February 2, 2013

Many years ago I read a book called Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryu Suzuki that introduced me to the concept of Beginner’s Mind.  The general premise is that in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few. I’ve spent most of my life going in exactly the opposite direction. Going toward know-it-all. Learning a few good tricks and holding onto them with the grip of a pit bull.

And then my husband left on our boat to Mexico.

This was not a divorce or a sudden move. This was something he’d been talking about for a good twenty years, the last five particularly passionately. I had listened but hadn’t heard. But as I stood watching the boat leave the harbour headed south, it was slowly dawning on me that he might actually be serious about this. I drove the car to a high vantage point where I could watch it head down the channel. How could I not be going with him? The answer was a conundrum; I wanted to go but I didn’t want to leave.

That was a year and a half ago. During that time we have been going back and forth between Mexico and Canada, divided between two worlds. I found that the world I couldn’t leave was losing its pull on me and it was time for a course correction. I sold my business that I’d had for twenty-eight years and rented the house that had been our home for the last seventeen years to join my husband in the cruising world.

I have been a traveller on all of our boats but I have not been a sailor. I think the distinction there is the first is more interested in the destination, the second is more concerned in how you get there. I have only ever been a vacationer on a sailboat, never a cruiser. This is a whole new beginning and in that there is opportunity to meet Beginners Mind.


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