By Sarah MenziesJanuary 19, 2011I’m sitting on the bow of a 72 foot sailboat wondering how I got to be so lucky.
The ocean is a magnificent shade of blue, so powerful that it actually evokes an emotional response from within me. It is so inviting, yet it takes everything inside of me to not swan dive from the spreaders. For if I did, I’d surely be swallowed up by the vastness.
Nothing is in sight. Nothing, and everything. A few weeks ago, I would have seen the endless sea as nothingness, but now I see it as everything. Anything. All things, thoughts, beings, wrapped up in this one constant – a dark, deep, clear shade of blue.
For the past ten days, each wave, ripple, and splash has represented things of the past. I’ve thought about my family, reminiscing over both the good aspects and the bad. The dividing line is pretty thin these days, as both seem to have equally shaped me into the woman I am right now.
I thought about my friends. Their support and encouragement is what got me to this point.
I thought about the environment, the whole purpose of this trip. How can people be so reckless with what we have here? How can people be so selfish to put ourselves and our needs before the very thing that gives us life? It makes me think of The Giving Tree. I’ve always hated that book. The man kept taking, taking, taking from that poor tree. The tree never stopped sacrificing. What a terrible lesson for children. Perhaps that’s why I’m here, to witness what I and my species has done to our oceans… to shake me so hard that I’ll stop taking without giving a little back in return.
Today is different. Today I look out at the vastness and I see the future. I see everything that could be. A strange feeling to have before even reaching the gyre’s epicenter, I realize this. I suppose it’s my way of preparing for what we’re expecting to see there – humans’ negative impact and disregard for Earth.
So enough about the past, at least for now. It will always be there for my thoughts to return to.
Today is about tomorrow. What will I do with what I learn our here? How will I tell this story so we can stop this cycle of take, take, take? The answers are not there yet, but that’s alright, because I know they will come.
Today the waves represent the comraderie that is forming amongst the crew. I have never been so inspired, or learned so much from a group of strangers as I have from this one. Perhaps that’s the difference. We’re not strangers. We are cut from similar cloths, and perhaps even danced with one another in lives gone by.
And now we are here, each bringing something unique and special to the experience. Artists, activists, writers, changemakers alike… each here to learn, to open our hearts and worlds up to the unknown. I am letting them in, and today my intention and resolution is to never stop letting them in.
The weather ahead is unpredictable. Social turbulence is bound to ensue as the conversation and discovery of oceanic pollution continues to unfold. But this group, these movers and shakers, inspiring changemakers, will be my rock.
With this as my mantra, the vastness is everything, and the waves are those of change.