It is true. The next 220 nautical miles will complete the final distance of this journey.
As Patience moved easily in good winds, it was not merely our final physical passage we were sailing in; it was also a mental voyage through contemplative reflections and nostalgic memories, as I summarized and reflected on the impact of our undertaking.
As I allowed my mind to drift into deeper mental regions, my realizations were not only of gain and happiness. To complete a journey of this caliber induced a slew of emotions and during the three days of this last leg, I also had moments of mental darkness. For the past 18 months, I have lived and breathed this expedition. To complete it is a fulfilling experience, but it inevitably produced a form of sadness too. It was sadness not too dissimilar to that of a lesser version of mourning. I realized that I will never again undertake a sailing expedition like this, with the fresh, wide-eyed attitude I had before I left. Further, this wonderful way of life was coming to an end. I knew that I would have to endure the noise and pace of front country life. Negative thoughts have a way of feeding on themselves and gain strength as they recruit others, lurking in the dark corners of the mind. I experienced one of these trying times in hours of torrential downpour at the helm, as Patience and my thoughts were shrouded in grayness.
Traveling through this “underworld” was truly amplified, as we slowly motored through a massive patch of floating wooded debris. The first and only we’ve ever seen. The rain had stopped for a moment and gray clouds and mist hung low. The water was perfectly smooth and there was not a breath of air. As far as eyes could see, there were gnarled, black branches drifting eerily at the surface. It was as if Patience was traveling on the Great Marshes on its way to Mordor, where the shadows lie.
But as the day came to an end and night began to fall, the clouds parted to reveal a beautiful sunset and later, the stars – a rare sight in this tropical part of the world. With the comfort of the stars, all dark thoughts were forgotten. The silent creep shifted to a happy bobbing and the eerie debris disappeared. It was a clear, cool night and the air was fresh from the rain; a freshness that penetrates body and mind. It marked a transition in the dark path of my mental journey and I was able to have short, but good sleep.
On my morning shift, the first light of dawn revealed the lush jungle of the Osa Penninsula and sent Patience its intoxicating scent. By the time the sun rose to the point where wavelets sparkled in its reflection, we were at the mouth of Golfo Dulce. The surrounding jungle was thriving in a welcoming symphony of sounds and sights. This vibrant ambiance had a powerful contagiousness and despite the previous eve’s dark thoughts, my spirits were soaring.
Feeling lucid and clear, I reflected on our lessons and experiences, realizing the deep shift we had undergone. A shift that is hard to describe in words, but that I can see in the flash of Jakob and Paul’s eyes when they smile. I feel it in myself too. It is a fullness of the heart; a fullness reached after completing the dream that came from our heart’s desire. We have manifested it from an idea into the reality that became our life.
I’ve often contemplated the meaning of “happiness.” It was in my opinion that it was a mental state most humans chase, but never acquire (similar to the carrot attached to a stick and hung in front of the donkey so it moves forward, but never reaches the tasty morsel). I’ve come to realize that this concept does not apply anymore. Happiness is attainable. Pursuing a heart of heart’s desire and manifesting it into reality, gave the three of us the ability to reach forward and untie the tasty morsel ahead of us and thrive in its vital sweetness. But it is a delicate emotion that needs care, because it can slip ahead and re-attach itself to that stick just in front of our nose. From time to time, perhaps it will slip ahead again, but it will not be unattainable anymore.
In several hours we will set anchor for the last time, crystallizing the completion of the manifestation of our dream. The voyage has come to an end, but the journey is still underway. We have come to realize that this sailing expedition was only one piece in the journey of our lives. Our hearts are full, but they are still pounding with determination and contain plenty more dreams, passions and desires. This sail was an important step in realizing that we can manifest a dream …The floodgates have been opened.