By David Gee
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” -W.B. Yeats
Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet William Butler Yeats, one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature, wrote those prescient words over 100 years ago. If that sentiment rang true during Victorian times, we surely find even more meaning in the words today.
This past year-and-a-half or so has provided many of us the opportunity to reflect and journey inward.
I have certainly been using the time to take inventory, connect with family in new and meaningful ways, and just try to sharpen my senses to use Yeats’ verbiage.
On my more frequent walks I try to see more and notice more, whether it be various plants lining the path, animals scurrying around me, or even the changing cloud formations high overhead.
I find my trips to the water even more restorative, as I pay closer attention to the wind and the waves and the smells and sounds, as well as the familiar and typical sights.
The power of gratitude
Recently I have developed a dialogue with a keynote speaker who averaged about 100 speeches a year during the previous decade or so.
He says that when he was grounded during the height of the pandemic, the "isolation" and respite from the road provided him with extra family time he said has been a gift. The way he explained it to me is that he has been "transformed with the power of gratitude.”
David DeSterno is a professor of psychology at Northeastern University and one of the leading experts on the social effects of gratitude. He said gratitude gives us more patience, allows us to be more honest, more fair, and gives us the ability to focus on long-term gains over short-term satisfaction.
However, he tells The New York Times that "gratitude must be cultivated throughout the year."
Is there anything you have noticed you have become newly grateful for? Have you navigated down any new pathways of understanding?
One of the books I have been reading lately is The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh, a best-selling Vietnamese Buddhist Zen master who was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
He writes, “When we are fully established in the present moment, we know that we are alive, and that it’s a miracle to be alive. The past has gone and the future has not yet come. This is the only moment where we can be alive, and we have it!"
I hope you have some special moments ahead of you this past week and in the coming holiday weeks; sunsets that take on a new meaning, the simple pleasure of making tracks in the sand, and any other place or time where you are fully present with friends and family and grateful to be alive.
I am certainly grateful for my family, for my friends, and for the boating industry community that has shared my journey with me the past two-and-a-half years.