Sailing Into The Wind
Have you ever been sailing? A while back, I went sailing on lower Green Bay on a day that was perfect for getting away. Sails full in a steady 15-knot breeze, the boat was surfing full speed and full spray downwind in four-foot waves. It’s easy to go fast when you let the wind take you wherever it may blow–almost like being swept downstream with the current.
Later, it was time to turn around, which meant sailing back in to the wind and waves. When sailing upwind you have to be determined to get somewhere. The forces of nature are against you. Sails now close-hauled, the wind hits your face and the boat heels over on its side; the waves slam instead of soothe. But the wisdom of the ancient mariners is on your side. Balancing the rig above, the deep keel below resists on cue and slashes the curved hull forward. As the boat begins to slice upwind, you increasingly make way toward where you want to go, not where the wind wants to take you.
In life, we can sail in to, or with the wind. Many have a plan and a resolve for where they want to end up and what they want to accomplish. They sail against the wind to achieve it. Others do not have a plan and hence meander where the wind takes them. They may go fast at times with minimum resistance yet end up traveling nowhere special or in circles with nary a clear destination in sight.
Admittedly, it’s easier to give up control and there are some times in life when we need to let go and coast a bit; vacation comes to mind. But if you’re one who is going places, then set your course, trim your sails and carve forward…into the wind.