To put it simply, in recent months my sense of peace has been anything but a misty shade of ocean blue. Clang. Clang. Clang…
From March to July, a persistent gale of 4G mobile internet established itself as a menace; thunderous headlines, blustery opinions, and somber data – walloping my shutters almost clean off their hinges. Grappling with putting my phone down, a gloomy front moved in and stalled over our salon. Severe skepticism hung in the air. The Caribbean Blue fabric covering our settee no longer inspired living by island time but rather adrift in the doldrums.
It sounds very silly, but a small natural soy blend candle, purchased from Marshall’s, would ultimately coax me away from the clutter taxing my disposition, and over to a space where brighter possibilities could exist.
How extraordinary to cross paths with this candle. I remember the moment well. As casual as the moves of a seagull when it spies giddy tourists offering up French fries, the candle’s coconut white glass and solar kissed aqua letters O C E A N M I S T pegged me for a saltwater hippy the moment I rounded the aisle and came into view. Whoosh. Reaching over a crowd of Cranberry Croissant, Earth Worm, and Laundry Day scent candles, I plucked Ocean Mist from the debacle of marked-down merchandise…like a seagull swooping down for a fry.
With obvious reason, burning a candle on a boat takes careful consideration. My rules of thumb: no rocking and rolling; the candle is where I can see it; and Francis isn’t in a flit zing mood where he knocks stuff over. Burning or not, candles bring to the table their own unique presence of persuasion. And if I’m to be persuaded, it won’t be to do more laundry, dig for worms, or eat more croissants.
Ocean Mist is a candle that starts my day with a bright and breezy “Good Morning” smile – sand pushes up between my toes, blue sky and Azul water…a frangipani blossom for my hair… fragrant coffee…sliced mango, and macadamia nut bread offered and served in the galley.
At dusk, Ocean Mist accompanies us to the aft deck. With a ‘one, two, three’ by a rusty fire-starter, a flickering dance quietly begins, under the glow of the Evening Star (Venus). Gazing the changing sky, memories return and stories are retold: evening runs with friends with Saturn and Jupiter pulling us along; checking out the planets with a friend’s new gigantic lunar telescope; watching the stars fall during overnight passages.
Tranquil. Uncomplicated. Coastal. But, certainly not subtle. Ocean Mist is the coach with a megaphone, shouting from the sidelines, “TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE. How many times do I have to repeat myself?” What the scenic route looks like, feels like, or sounds like is so very individual. However, if I think about the generic interstate system and compare it to the more scenic roads, I’d guess the scenic way of life isn’t fast or efficient. And that’s where I’m trying to apply the lessons by Ocean Mist.
Several mornings ago, I was standing on our swim platform shaking out rugs, when a fragrant coastal aroma seemed to reach out a hand and whisper, “This moment is now. You can take it. Or you can let it pass.” It was low tide, one of my favorite times for exploring mangroves; watching crabs scurry up and down freshly exposed roots, herons fish the shallows, a smell so pungent you can see it. Kind of like the mist that blows in off the ocean.
I took the road less traveled that day. Over to the mangroves in my little red kayak; an end of the year clearance item from Walmart, discounted even more because the paddle was missing. In my rush, I didn’t brush my hair, or change out of my twenty-plus year old – thread bare 7Mile Bridge Race t-shirt. I forgot sunscreen, and water, and to apply any lipstick. My phone stayed home.
I don’t know what it is about a candle that can persuade me to push the storms away, feel the ocean when it’s not there, take the discounted scenic route, or sit down and write about the very simple. But I’m content to accept it. Even without headlines, opinions, and data.
In all seriousness, in addition to handling information overload, I struggle with getting into a daily habit of writing. I can list a dozen reasons that have become excuses but none of that really matters unless I dare to make some necessary changes. First blaming it on Facebook, I took a leave in order to have the time to write. But that wasn’t the answer. Thinking I needed a special place to create and think, I moved my laptop to the pilothouse and agreed with the Captain that as long as we were docked in a marina, the pilot house could serve as my writing studio (tropical writing nooks seemed too worked for Randy Wayne White and Ernest Hemmingway). But that hasn’t worked either. A rut of chasing down chores rather than jumping off into the sea that I adore, and pouring over the news…thinking about the news…absorbing the news…letting the news take my joy…is counter to taking the scenic route in life.
My humble opinion,
Seamore Nautical Spirits
Seamore Odyssey Playlist:
Thought you anchored somewhere & shut down. Good to read you are still dreaming! Best to you…as I contemplate on my putt for par in 112..°
That’s some serious heat.
Thank you for commenting and please be safe out there..I’m sure another NJ fishing trip is calling your name.
So good to hear your experiences! That very same Ocean Mist candle sits in my bathroom right next to my makeup brushes so I see it everyday and think (right now, dream) about my next ocean encounter.
Miss you Bethany!
Don’t let the insanity of the world disturb your inner calm. You are on right track. Stay there. Think of you often and love your writing. Say hello to the Captain.
Renee, Always good to “hear” your voice through your comments. Thank you. I trust you are discovering great books and reads to escape to. Be well my literary friend.
Beautiful and descriptive. Thank you for sharing.
Hey there. Always a pleasure to see your stories. I could almost smell the scent of the Ocean Mist. I long for a time when I can make memories such as yours… stay safe and keep the stories coming for the land lubbers… 💕
Thank you Lorri for your comments and encouragement. I’m glad Ocean Mist was able to tickle your sense of smell. Stay safe and hope we get to drag some beach chairs out, put up an umbrella, and catch up.
Love reading your stories. I think we have our canoe paddles in the garage if you need an extra pair. Pet Francis for me.
That’s very nice of you to offer the paddles. Fortunately the Captain rounded up a paddle. It’s not a floating paddle so the first thing I do when I launch, is to tie a line around it. I gave Francis a special ear rub sent directly from you. Nice to see your comments Jean. Be safe.
Beautiful writing Betheny and a good reminder for me to be in the moment. I’m getting on the water more – paddle boarding once a week and I’m learning to scull so I’m in a shell rowing about 2x per week. That’ll have to do in DC! Stay safe. 💕
Hi Cathy, Thank you for commenting and sharing examples. You are a yogi on the paddle board if I remember correctly. So awesome. DC is neat city in so many ways. We were disappointed to not make it this year as we had planned, but there is next summer.
I love reading your blog… actually it’s more like soaking it up. Your descriptive words, analogies & immersing photos are the next best thing to being there.
Miss you 💙
AlthoughI resides in the fireless and hurricane free environment of Ohio, I could sure resonate with these reflections, the angst and the search for writing time and place. Nice to know I’m in such good company, from afar.