Here’s another look back at a blog I wrote for our Patrons last year…
“We have such a unique connection with the earth that we never had when we lived on land. I mean, obviously we live by the wind, tide, and current, but it’s much more than that.
A few weeks ago, out in the Secas Islands in Panama, Justin and I were laying in bed one evening when we suddenly both looked up from our books at each other and agreed that, “wind is coming.” Litha was just moving slightly differently than she was hours prior. A little chop, a slight shake. But we could feel it. We downloaded the weather using our satellite phone since we had no cellphone service… And sure enough, it was supposed to blow 25-30 knots in a few short hours. We jumped out of bed and tied up our paddle boards and anything else that the kids left all over the deck before going to sleep that evening.
A few days later, we were out sailing and we could see small choppy white caps on the sea in front of us. Justin says, “it’s about to blow 12 knots” and, yep. As soon as we hit those waves, it started blowing… exactly 12 knots.
I mean, really! We’re beginning to be like those old sailors who can feel a storm coming!
We know which thunderheads will produce rain from the very first sight of them.
We know that “Red sky at night, sailors delight” is a very real thing.
We understand that the ocean has her own personality and can change so much hour by hour, day by day.
We can tell which sea animal is out there from miles away by their unique movement and flow on the water. We know where fish are because we watch the birds.
We can tell by the curve of the shoreline whether an anchorage is going to be comfortable or not.
We go to bed very near sundown, and wake at sunrise. We live by the light of the day and not an alarm clock.
I know, I know, there’s some of you who have to set an alarm before sunrise (especially in the darker winter months) and I remember that being so miserable as I waited for summer. But here’s a few things you can do to connect more with nature. I truly believe that the world would be a better place if we started with this small routine…
Try to go to bed shortly after the sun goes down. Unplug. Stop watching so much tv and scrolling through social media in the evenings. Have dinner, and then go for a walk. (Even if it’s raining or snowing.) Watch the birds, find a worm, pay attention to what the animals are doing. Observe the plants and the leaves on the trees, and breathe it all in. And then go home and go to sleep. Wake at sunrise, and if you have time, go on a morning walk as well.
Start connecting with the rhythms of nature in your own corner of the world. In your own backyard. You’ll be surprised at what you notice.”
Reading this after we spent our first winter aboard Litha covered in plastic in New England is really interesting, especially “I remember that being so miserable as I waited for summer”. Winter really was miserable. I was not able to connect with nature like I had the previous two years and my mental health really suffered for it. I’m taking my own advice here and making sure I do this now… and throughout next winter.