Seattle is such a beautiful city when the sun is out, which is more frequent as the years go by. Yesterday my friend and experienced sailor Hawkeye invited me to go on a little sailing on the lake at the Washington Yacht Club. Hawkeye is a researcher at the UW, working on the remote surgical robot RAVEN.
It was the first time I sailed and it has been a long time since I have been on any kind of boat, ferries excluded. The process of learning the basics in sailing and the physics involved was interesting, and it once again reminded me that even with the understanding of the principles, it still took practice and good execution to make things work.
The wind was a little erratic and strong, and sailing required observation of nature, such that we could harness its blessing and be on our way. The shades of the waves showed Hawkeye when we had to adjust the sails and our positions to accommodate. The Hobie Cat 16 looked so big in comparison to us on ground, but once on water, I quickly realized the grandness of Lake Washington and the force of even the lightest breeze on this seemingly big man-made structure. We could only move with the wind, and never against its intention. It was humbling. It is impossible to fight nature, it is so much bigger than any of us, and we are only part of it, not the other way round. We need to re-learn to respect that, in the way we live, and the way we use the planet’s resources. Nature could capsize us with the blow of a gentle wind.
Over the course of three hours, Hawkeye taught me some simple maneuvers and we focused on doing those. Somehow I managed to leave work and many troubling thoughts on land to focus on what was at hand, probably the first time in many months. It felt like I was in sync with nature. It felt like nature has taken care of the pain that a certain group malicious human beings have inflicted on me.
May be I should do this kind of things more often, instead of working all the time and making my life a quest to take care of every one else. May be, it is time to take a little care of myself.
For the first time in weeks, I managed to get a few hours of sleep at night, not haunted by the betrayals and juvenile behaviors that others have shown me, especially from those I have given so much.
I dreamed of water, waves, clouds and a blue sky. The water has washed away some of the most vile memories out of my mind.
Big thanks to my friend, Hawkeye.
Here are more snapshots from the little point and shoot.