Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adjusting Sails

I was recently reminded of a quote from William Arthur Ward, who said: "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." I began wondering if my ongoing medical problems and the concomitant paranoia about germs, injury, and infections were driving me toward becoming that classical pessimist who simply curses the wind because he cannot change it.

I would like to think that, as seas become rough and my life-boat is tossed upon the foam, I will have the stamina and confidence to scale the mast and adjust the sails -- always keeping within sight of a lighthouse light and the safety of a home harbor.


Adjusting Sails

When wind shifts blow my little boat off stream,
And seas begin to toss me side-to-side,
I search horizons for a lighthouse gleam,
For there's nowhere on this ocean to hide.
The temper of the sea defines my path,
Swift changeable as clouds that sail the sky,
Unforgiving and fluid in its wrath,
And heeding neither need nor sailor's cry.
As long the westering sun seeks its bed,
Cleaving gray shadows with its brilliant rays,
I'll ride the tide, and bathed in blazing red,
Seek out the silent solace of home quays.
Then, when the last gleam of the sunset pales,
You'll find me on the spar, adjusting sails.

Mick McKellar
August 2011