Life Happens . . . With or Without Anchoring

Listen on

One instrument purposefully designed to protect a vessel by holding it in place, the anchor proves its worth when used correctly, especially under adverse conditions. Perspective, introspection, and reflection are interwoven words that continually affect the efficacy of my anchor. Depending on the depth of my chosen cruising waters, strength, and length of my rode (cable attached to the anchor), I will drift or holdfast when the winds of tide challenge my seaworthiness.

What do I know of water, ships, and anchors? Not much at all. I do, however, know how I feel when near, in, and on water. It began once upon a time. A three-year-old girl builds castles of sand if, by chance, she is taking a sunny beach break from frolicking in the water. Very quickly, she determinedly wishes to exhibit her prowess in mimicking the smooth and precise movements her parents perform. By the age of four, the youngster stubbornly refuses the doggy paddle, preferring the front crawl. Hours in lakes and pools to improve her swimming strokes steadily strengthen and increase her confidence.

The water becomes a natural, environmentally-friendly cradle for her body wherein she floats, swims, dives, and rests from mind-fatiguing issues. As years pass into decades, her body and soul echoing, like a haunting siren sounding from the bridge, anchors her to watery depths, one of her hallowed sanctuaries, a place of refuge and meditative enlightenment.

Trusting that expertise and experience remain safely in the forces at the helm, I am at ease and vulnerable in my childlike naivety piloting me through these waters. Eagerly anticipating every port and day at sea, nervously hopeful, excitement causes cautious optimism without assumptions. Accepting each moment becomes the guiding navigational system of my heart.

Understanding little of currents, headwaters, and navigational systems causes me to hear and feel nothing more than my heartbeat amidst the hurricane-force winds brewing an emotional stupor within, thereby binding my tongue, blurring my vision, and forgetting my plans. Abandoning charts, I voyage, anchors aweigh. Many incredible sights, sounds, and smells enliven my spirit while cruising from Australia through New Zealand and the South Pacific. At some ports, I watch the berthing of a monstrous vessel, my home for three weeks, the Ovation of the Seas, fascinated by the process of anchoring. Particularly impressed with the anchor’s use while allowing passengers to gaze amazedly at the sights with the Sounds of southwestern New Zealand, then turning the massive ship in the narrow passage to return to the sea, an image remains fixed of how turning occurs while anchored. A lesson for me. Retracing the route, carefully avoiding towering rockfaces protruding into the strait, requires expertise in anchoring, reversing, de-anchoring, and steering towards open waters, where the voyage continues beyond the boundaries of space.

[A collection of my Ovation experience photos. Feel free to browse, ponder, OR scroll past to continue reading.]

My cable (rode) securely fastened to an anchor of appreciative gratitude rests in soft tissues lining a chamber of my heart. Sometimes I feel like my heart and mind are in the clouds looking down upon me. The storm brewing in their beauty is just as mesmerizing as the sun painting a colourful rendition of its evening ovation upon the western horizon until its tune fades to darkness, lit only by gleaming pinpricks of light over the ocean. Stars, guiding anchors in the universe, held sailors fast to true north; my anchors likewise secure me for my voyaging and resting places.

Ship-associated metaphors and analogies resonate with the familiarity of white-capped waves slapping over rocky shorelines for me. Unfamiliar with the language and symbols of charts to voyage through nautical realms, I rely on my experiences, desires, and usually the Captain.
Sometimes I think I know better and see further with personally crafted charts.
I cannot see what is not visible, so I feel my way.

Many anchors stabilize me in chosen berths when, in synchrony, I consciously remain aware of how their purpose protects me from myself as I struggle through sorrows and fogginess blurs my vision.
They securely moor me to the joys of my life.
The trained, experienced Captain knows the hazards.

Shipwrecks happen.
Rescuing happens, as does re-designing, refurbishing, and gratitude in living another day.
Whatever happens, trust a proven anchor, and use it well.

Reading a post from a blog written by a commercial pilot known as AP2, a paragraph stood apart as I was already reflecting on my life’s purpose, experiences, and beliefs. His blog, titled Clear Air Turbulence, impresses me with thoughts echoing my heart (where several tried and trustworthy anchors of my life are stored).

Stop zooming the lens way out all the time and zoom it right in instead. To the point where your purpose is to simply express gratitude for the fact that you’re breathing. Because that really is our ultimate purpose in life, loving our life as it stands, right now, in this moment. Lest we miss it altogether.”


My mortal body, a vessel,
my mind, holder of navigational charts,
my heart, a port of refuge,
a cabin, chamber for my anchors.
My mortal body, a vessel,
my mind, holder of navigational charts,
my heart, a port of refuge,
a cabin, chamber for my anchors.

Ripples spread, circles,
dancing crests with white tutus,
rolling waves splashing
against, into, upon, through,
mainstay, secure, and steadfast
hazards to dismay,
holding fast seafaring souls,
voyaging, my life.

Life Happens . . . With or Without Anchoring

As for me, I much prefer my life experiences happening with accessible, reliable, proven anchors and timely anchoring.

=> What is/are your anchor/s?

=> Do you ever feel like your anchor fails you?
Are you failing to use one?

=> Do you ever experience the resultant power of a secure, steadfast iron anchor saving you from destructive undercurrents?

=> Where, or to what, would you like to be anchored?

=> How will you attach your rode to an anchor that supports, strengthens, and protects you on your life’s voyage?

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