Hey. Hi. Hello.

Welcome to our sailing blog. We are traveling the world in search of people who shine like stars. Join us!

The Power of Slow

The Power of Slow

It took us four hours to go grocery shopping.  

To be fair, the trip included far more than simply picking up milk and bread.  And it’s worth noting what our excursion didn’t include as well: a car.

The journey involved a one-mile dinghy ride from the boat to the dock followed by an immediate long pause to watch the thriving ecosystem of mangrove jellyfish swimming along at the pier.  Mitchell and I marveled that the creatures — some as big as our hands and others tinier than our thumbs — flourished so in the murky underbelly of what other sea creatures would surely dub a dockside ghetto.  The girls laid their bellies on the dock and stretched their arms out long to touch the “squishies” (as Eden called them), commenting that they were soft and slimy and sweet.

Continuing on, we walked along a busy street, traveled over a bridge, and turned onto a long thoroughfare where we paused first to observe several stealthy barracuda lurking in the marina waters beside the walkway, and then to point out the horse-shoe crab burrowing in the seabed below.  

Shortly thereafter, we stopped to goggle at an iguana that — from tail to nose — was as big as our five-year-old!  Annoyed, it flared its “dewlap” (neck flap) at us, hoping (and succeeding!) to intimidate us out of its space.

Lest you believe we were walking in the tranquility of some tropical nirvana, the cars speeding fast along the main street and the bicycles zooming around us on the sidewalk caused heavy pause and more than one of us leaping out of the way to dodge bodily harm.

Also, we passed a man sleeping behind the cement seawall under a mangrove tree where he had carved out an inconspicuous little space for himself and his bike. And a few blocks later, another man asked to trade his small knapsack for Mitchell’s large backpack because, in his words, “I’m a traveller, man.”

{Mitchell declined.  Because, he’s a traveling man now, too.}

We found the grocery store; we shopped.  All of our items fit into two insulated, rollings bags and that backpack still on Mitchell’s back.  We headed home, searching for iguanas that we now understand hang long from the trees here.  Eden stopped to pick some tiny flowers growing up between the cracks in the sidewalks.  When they drooped, she kissed them and let them go, lamenting that they didn’t last longer than the nearly one-hour walk back to the dock.

Retracing our steps back along the walkway, beside the mangroves, near the marina, over the bridge, and back to the dinghy dock, we were {mostly} silent, each of us comfortable thinking our own thoughts (or, in Eden’s case, happily singing her thoughts out loud),  and all of us were better for the long day out.

We’ve lived in several different places, and I know many of you have, too.  Among this little tribe of friends who are following our journey are some who have lived in remote mountain villages and big city blocks, rural country farms and exotic tropical islands.  You all know that in every place in every part of the world and for every person, eating is a necessity.  And that eating typically requires the earning of cash, the planning of meals, and the shopping for food.  

What strikes me is that in our frenzied earning and planning and shopping, we often fall into predictable patterns that prevent us from seeing with fresh eyes both the lovely and the languishing, the attractive and the abandoned.  

With no car, now, and with a boat that travels about 10 miles per hour on a good, windy day, we are learning to live slow.  And there’s a power in this slow that we’re just beginning to discover.  

For sure, there is more hand-holding and flower-picking… less “hurry-up” or “we’re late.”  But also, we’re finding more time to get past the “hello, how are you?” to dig into the “what’s your name?” and “what’s your story?” with the people we’re meeting along the way.  

The power of slow pulls me from predictable patterns, lifts my head to each of my daughters, to my husband, to the people in my path, and prioritizes my attention to the here and now.

My prayer for all of us is to unlock the power of slow wherever it may be that we find ourselves today.

Searching for a Sailboat

Searching for a Sailboat

Best-Laid Plans Often Go Awry

Best-Laid Plans Often Go Awry