I lay alone in this embracing bed, listening to the steady, relentless pacing of the waves. They come no matter what. Lake Michigan, deep and dark, mysterious and intimate, speaks to me beyond the safety of my gable room. In the dark, I get up to stand at the window. I can see the night-lit waves, the white of the rollers driving, completely unstoppable, to the shore, pushed by a not-taking-no-for-an-answer wind.
The winter cold, the wind, the night. It changes nothing. You just navigate it.
I feel my hand on the helm, my body both tired and alert, cold all through. Almost frightened, but comfortable just the same, trusting in the dark – my compass, the sails, the rudder, the charts, my self. The boat just goes. I feel the cold wind on my face. I ache. I scan the dark, all I see and feel is the rolling of those waves. My eye watches the fill of the sail, the cockpit lifts me up, we slide and skid along as the night black water presses us up, up and then dishes us out for just a moment before the next push. The water hisses.
We are all alone here, me and the low light of the compass, in this vast, mysterious plane of constant motion. I have what I need. I am alive.