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Life is an adventure, filled with excitement, risk, and the need to act decisively. A group of intrepid sailors race to the shore, ahead of the wind and waves.
In many ways, the image of the sailboat and sailing capture the sense of living through life – and while many of us dream about, but do not own, a sailboat, because we have the ability to think and dream and imagine, we can see ourselves in that boat, using our skill, strength, ability, and a lot of prayer to get from one place to another.
As with any day of sailing, even if we think we know where we’re going, if the journey is long enough, we have no idea what adventures we will befall on our way to getting there. A day that starts out promisingly bright and still can change rapidly and without warning, even if we had the foresight to check the weather beforehand – because the weather is tempestuous, and is under no obligation to follow what the weather forecasters say that it will.
Such is life – we can see ahead, we can prognosticate, we can forecast, but because we cannot truly see into the future (which is actually a good thing, although at times it seems frustrating), we cannot plan for every contingency, being ready to instantly conquer any challenge that comes our way.
But like the skilled sailor, we can be familiar with our craft, knowing what it can and cannot do, and what we can and cannot do with it. That way, when the weather changes and the waves splash onto the deck, we do not stand, petrified and frozen, unsure of what to do with inclemence. Perhaps we will, like the sailors in the artwork, Ahead of the Storm, stay indeed ahead of that storm, and find ourselves sailing – rather more quickly than we had thought we would – to the next port of call.
(This painting is inspired by the Wooden Boat Festival at Port Townsend, WA, during which time wooden boats from around the world gather to show their sails and their paces.)
Ahead of the Storm is featured in 36 Fine America groups.
March 13th, 2017
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