A long time ago I went sailing. I sailed with a young sailor (I was young too…)

With hindsight I suppose he was really my first love. I remember the first time I saw him. He was tussle haired and blue eyed and sleepy. We woke him up I think. He had just sailed into Port Elizabeth harbour single handedly, and had been sleeping it off.

I now no longer recall where he had come from then. I only know that when he left, I left with him.
I have almost forgotten him.

To be honest, I had forgotten the details of him. Things like, the lacy white pattern that dried salt water, had made on his collar. The fact that he had a sea gull tattoo. His smile and his laugh.

We were friends long before we were lovers, and it should definitely have stayed that way. But, as my favourite song says, ‘no regrets, Coyote…’

I have spent time lately thinking about Time.
The Past, the Present and the Future is yet another Magic Trinity.

On Saturday L and I went sailing , by accident, by coincidence, by chance.
That sail boat trip, the way I remember it Today, is almost not placed in Reality.
It didn’t quite feel like the Now – at the time.

It’s all settled down now, in my mind.
So I guess I can write about it.

The point is, my Past and my Present feel almost inextricably linked.
My Future must be in there too, so it has three strands.
A perfect plait.

What Knysna is, is the Lagoon, as it is called, although actually it is an Estuary.
From the bottom of my lawn I have watched the tides with awe.
Sometimes it looks to me like only a puddle of water remains, and that surely the tide is as low as it can go.
But no.
Again and again I have been proved wrong, as I watch the tidal force pull the water, even out of the shallow puddles, out, out, and through the Heads, out to sea.
Of cause the opposite is also true, and the water pumps back in, with incredible force, when the tide flows back in.

So, I was thinking these sorts of thoughts whilst I perched, Titanic style, on a seat on the prow of the yacht on Saturday.
My legs were dangling and the breeze was getting chilly.
Memories were pouring into my mind with a tidal force. I could feel the surge of them, pulling and pushing.
There is a strange contradiction, between the certainty of something, like the tides, and yet the absolute relativity of it all.
Suddenly that first yacht adventure, with that crazy sailor, felt like yesterday.

The lagoon (I still call it that) looks different to me now.
We sailed right onto the first sand bar on Saturday, with a very experience Skipper, and even strapped on orange life jackets for the deadly crossing between the Heads.

We wanted to go, and risk being tossed in tumultuous tides.
But in the end we didn’t go, but turned back, and dropped anchor, for glasses of champagne instead.
There was uncertainty about being able to get back in, failing which we would have had to set sail for Mossel Bay.

A huge part of me would not have cared.
I was feeling young again.

Going with the flow can be very literal sometimes.
It certainly was then.


Writer, author, script writer

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