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Friday, October 28, 2011

Waiting for Your Ship to Come In

Like everyone in my part of the world, I grew up in a somewhat nautical culture where a lot of poplar phrases and superstitions were linked to the sea. I often heard references to "your ship coming in"  People would say someone was "still waiting for his ship to come".  In the last week or so, this area received a huge economic boost when a major ship building contract was awarded to the city port.  The headlines read, "Our ship has come in". All things nautical are again popular as everyone is well, "on board".

It turns out that phrase has it roots back in the days where merchant sailing ships were first becoming popular. A few big risk takers would put everything they had, and some borrowed resources, into building a great ship. After years of the building process, they would equip it with the best crew they could find and enough supplies that they would survive an undetermined time at sea.  Then they "let go".  They sent their ship and crew off to find riches. And they waited.

The thing is they had no communication devices back then.  (Again, with the technology  Not a thing.  Not land to sea radios, no cell phones, not even real navigational devices.  So once your ship was out of the harbour you had no idea what was happening to it.  There was no hurricane or storm warning system and even if you did know a storm was coming you had no way to communication that to your ship. No communication. No control.

For all you knew, you ship had sank a few miles off the coast, negotiating what was often the worst part of the journey. All you could do was keep scanning the coastline and "wait for your ship to come in".  Imagine the day when you looked up and saw your ship coming in to harbour.  It would be riding low in the water because of all the treasure and trading goods it had piled on there to sell, and make you rich.  It might be spices, it might be tea, foreign treasures, who knew- but it was sweat reward for your waiting.  The sails might be ripped and battered, some of the crew lost, but you were set for at least ten years as a wealthy person if the treasure was worthwhile at all. 

Not everyone can be a ship builder. You need a lot of confidence to do that kind of thing. You might need a few drops of the Bach Flower essence Larch during the ship building process. Imagine how many people would try to rip apart your dream and self-esteem.  I mean, what do you know about ship building anyway.  Maybe you should just grow potatoes and make an honest meager living like your  brothers- all ten of them!

Not everyone has the courage to be a ship builder. You might need a lot of Mimulus Bach Flower drops for that kind of thing. Imagine the fear you would feel as you watched that ship and all your hopes and dreams head out to sea.  Every time a gale blew through you'd be fearful that it was far worse out at sea and you ship and crew wasn't surviving. You wouldn't be the only one needing that Mimulus.  There's a good reason why the houses in coastal towns have a balcony built that faces the sea. It's called the "widow's walk".  So you wouldn't be the only one awake at night fearful of ship wrecks. On those really stormy nights when you or those wives woke up from a shipwreck nightmare in a cold sweat, you'd really want a bottle of Rock Rose by your bed.

Not everyone would have the patience to be a ship builder. Imagine the wait for that ship to come in. You could imagine all the things your riches would buy, the easy life you might live if only your ship would hurry up and come in.  Imagine the "great deals" you would have to pass up because your ship wasn't in yet.  You might need a lot of drops of Impatiens to keep you balanced in the wait. You wouldn't get any updates. Not one. No communication. Any day could "be the day", and each day that wasn't you might be getting more irritated and frustrated.

Not everyone is meant to be a ship builder. You have to have a deep inner knowing, a calling to take that kind of risk and feel guided to follow it through.  When you were tempted to ask everyone you if they had seen your ship on the horizon, if they had any idea when it might come, you'd need some drops of Cerato. After all, you got into this business because you knew it was right for you, Cerato could help you trust that inner wisdom. Cerato would help you really believe it when you told those wives you knew the ship would be coming "any day now".

The phrase has endured even though the days of merchant sailing ships with no communication on board have long faded into the past. Perhaps because some people still build ships, the phrase still applies.  If you're a writer, you ship might be  manuscript.  If you're an artist, you ship might be a sculpture or a painting. If you're a teacher, your ship might be that student that you patiently helped through some rough spots.  If you're a parent, your ship might be your children that have set sail for unknown waters.

As a ship builder, you don't always know what kind of treasures will be on your ship when it returns.  It might be spices, it might be tea, it might be gold. You might be able to turn it into gold. It might be something you have never even anticipated, something foreign that you could never have imagined.

It doesn't really help to keep scanning the horizon.  Once you launch that ship it's out of your control.  It's out of the range of communication.  You have to move on and go about your daily life secure in the faith that "Your ship will come in" and the rewards will be great!  Here's to safe sailing and gentle breezes. You never know when that day may be.  Maybe today is the day your ship comes in!

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