I don’t think I have ever felt the ‘spirit’ of joy stronger than on a school trip many moons ago to the Isle of Cumbrae.
It was my first week away from my family, from home, as part of a school leavers sports retreat to Greenock. I was a very, almost painfully, shy kid who had no real interest in sports aside from swimming so as you can imagine, I was far from my element!
When we disembarked the ferry at Millport and made our way to meet our instructors, I was admittedly nervous at the prospect of my first sail.
That was, however, until I hit the water.
The further we got from land, I became more and more ease. With the wind in my hair, the sun on my skin and every breath of the salty air, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of peace that I had never experienced before. Brushing a hand against the sparkling waves I couldn’t help but break out a smile.
As I stared into the waves, I heard the excited chatter of my classmates from a neighbouring boat who had spotted a dolphin. With immaculate timing we felt a gentle rocking of our vessel. Amidst the lapsing waves of my side of the boat emerged a curious dolphin. Watching the dolphin swim in parallel to our boat, I was overcome by quiet joy. Being so close to wildlife and experiencing something new that I enjoyed – I have no words for it other than magical, simply magical.
Sadly, though time quickly caught up with us and it was time to return to shore. I left with a new found spring in my step, a renewed love for the seas.
Gazing off from the return ferry at Cumbrae’s slowly fading silhouette, I wondered how soon it would be until I could set sail once more.
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