My dad used to take me sailing.
Couple times during the summer, he'd sidle up, give me that look, and say, "Take the boat out this weekend?"
He had an older 470 sailboat. Once upon a time, it had racing pedigree. Now it captured the wind and zipped us across the gigantic reservoir an hour's drive away. We tried to time our sailing adventures with the weather. When your motor is nature's wind, you need that extra horse power.
Those were the good days. The days when you could see the water darken with wind. You knew that speed was lurking ahead. You just had to get to that particular dark spot.
When you hit it, your sails billowed. Your jib pulled taunt. You yanked back the jib to straighten the little yarn tassel attached to the jib to achieve perfection in its wind-catching abilities. Dad unerringly shifted the main sail, slightly adjusted the rudder.
And we hit perfection. And picked up speed.
The wind blasted us along. I hung onto the jib's rope, leaned back over the boat's side, almost flying perpendicular to the water. The boat tilted up on its side, skimming the water. Both sails busted full of wind.
Far below me on the boat's other side, cold water streamed past. It felt like flying.
It was everything I could do to hold on. Never let go. The water-soaked rope twisted around my hand. Bit into my skin. The feeling of rope was the only thing tethering me to earth. That prevented me from joining birds in flight.
Or tumbling headlong into the water. We were flying on a razor's edge. One little release of my rope. One shift of my weight on the boat's side could cause our boat to lose its precarious balance. And we'd capsize.
But it never came to that. My dad's hand was always steady on the rudder. And somehow that made my feet and hand steady.
Thanks, Dad, for teaching me the best adventures are the ones where you're teetering on the edge of control and utter destruction. And for showing me how to be fearless in that moment.
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Happy Father's Day!
Laura & everyone at RuffArmor