The Enchantress: Reflections on Chatting With a Sailboat

Jan 8 2014

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 Blessedly alone with my outdated music and stained, worn out running shoes and my hair in a high pony tail too heavy for my head.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.


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.


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.