The Enchantress: Reflections on Chatting With a Sailboat

I spent the weekend at the Oregon Coast with girlfriends, doing the things girlfriends do together. Spilling about family. Trying to make sense of life. Getting tips on feminine hygiene products. ( <– Holy Diva Cup, Batman! How come I never knew??) 

photo 1 (69)We window shopped and talked to artists and watched the sun set over the water. We ate at places with great food and friendly people and terrible decor. 

And I went for a walk on Saturday. Alone. Blessedly alone with my outdated music and stained, worn out running shoes and my hair in a high pony tail too heavy for my head. At the end of Winter Break after the cookie-baking and the mess-making and the cabin-fevering and the all-night shifts with the kid who was surgery-recovering, it was bliss.

beach2

The marina was slick, boardwalks covered in frost, boats moored for winter, and the sun insisted on shining in a cloudless, azure sky, willfully ignoring the fact that it was visiting Oregon in January. The air smelled of cold and dryer sheets and ocean water, of clear and clean and old fish, and I watched my breath make fog.

Parenting feels like this most days; like life condensed and clarity and rot and watching my breath exit my body. 

There was one boat, the Enchantress, that, well, enchanted me with her beauty and her potential and also with her tethers tying her so securely to her slip, so I stood and talked to her a while, a crazy woman on the dock with my new friend.

beach4

I touched her bow, I whispered to her about her strength, and I cried with her about the ropes that keep her still in this season when she so clearly longs to run with the wind. And I looked at all that it takes for her to steer when the weather is warm and to stay her course and to not dash herself and those riding with her on the rocks, and I said, “Oh, I know, friend. Steering is complicated. I know.” And then I reminded her of her power and her wisdom and her journey and her charm. I think she needed those few minutes to remember her name. 

 

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
23 comments
  1. SO, Beth, I’m assuming you already read the reviews for Diva Cup? Because they are, as one commenter said, hilarious. http://www.amazon.com/review/R39TB4HUVK8Z6 is the one I read that had me shedding tears in laughter.

    Anyway. Love girlfriends.

    The time is priceless.

  2. Four of the most beautiful women I know.

  3. I’ve been using mine for 14 years now! Wouldn’t ever go back.

  4. Both so beautiful, the Enchantress and your words. The words brought a tear to my eye. Thank you!

  5. had to look up what a Diva Cup was and OH MY HEAVENS…in tears reading the reviews! Thank you, Beth, for the education! And I do love your boat talk ;)- pretty perfect!

  6. Darn it Beth. You made me cry today. Beautiful.

  7. “I think she needed those few minutes to remember her name” – powerful stuff. It’s hard to remember who you are when you’re tethered by everything that we call “life”.

  8. So very beautifully written. Happy New Year…

  9. I just have to say.. Eww to the diva cup! Really. Eww. And also jealousy to the holiday. What a lovely holiday it sounds like! I hope you enjoyed it enough for the both of us! 🙂

    1. I second Sami…Ewww

    2. I totally giggled at this. WHY DOES MAKING PEOPLE SAY “EW” FEEL SO POWERFUL?? 😉 Yes, the Diva Cup is EW. But so, of course, are periods. There’s just SO MUCH ew to go around! And, to get super, extra gross, part of what sold me on the Diva Cup is that you can just tip out the mess into the toilet rather than pulling out cotton on a string like a gory Christmas ornament and then figuring out what to DO with it. I HATE opening those garbage boxes in the bathroom stalls. EW.

    3. It is pretty ew, but my “ew-tolerance” has increased exponentially since I had kids! I hardly have time to pee most days, so this was a game changer for me!

  10. That is a pretty boat, and you are a very blessed woman to be able to get away like that. 🙂

    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of weeks, but I’m not sure I commented yet. So… very nice to meet you. (And thank you very much for the otter story from last month.)

  11. Oh oh oh! This: “Parenting feels like this most days; like life condensed and clarity and rot and watching my breath exit my body.” is true and beautiful. Especially the rot part. I don’t know why. But yes, rot.

    So glad you got girlfriends’ time. Thank you for being you, for sharing about YOUR steering so courageously and consistently. Love to you.

  12. Diva Cup aside ;), this was a really beautiful piece.

    “And I looked at all that it takes for her to steer when the weather is warm and to stay her course and to not dash herself and those riding with her on the rocks, and I said, “Oh, I know, friend. Steering is complicated. I know.” And then I reminded her of her power and her wisdom and her journey and her charm. I think she needed those few minutes to remember her name.”

    Love.

  13. Diva Cup! Learned about it a couple years ago and have never looked back. So great. My tip is to take care of it all in the shower. Super easy – especially if you’re showering twice a day with workouts and such like I am 🙂

  14. Another fan of the Diva Cup. Love it. Never going back to tampons.

    I love that on vacations I don’t have to bring along a box of tampons. I can leave the thing in all day, without worries. Plus, its so much cheaper! How much is a box of tampax pearls? $8? Three months and the diva cup is “paid off”. I’ve used my exclusively for almost 3 years!

    I’m pre-kiddos, and it took me a month to really get used to it, but now I’m sold.

  15. Omigosh – sweet wonderful words, blah blah blah, – the Diva Cup is a life changer! 12 fraking hours of leak-free goodness!

    I’ve tried the Softcups too – nice for “husband time” during “that time”, but nothing beats my Diva!

  16. On the topic of Diva Cups, also highly recommend Instead Softcup. You don’t reuse it, which is easier for the on-the-go life, and it can be in for up to 12 hours which is a holy smokes miracle.

  17. I will choose the bodily functions part of this to respond to: Yes! The Diva Cup! I think it is not so great for teenagers (so much menstrual fluid! All over your hands!) but once you’ve had a baby, etc., it is not such a big deal. Although I still would prefer some one-person restrooms for easy cup-washing.

  18. Diva Cup – yes! I’ve just learned about this little miracle myself and am an instant fan. Why was this such a secret??

  19. Oh good Lord, Beth. I am so glad I found your blog last year. There are some days when you speak the very words on my lips. I had a solo walk while we were crazy busy with family over the holidays too. Rare and precious. Thank you for speaking it.

  20. What beautiful words, Beth. So glad you got some time away, and a few moments to yourself.

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