The fiery globe screams down, blasting the morning into light, sprinkling through the open hatch, sneaking into the galley, flooding the open companionway. I climb up into the cockpit for a stunning view. It is never the same, because we are always moving and the light is always changing. The fiery sun lights it all up so I can pick out the tiniest wobble of a wave as amoeba-like shades of blue-green.
The sun seems happiest now spread all over the sea, breaking up into pieces of sparkle, like an overturned trash can, winking merrily, smiling like I never see anywhere else. The sun and the sea are lovers, that’s why, and when the sun is gone behind grey clouds, the sea becomes forlorn. The moon, sent by the sun to look after the sea at night, lays memory traces off light over her dark body, so she is not alone.
This fiery, flashing sun reveals itself most intensely, most nakedly in her pursuit of the sea. It leaps about in the waves so brightly that everything else hides. It fills the sea with a thousand baby suns.
Sailing, we enter into this ecstatic joy, we live in the midst of a celebration too intense to possibly understand. How could we relate to such a passion? So we return to the light-filtered protection of the canopied cockpit, reduced to the phrase, ‘the sun is really hot’ and ‘the sun is really bright.’
Best memories as a child, lying in the sun, like a starfish, enjoying the heat on my skin, feeling it creep down through flesh into all of me. I am being cuddled, the whole of me wrapped in trickling sunburst. Nothing matters, could possibly matter for as long as I am lost in the sun.
It’s like that sailing. The warmth reaches down through my skin, ripening me, limbs bared, so the sun can know me fully, fine pin pricks of tingling where the salt focuses the rays to a point.
We know the sun rules in our part of the solar system. We spin and circle around her on our humble planet, entirely dependent on her grace. It is the sun streaming down that makes life possible at all. I’m usually a long way from understanding this. But sailing humbles me, peels away my human vanity, and this beast of life-energy rises up and demands appreciation and recognition. I must salute her.