At the Helm: Little things can be a big deal

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.

Since most of us don’t journey out as much as we did pre-COVID, we have been given the opportunity instead to journey inward.

I have certainly been using the time to reflect, 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, 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 of the lake, as well as the familiar and typical sights.

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Recently I have developed a dialogue with one of the potential keynote speakers for our second annual Boating Industry Elevate Summit (yes, it is still scheduled to take place in Atlanta November 16-18).

He says that while the circumstances of COVID-19 are certainly terrible and tragic, the isolation with his family and respite from the road has been a gift.

And that he has been transformed with the “power of gratitude” as he calls it that he is happy, healthy, safe and working (virtually).

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 in the coming weeks, where you are fully present with friends and family and grateful to be alive.

I think this will be a 4th of July to remember in lots of ways, and probably one to forget in lots of ways as well.

I am certainly grateful for my family, for my job, for boating, and for you, our readers. Thank you. Stay safe and we’ll see you on the water. 

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