Both times I have painted boats were during times where I wondered what in the world I was doing – and what was I supposed to be doing. I felt lost at sea, just floating there, imagining where life might take me next. In the past and now, there are occasional breezes that refresh and surprise me and whip me around in a joyous flurry – thank God, but for the most part it feels like I’m just floating.
Both times I painted sailboats, not cruise ships, or canoes, or any other type of boat.
A few years ago, my dad and I took a ride on a sailboat when we were visiting Seattle. It was a beautiful and fun way to take in the city. One of the things I remember was our guide telling us that people don’t often get sea-sick on a sailboat because of how sailboats glide over the water – how they are pushed by the wind itself.
Maybe that’s why I like painting sailboats because they are about being in sync with nature – about letting the wind and the waves take you where they will. I wish I were more like a sailboat, but if I was to become a boat I would probably be a cargo ship or something like that – always tugging and trying to have my own way. But then again, maybe I’m being too harsh on myself, which would be very like me.
When I paint sailboats, they just sit there. I am someone who likes to do – who likes to work and feel like I have contributed somehow. It’s been difficult for me to feel like I’m just floating, but maybe that’s what God has for me right now - for me just to float and take in His creation - to remember I am His friend and His child and not just His servant. To remember He has made me to be and not just to do.
The last decade of my life have been about going going going; it might just be about time for me to stay put and notice the wondrous world around me. To know the joy and pain of floating rather than flying.
Maybe this is God’s way of preparing me for the wind He will send my way, but oh! how I hate the waiting and the not knowing what will happen next. It is good for me to float though – it may seem like nothing is happening, but I have an acute awareness that a lot is happening in me.
And so I resign myself to float, and hope for more wind and/or a change of heart.