Wednesday, December 9, 2009

His Love is a Tall Ship

Somewhere out over the North Sea our son sails tonight. Just as here, it's windy and cold; the first wintry days. Out on the North Sea tonight, both the air and water are around 45 degrees; the seas are fairly calm - as are his parents; both are subject to change!

After almost a year of building this brigantine tall ship, they set sail this week, beginning their journey as a green cargo ship. They are heading to Copenhagen to the Climate Control Conference for their 'unveiling' as an eco-friendly form of shipping, relying entirely on wind, sail and strong hands on deck.

His labor of love of this past year is complete. He says: "She sails great! She's fast and smooth!" This year he's lived in the Netherlands as a volunteer working/living with a team of 15-20 international, mostly young people. Everything you see has been cut, carved, varnished, sewn, rigged by their own hands - everything. His work has been as assistant rigger, learning to construct from trees, build masts and yardarms, blacksmith metal parts, sew sail, string lines, shrouds and ratlines - and now, she's complete. Now, he gets to enjoy the fruits of his labor, test her strength and his own.

This will be some of the toughest sailing he's ever done. He knows it - as best as anyone can know what awaits them in an unknowable adventure. It's not easy watching your child go off into the unknown, particularly a large, serious unknown - one serious enough to have life or death consequences. But then they all are, really; life lived fully is full of risks. As his parent, I remind myself he's a man, a man who must find his own, and I find comfort in Joseph Campbell's words about "following your bliss":

"The adventure is its own reward - but it's necessarily dangerous, having both negative and positive possibilities, all of them beyond control. We are following our own way, not our daddy's or our mother's way. So we are beyond protection in a field of higher powers than we know. Trials and revelations are what it's all about."

And with that, we place our trust in our son and in his higher powers that any trials he meets lead him to more and more revelation. At this point, the son is teaching the father; I watch with awe and try to have just a little rub off on me - that courage to leap forward into the unknown, to face the night with little more than the strength of will to remain standing through trials and storms and the exuberance to find joy in this adventure of living life to the fullest!

Godspeed, Tres Hombres.

Good luck, son. Tiahui! Follow your bliss!

And Happy 21st birthday! It's official! It's December 10th - your 21st birthday in the middle of the North Sea!

Blessings on your journey; our love goes with you - always.

Best viewed full screen: Tres Hombres maiden voyage.



MY LOVE IS A TALL SHIP
by Jimmy Crowley

My love is a tall ship and a sweet brigantine,
One of the old girls seldom now seen,
And she heaves to the wind, boys. See how she flies
With stars in her hair, boys, and mist in her eyes.

My love is a tall ship. No finer was seen,
For many's the ocean my true love has been,
And the wind in the rigging it whispers her name,
While brace on the bows watches over the main.

So blow your breezes; blow a fair wind to the Asgard,
And see that lady go o'er the dark rolling sea.

Haul on the sheets, boys. Make up the downhaul,
And step on the oars, lads, and mind you don't fall.
Stand by to brace, boys. Unfurl the topsail,
And we'd soon make her home on the watery main.

So blow your breezes; blow a fair wind to the Asgard,
And see that lady go o'er the dark rolling sea.

My love is a tall ship and a sweet brigantine,
One of the old girls seldom now seen,
And she heaves to the wind, boys. see how she flies
With stars in her hair, boys, and mist in her eyes.

15 comments:

Stella Magdalen said...

I've been thinking of him for several days, courtesy of the facebook birthday reminder widget, can't believe he is 21 now. Thinking about when he and Che used to come in for candy and bones after the paper route! Sigh... aspects of time.

Anonymous said...

"...We are following our own way, not our daddy's or our mother's way. So we are beyond protection in a field of higher powers than we know. Trials and revelations are what it's all about."
And so our son sails his way into his revelations, his bliss, his 21st year. Thank you el po for this tender and powerful birthday/birthing day honoring. It is a pray and a teaching. Onward with courage, fair winds and calm seas.

la po

Sylvan Woman said...

This is a complete, beautiful birthday blessing from a loving father.

Anonymous said...

OH. My. Gawd. This video is breath-taking. I got a little teary-eyed thinking about what a glorious, memorable birthday this is for that young... MAN.

How many of us can truly say we followed our Bliss?

You are all blessed with this fate, powered by your spirits... and the wind.

Godspeed, yall.

xxoo
mark - shark

tarzan said...

Absolutely Majestic
The ship
The bravery
The journey
and The Love....

el poquito said...

thanks folks for all your good thoughts; they truly mean a lot. I bundle them all up and send them to him tonight - the 3rd night crossing the North Sea - silent, but for the waves and wind...

Pastor Michael said...

As a father of sons of a similar age, I know how strong the love for them is, how grateful we are when they grow to be so much more than our limited minds can imagine them to be. How proud you are. How touchingly so. May you son sail with joy, with wonder, with peace.

el poquito said...

thank you, Michael. I know you know. Yep, if they can climb a little higher - above our shoulders, our job is done. I appreciate your good word and hope all is equally well with yours. Good to hear you.

Sandi said...

If parents give their children wings, they sail! Thank you for sharing this.

el poquito said...

They made it! They're in Copenhagen now - from the emptiness of the sea to the crowds of the streets. Now that's versatile.

phew!

Did y'll feel the barometric pressure shift as the 'Parent Worry' lifted off our shoulders?

Thanks for all your good thoughts helping us get through to the other shore.

; )

el po

Dedalus1947 said...

Isn't it wonderful when children go beyond their parent's wildest imaginations! To sail the seas and explore the depth of their souls. What a joy! You are a fortunate father. Let the sensations sweep over you like a wave and enjoy it. Ah youth.

Live long and prosper my friend. Your children are doing well.

el poquito said...

Thank you Dedalus; much appreciated, all the good affirmation from fellow parents of 'adult children'. A simple "Your children are doing well," is always good to hear from an outside perspective. They are, and for that I'm very, very grateful. Getting them safely across that Sea of Adolescence and to their adult shore is HUGE for them and for us!

Doesn't get better than that.

Fair winds and pleasant sailing to all of you, and especially you parents getting who are getting kids across that Sea so they can sail off in their own waters.

Mickey Sperlich said...

el poquito:
your boy/man son is sailing on the wings of the love his parents have for him...there is deep freedom in knowing you are loved.

el poquito said...

Hey Mickey,

thanks.

Sudden shift in winds. Guess who's coming home christmas eve?!

We feel like a dang Folger's Coffee commercial: christmas eve arrival of a son we haven't seen for close to a year! We're gonna put a red bow on the top of his head and call it the best present ever!

Mickey Sperlich said...

So glad you got to see your sea-faring boy!!!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday, and wish you and your whole family a year of "smooth sailing!"
Love and Blessings,
Mickey