Friends, I was in Jacksonville, making a major presentation for a hospital I have been working for the last three months. After a successful presentation,i.e. making a sale for more work, I decided to take the rest of the day at a local beach at St. Mary's to celebrate the "win".
St. Mary's is the gateway to the barrier island of Cumberland, my favorite place on the planet. I have spent many wonder-full days on this pristine island in my lifetime, accompanied by amazing wildlife including wild horses. It is how I would imagine the Garden of Eden.
Well, St. Mary's is much like Key West used to be, with a broken down hotel and bar. It also has some remarkable restaurants. Unknown to me, there has been a tradition that has been building over the last few years. Sailors from the East Coast rendevous at St. Mary's on Thanksgiving on their way to the Carribean. That evening, the sailors all came in for libations and to sing in the hotel lobby. It took a lot of arm twisting to get me to join in the celebration but I always try to have my Gallagher guitar wherever I go. The singing was not exceptional but these sailors had no expectations of perfection....latent Buddhists perhaps.
The reason I am sharing this is not to provoke your jealousy of my good fortune to spend a night in Margaritaville but rather to comment briefly on these people. These sailors, mostly in their fifties, had sold their home in order to pursue their dream of sailing. They come from every walk of life, one was the second in command of the FAA, one was an architect, a doctor, a gardener, an insurance salesman, one even an internet tycoon.....but all had a passion for living on a boat and the thrill of sailing. I am afraid I went into interview mode and found myself imagining a book. These folks have a real movable community that continues up and down the East Coast, There is a kind of mindfulness in sailing that engenders a deep love of Creation of which we are a part, as well as for community. I found myself envious of their lifestyle, so free, so easy. And then I remembered that I have the same freedom. I am thankful for the Buddhist thinking that has liberated me, even in the middle of living in a world where I must make a living.
Just wanted to share a little reverie in the middle of a wonderful break of Thanksgiving here in the States.
If you ever get a chance to visit Cumberland Island, do so. You can camp there as it is a national park or there is one hotel, the former Carnegie mansion which is unbelievably expensive. or you can stay at my Riverside Hotel for $50 a night and meet my friend the bartender, Cindy the Porno Queen. She has tatoos on places even Groucho could not imagine.
Your correspondant in Margaritaville,
David aka Papadoc