Many of us will gather today to feast with friends and family. Like many holidays, Thanksgiving weaves many threads together. Food and football, history, commercialism, tradition, and religion sit at the same table and dig in. But at it’s heart, this day is about reflection and gratitude.
But many are the sailors who gather with the lovable lubbers in their lives, people who make us smile in many ways. Still, they do not know what we know, what gives us peace and makes us smile. Fine people they may be, but they go fast, go in big boats, or stay ashore.
We, of course, are grateful for many of the things which they appreciate. But there is another dimension, another set of experiences which set us apart. We are grateful for other things as well.
The beauty of a bow, a sheer, or transom.
Brightwork and bronze.
The light before sunrise in a quiet anchorage, and the first sight of the sun itself. Those are moments to savor with that first coffee and solitude.
Surprises found at docks and boatyards that bring a smile- a different boat, a handsome Dorade, the perfect portlight. Neatly furled sails, and rigging squared away.
The pleasant surprise of seeing a distant sail.
Wind, sun, and water. Phosphoresence. Dolphins, rays, birds, and the other creatures who live where we are fortunate to visit.
And the sailors! The lovers of boats, the fixers, builders,thinkers, doers of deeds big and small, the tinkerers and competitors. The salts, young and old, in different shades of colorful, that make you laugh and smile, or hold your piece. They are the coin of our realm.
We’ve much to be thankful for. —Steve Haines