"And he pointed out to me a river of pure Water of Life..."
After weeks of study in his after-dinner chair, and murmuring new jargon that was foreign to me, my father one day announced the new family sailboat. A small 18' wooden skiff of pure adventure.
I quickly became a jib girl and experienced the wind and water in its natural form, becoming one with the living lake as the billowing sails breathed happiness. The speed-boat people were a shocking contrast to our peaceful zigging and zagging across the seascape.
And I learned things. I still remember the most important commands:
1) "Coming about!!" Which means duck fast before the boom hits your head and either knocks you out or overboard;
2) "Lean out!!" because if you don't the boat is likely to capsize and pour its contents (including you) into the deep dank lake.
Both of these concepts I still find useful in my day to day life.
Sailing was freedom and bliss. it was purifying and calming. It was exploration. We'd see fish, and birds, and whitecaps, and blue sky. The lake rocked us to its rhythmic lullaby, right up to the docks where we'd put our boat to bed.
Then we'd go out for ice cream sundaes. It was heaven. I indulged on chocolate fudge, whip cream, and nuts, but that wasn't what made the day so special.
When an inkling of our boat days seeps into my mind, happiness washes over me. After all, life's richest tenet is in the gifts we give others, especially the gift of exceptional memories rooted in love.
I was a very blessed little girl.