The last of the boats are coming in one by one. We are in a state of almost constant celebration as the racers are arriving and we are the reception. My heart is thrilled for each team that arrives with the excitement of a job completed, for some, a first arrival (like myself) for the veteran skippers and sailors, welcome home again. A shared experience that was physical and mental;  a shared experience nevertheless. With each welcome, bonding with those who have crossed the deep and wide Pacific with only your craft and mates. It’s the stuff of both long ago and the present as Diamond Head comes into view even with a night arrival.

Last evening, after I completed my evening prayers and meditations, we attended one of the receptions for a couple of the crews who had arrived earlier in the day. As I stood in a corner of the reception room of the yacht club, I watched the exhilaration of those who were honored. The swagger, the interactions and perhaps some gratitude as I sampled the light banter of those who were present. I couldn’t stop smiling because I am here in a world that is so far away and so different from my usual world.

I am not the person of parties and small talk very often as I don’t have much time for these types of gatherings. I know that I need these experiences but my mind and heart only wanted to stand and look at the ocean as the waves came in. I enjoy the smell of the sea and the warm wind blowing my long white dress around my legs and my too long hair into my face. I kicked off my sandals and walked barefoot in the evening darkness savoring every step, reveling in the positive energy around me until late into the night and early morning. With every breath, I am very grateful for the opportunity to sample this foreign world and fellowship with those around me. My gratitude for God’s gift of these experiences and the spiritual path that awaits me.


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