A Seaman's Poems

From the Edge of Reality


Mauna Kea at First Light

The sky was a deep orange color. It was early and the dawn was on its way. The observatory at the summit was clearly visible against the back drop of the growing light.

To the west, the full moon was just beginning to sink into the ocean, only to find its way to rise again at sunset.

A song bird with a surprisingly loud voice scolded me for several minutes, seeking to remind me that I was the intruder here. The heavy fragrance of plumeria filled my senses. I was not in Colorado any longer.

Vacation is not real life, but it can teach us so much. Most of our lives are filled with busy activities, moving from one set of demands to another. Stress and striving are part of what gives life meaning.

But vacation serves a different purpose entirely. It teaches us to appreciate life rather than to strive for more. It helps us to find a fresh place of inner peace. It also reminds us that life is short.

Vacation can be a lifeline. It always causes me to reflect on the sustainability of the life that I lead. Throughout our adult lives we have dedicated about 10% of our family budget and calendar to vacations.

Every major change in lifestyle or career had its roots in vacation. The constant demands of everyday life do not support clear thinking. Taking a time apart from the normal treadmill is leads to sustainability. The size and scope of vacations will vary depending on the details of your life, but the importance of taking time out regularly to reassess your life is vital to your survival.

Do something sensual. Do something exciting. Do something extraordinary, or do nothing at all. The critical thing is to break the patterns of repetition that consume the other 90% of our lives.

Imagine your life if you allowed yourself to be a completely different person for one out of every ten days. Enjoy the night sky, the woods, an art show, a blues club, a hot air ballon ride, game night with friends, your favorite microbrew, smelling the plumeria, or taking your grandkids to the zoo. The grind will still be there when you return.

Do something unusual. You will be so glad you did.