Friday, October 10, 2008

Turn things around

The past few weeks I've been sleeping with the window open as much as possible. The wind has been blowing at night and I like to hear the sound of it in the trees as I sleep.

"I think we should bring it about!" I shouted back to Mr. C who was at the helm of his scow boat. He just looked up at the main sail. I don't think he heard me, I thought. I was maning the jib, and growing more and more uncomfortable with the wind the farther we sailed out into the bay. We had a boatload of summer guests on board for no doubt for their first sail. They laughed and talked with no clue of how easily the boat could go over. He wasn't paying attention to me, I thought,.. Or he couldn't hear me.

Sometimes the wind would blow so hard at night that it was blowing asphalt shingles off of my house. I could hear noises coming from the roof. Well I don't have to go up there tonight anway, I thought as I turned over in bed. I can fix the roof when when the wind dies down. No one could expect me to do anything about it right now anyway...

With each strong puff Mr. C would point the boat upwind and relieve the pressure from the sails. Exactly the right thing to do on a scow boat to avoid a capsize, but kind of tricky too because if the boat stops control is lost and the wind can knock you over. He kept feathering it like this, and I had to trim the jib in unison. If I eased off, the jib would stop pulling so I tried to match his moves. "Are you good with this wind!?" I tried again, feeling somewhat helpless on the bow as I was getting more and more confused about what to do. The farther away from shore we got the stronger the wind. Finally word got back to him that I was concerned, and we agreed to bring the boat around and get off of the bay, but we had to wait for a lull in the wind to make our turn. So farther and farther out we sailed waiting for our chance to turn around, waiting for that lull in the wind.

How often is that true I wondered?.. How often do people keep going in the wrong direction waiting for a chance to turn things around? A chance to go back to where they started from.

It's gotten a little too cold to sleep with the windows open now. When the wind blows it removes leaves from the trees and with them any memory of summer. I'll be able to see the ridge again through the empty branches I thought as I left my house for work in the morning.

"You'd better do something about your roof." the neighbor warned from his side of the fence.


Diane said...

It can be hard to change direction sometimes. . . but I would argue some people don't even know that they need to change that direction.

Maybe we can't ever go back, but maybe we can alter our course to go somewhere else that we want to go.

don said...

That's a good point about not knowing.