The Winds are Slowly Filling our Sails

Solstice came! It occurred to me that while I am rejoicing the return of the light, others are like really Sarah?!  This means winter has started. In Iowa that means the frigid below-zero temperature winds will make it undesirable to leave your home. Not that it matters because the nearest Starbucks is AN HOUR AWAY. (Oh, I have so many great Iowa stories. Another day.)

So yes, solstice. A slow creep toward light, with cold winds thrown in for some of you. I promise to send you some Florida sunshine okay?

Yesterday I sat in my therapist’s office and despaired. About how horrible this year was, how everything in my life is so uncertain, and all hope was lost. I think that maybe, just maybe I saw my therapist’s eyebrow make a tiny movement upward as if to say, for real Sarah ALL HOPE LOST? but she caught herself and later we laughed when I pointed out that perhaps I was being a bit…dramatic? Yeah.  Just a tad. (I love when I realize it even as the words exit my lips but I hold on to the story I’ve created in my head, not quite ready just yet to let it go.)

But I need to tell you about the sailing ships. There is a point to this post you see. I told her how it feels like a great large ocean liner in my life is slowly changing directions but it feels so damn slow and laborious. And then her eyes lit up and she said, have you ever sailed? (Maybe once? A very long time ago.)

She told me how when sailing, when you go to change directions you must get the sails adjusted (I am forgetting all technical sailing terms) and there is a moment where you are jostling around getting it just so, and there is a pause. You must wait for the winds to fill the sail, which can be jerky at first, before you can move into the new direction. But once the sails are full of wind, WHOOSH you are off!

But that isn’t all. To change direction, you don’t just take off with those sails full of wind and zoom in the direction of your liking. No, you zig-zag back and forth for some time, forward and back. Forward and back. And little by little you go the intended direction, hitting your stride after just a bit.

We both agreed that this wonderful analogy should be tucked away for future reference for any and all clients. I mean, it is pretty brilliant right?

She told me: your sails are slowly filling with wind. I can feel it. I can too.

But there is more! Last night I read a post on Facebook about how winter solstice is a pause–not here or there just yet–like when suspended in that one moment at the top of a roller coaster where your stomach drops before the moment you rush back down again. Or, the post continued, how it is like a dead calm sea between gusts of wind.

Well, I’ll be. I love when themes and symbols pop up again and again my life.

There you have it folks. I reckon we are all in that pause right now. Heck, our country most certainly is. The world most certainly is.

Remember: our sails will continue to fill and we will soon be off to the races. It might take a little bit of backtracking at times–but don’t despair. It is necessary to get where we need to go.




  1. This sailing metaphor is so brilliant!! I related to every word of it. The “zig-zagging back and forth…until little by little you go in the intended direction.” Thank you, thank you for this powerful reminder. (And I can’t help but think of the name of my blog, and how these aspects of sailing never occurred to me!) Really though, this is so brilliant and powerful, you should pitch it to some publications. So timely as a New Year’s piece too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that is so interesting, I totally forgot how that would relate to the name of your blog! I remember when I first discovered your blog I was so moved by the title and meaning behind the name. I knew immediately that I had stumbled on something special. And very funny you should mention the idea of pitching this – I am getting goosebumps as I type. I have been wanting to write you to ask if you had any advice for a novice on pitching to publications. I think this is a wink from the universe in fact! (Also if it is easier I can send a message of facebook or email rather than doing this in commenting boxes. I am mainly looking for resources/ tips for someone new to pitching. There is a lot online but I figured you would be good at pointing to the most relevant or useful info. Thank you in advance if you have any ideas!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I cannot believe you are a novice. Another instance of me making assumptions — I have read your work on Brain, Child and assumed you had been published many times over! It is beyond kind of you to put info together for me. Please promise me you won’t spend too much time on it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Did you email me yet? Just want to be sure I haven’t missed it! I’m playing lots of catch up this week but will send info your way soon! I have a lot of writing experience, but I’m newer to cold pitching editors. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m so sorry, I haven’t emailed yet! It’m swamped this week with family visiting and party prep so I will likely email early next week. It sounds like you are just as busy!! I am not at all surprised you have lot’s of writing experience, you write like a polished professional! (Hence my surprise that you are newer to cold pitches!!) I’m so glad you are putting your work out there. ☺

        Liked by 1 person

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