Close your eyes for a bit, and rewind the clock a few years, maybe more than a few for some of us, and call to memory a hot, summer day just after the rain stopped. The sun was breaking through the clouds sending bright shafts of light to ground. Mist was rising off the hot soil, and puddles were scattered in every low spot. I know what I did, but what did you do with those puddles?
For me it was bare foot time, and I stomped in about every puddle I could find relishing the pure joy of it. Then I rummaged through my collection of toys, found a boat or two and headed back to the puddles to go sailing. With imagination only found in small children, I sailed around the world, survived storms, was chased by pirates, and discovered new lands – all in the space of a few square feet of ocean that was rarely deeper than a couple inches. Thus was made a sailor.
Sixty or so years later I can still conjure up those same feelings, and occasionally that same pure joy of being on the water, under sail now with the real world within reach – at least in my imagination. Have survived storms, found lands that were at least new to me, and been chased by pirates of a sort. So, at least in some things we do come full circle in life.
Learning the ropes
My point in sharing my memories and experiences, is to remind those of us who love sailing and time on the water, how simple it is to give that gift to young children. It is a gift that will live with many of them for a lifetime. Not only will it bring joy, but also teach self-reliance, new skills, teamwork and other important life lessons about the value of natural places and clean water. Focus on the joy, the rest will come along.
Needless to say I have plans for my grandkids, and hope their parents are prepared! So, next summer when it rains, find a kid or two and together go find a puddle……..I suspect you will all experience the joy.