Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ode to Poseidon


It's hard to live on a tropical island and not be in love with the ocean. As for me, I'm on a first name basis with Poseidon. I see him from my window at home and I hear his waves calling to me when all is quiet in the middle of the night. I also see him from my studio, calm and impossibly blue, off in the distance. I call the ocean Poseidon because calling him "it" doesn't do justice to such a magnificent living being.

This past August I had the good fortune of spending one week up close and personal with Poseidon during a sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands. To be on a boat surrounded by water creates a magnetism that changes everything. I always pack for these sailing trips a journal and art supplies with the ambitious plan of spending a great deal of my time drawing the natural beauty around me and writing very inspired thoughts. But when I get there, just being there is enough. Just sitting and looking at the water and the clouds and the pelicans diving for fish offers plenty to do. The mind shifts gears and many thoughts that seemed so pressing on land, become meaningless at sea. They can wait because watching that pelican is far more important at that moment. Life gets reduced to its bare essence and I am reminded of how little I really need to enjoy simple happiness.

During this August sailing trip I fell in love with Poseidon all over again. On the last morning of our trip, we snorkeled in a secluded cove and I followed a turtle around a coral reef. She took no offense to my being there so we swam together for a while. It was with a heavy heart that I left the water and prepared to return to our lives on land. But I took away with me all the magic of the reef and the turtle and the ocean. I came home with a focus for my quilting and I began by making a quilt to remember the wonder I felt swimming alongside that sweet turtle.

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