Sunday, December 1, 2019

Check-In from the Road

Technically, I have three blogs [ I know … I’m an idiot]. There is a blog of my non-boat writing and rambling, also where my published works are. The other is of my journey, or return, to Buddhism. This blog here is about my boats and adventures with them. This particular post, however, straddles the ground of all three. So I’ve decided to post it on my most active, most relevant blog. Lately, the other two are rarely updated.

When I got back to Michigan last year, I was near what I still consider to be my home temple. Though I never made it to a Sunday Service, I was attending the Thursday morning discussion group. It was small and comfortable with good people; old friends and new alike.

My last meeting with the group, we were discussing “Old Path, White Clouds,” Thich Nhat Hanh’s biography of the Buddha. In a chapter about a young man joining the Buddha to become a monk, there was a line that really struck me. Speaking of the boy, it said “it seemed to Svasti [the boy] that the Buddha walked just to enjoy the walking, unconcerned about arriving anywhere at all.” The Buddha and his monks were on a ten day journey - walking.

That line perfectly sums up the life that I’ve been working toward for the last twelve years. As I travel this week to get back to the life I’ve been working on, it is a privilege that I can do exactly that. Substitute ‘sailing’ for ‘walking’ and I will "travel just to enjoy the sailing, unconcerned about arriving anywhere in particular."

Swamp hike
I’ve spent a week in Fort Pierce emptying a storage unit, seeing some friends, and doing some hiking at the recreation area where I was camping. Despite not having any plans for Thanksgiving I had two Turkey Day Dinners; one with a cousin, her husband, and her in-laws, the other with a local friend and the family of a friend of hers. It was a nice finale, a transition from this life to the coming Carolina solitude and boatwork.

I also managed to stop into a couple of my favorite restaurants. I’m sitting here writing and posting from the porch at the P.P. Cobb General Store; a fantastic place for breakfast, lunch or coffee. The chef, Danae and her deliciously creative offerings can’t be beat; neither can the coffee. And my friend, Nancy, will make sure you have everything you need and that your mug is never empty. When I get my book done, at least a third of the drafts were written right here on this porch.

This morning, after breakfast, I’m going to hit Blind Creek Beach one more time and then head north. I’ll stop in Green Cove Springs for my mail and then on to the boat and boatwork. It’s going to be cold at night in Wilmington, but only for a few days. Once there, I have some cleaning, sanding and polishing, and a few small repairs to do; then Ruth Ann will be back in the water.

French Toasted Challah Bread @ PP Cobb!!
I don’t have a schedule or any solid plans (and usually won’t) but in March I’m taking a course at Chapman School of Seamanship on Yacht Surveying; the equivalent of home inspection but for boats. It will be something I can do when I feel like I need to or want to. Another feather in my cap, another shingle to hang along with my canvaswork and sail repair.

I hope this finds you all well.

The porch at P.P. Cobb

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