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: