A/C, NFL Channel, toilets and sans saber toothed tigers! I made the mistake of watching the sensationalized and catastrophized National Inquire-like TV commentators striving to increase ratings and advertising dollars with the bloodiest, most perverted, and frightening stories they could find the other day.
While I am waiting for John Boehner’s ‘Fiscal Cliff’ of last January, details of how Hillary will save America, the predicted worst hurricane season in years for 2015 by the National Hurricane Horoscope, Ebola to sweep through my anchorage, and of course Australia to fall to the communists if we lose South Vietnam ad nauseum.
Do you ever take a good look at yourself and ask, “what is really important?”
As I write this I am listening to the Abaco Cruisers’ Net and it’s MC, Captain Skip aboard Flying Pig anchored off Man O’ War Cay, giving us weather, sea conditions on cuts to the Atlantic Ocean, Barometer Bob’s Weather Report, restaurant’s daily specials, repair tips for a yachtsman’s anchor windlass, vessel new arrivals and departures, emergency messages from the mainland, passport renewal opportunities in Marsh Harbour next week, and diving and fishing guide options with Froggies and Dive Guana. This is real and applicable news with no pressure from sponsors, news executives or even Rupert Murdoch!
The vast majority of people on this earth love their families and help their neighbors, yet all I hear about are the 1% who are kooks, crooks, and greedy nut cases. I just cannot picture Walter Cronkite reporting sensationalized junk.
My carbon footprint aboard Mud Puddle Rose is less than most ecologists on land. If the polar ice caps melt next week then I am just less apt to run aground! My blood pressure is certainly lower than the average American navigating the crowds in malls, and avoiding city riots.
I catch my own fish, which have no additives or food coloring in them, I breathe clean air that has crossed thousands of ocean miles rather than smog; walk deserted beaches collecting shells instead of getting run over or shot by a crazed motorist on the freeway. My wardrobe consists of old shorts, T-Shirts, 5 yr old sandals, and two bathing suits.
I exercise by snorkeling reefs and taking pictures of spectacular fish rather than paying a fortune to join a gym I would rarely visit.
I walked through a cute shop in Hopetown with Lee and my cousin, Helen Murphy, the other day and realized that I did not need a thing in the shop except Christmas presents for my grandkids and sister. I have everything I need to be safe and comfortable aboard Mud Puddle Rose. There is no room for an antique grandfather’s clock, grand piano, or a weeping willow to plant! I suppose that I am a marketer’s worst nightmare.
I need nothing but the essentials and have no room for trivial items, even if I were tempted. We all need the essentials of food, clothing and shelter, but as I travel the Bahamas I recall all the crap I bought over the years: one more plant, one more sweater, one more antique, one more picture to hang on a wall … you get the point. The following quote by one of my favorite writers really gave me pause as I live on a boat that probably has about 500 square feet of living space and am more satisfied than when I lived in 5,200-square-foot home on 6 acres:
“Do not care overly much for wealth, or power or fame, or one day you will meet someone who cares for none of these things, And you realize How poor you have become.”
— Rudyard Kipling
I have fewer possessions than I have had since grad school … But, I have three fabulous children, eight darling grand children, a sister I love, the greatest cruising partner in Lee, many precious friends (some who are pirates or maybe crabby sometimes), the best yachting dog ever, and the boat of my dreams.
I truly am blessed.
Just remember: red wine is an essential and not an extraneous item!
You can read more of Joe's blog here.