Image: The Mayflower – Google images (Labelled for reuse)
A voyage of discovery is like a life led. It’s easy to describe it in this way when you understand so much of your life has been lived in your head, a bit like a fantasy voyage in itself.
When a child I did childish things, my view of the world was restricted to my immediate environment. To know otherwise I scoured the library, found new worlds, different perspectives and grew as a person.
Education was for me a great voyage into the unknown. Literature, in particular, opened my eyes to a world I knew little about. At the end of Primary school, I was given a small novel, ‘A High Wind in Jamaica’ which I read and which did wonders for me wanting to read more and more.
Later after school, I journeyed to further study and eventually to a small school up the end of the valley from home where I began a ‘voyage’ through education.
It was far more than standing in front of a classroom, it was about learning about people, all sorts make up this world, and I think I rubbed shoulders with most of them.
We all at some stage seek out a partner, and that excursion is fraught with dangers, the rocky shoals of life unexpectedly appearing and you finding yourself in peril have to navigate your way clear of the dangers in front of you.
Relationships are about learning the other person. Being aware they exist in your life, that they have wants and needs as well as your own. Sailors will talk about knowing your ship, the ins and outs of them, recognising and accepting their unique foibles. Well, a journey through marriage is not much different. That is not to say it is all rough sailing, on the contrary, there are times when it is clear sailing and times when you find yourself in the doldrums.
Over the years you sometimes come to the realisation that you have been at sea for far too long with the one person. It’s understanding the time has come to part company, though one would try not to completely scuttle everything.
At every moment, if you are aware, you are learning. That is what life’s journey is about, a learning that at times may be steep, with you frantically rigging the sails to accommodate your understanding of the current situation.
No matter how you look at it, the journey, the voyage, must be about taking care of you. Essential because you need to wake tomorrow and once again take the tiller firmly in hand and guide yourself through whatever journey confronts you. Though one hopes as one ages, the voyage is more plain sailing than not.