Becalmed in Paradise


A few weeks ago we went sailing with friends at nearby Fern Ridge Reservoir. I looked forward to my first sailing outing, expecting it to be different from my family’s waterskiing life on California’s reservoirs. Here I would learn how to work with the wind and waves and sails and rigging—quite in contrast to our ski-boat motoring over smoother waters.

It turned out to be an absolutely calm, windless afternoon. Barely a whisper of breeze. We put-putted out to the middle, turned off the outboard motor and rolled up the sails.


We sat in the gracious silence.
Clouds formed and reshaped themselves in the great dome of the sky.
A few distant birds called.
The sun set slowly, casting dark shadows and silver linings.
Colors flamed as the sun touched earth.
Stars began to sparkle in the darkening dome.

Guided by lights onshore, we put-putted back to dock. It was not the adventure I expected, but it was the gift I was given: a great deep-souled peace.

We may not get what we ask for, but we do get what we need.


All photos by Robin Mallgren.

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