Our first Salty Contributor : Laura Weeks' "Ode To Mama Ocean"
I’m so excited to share the journey of our first ever contributor, Laura Weeks. Laura is as salty as salt sisters get. Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, she is currently sailing around the world, working as a deck hand on a luxurious yacht.
Her journey started in New Zealand, as she sailed through to Indonesia, stopping in remote, beautiful islands along the way before arriving at her final destination, Mauritius.
During the voyage, she had a lot of time to think, explore, surf and stretch. Laura came to a few realisations, and thankfully, good ol’ Mama Ocean was there at her side to help her.
Below Laura shares her thoughts on healing, discovering, learning and embracing all the waves of life.
“Ode To Mama Ocean”
Growing up, we all have that favourite quote or saying that resonates with who we are as an individual. Maybe it’s more like something you want to live by, almost like a personal slogan I guess. Since I can remember, this is the one I’ve deeply related to, by E.E. Cummings:
There was once a young woman who found herself slap bang in the middle of the Indian Ocean on a sailboat, slowly making her way to Mauritius from Indonesia. Epic, right?! Not quite. She started the ocean crossing in what felt like one of the most negative and bleakest head-spaces of her short, adventurous life. A hurtful break-up after a romantic roller-coaster in tropical paradise with a man she thought may have just been the one, will do that to most. Self-doubt, pity, sadness, anger, confusion, questioning — she had time to replay everything good and bad, the laughs, the sex, every single word spoken, over and over again. Torturing herself to the very core.
Quoting from numerous Pinterest posts,
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears and the sea”.
In time, of course, being on the great Mama Ocean, one heals. Being on the 12-4am/pm watch shift at the helm, every ripple was examined, looking out over the horizon (for traffic) but also dwelling deep into thought, finding yourself reflecting your life, where you currently are and how you got there in the reflection of this week’s growing full moon on the shimmering ocean. Eventually, after enough hours/days/nights of this rolling to and fro motion, enough is enough.
“Get your shit together Laura”
You’re a mere speck on the ocean right now. You’re tiny. Be humble. Grateful. Inspired. You’re 25 and have a pretty damn sweet life, a loving and supportive family, awesome friends; you’re healthy, and free. How fucking liberating.
So yeah, this is me appreciating the ocean for mending me on another level. Usually surfing or diving through the peeling waves is what brings me genuine joy; my true happy place is being IN the sea. This time, being ON the sea, initially I felt I was trapped, on a boat (my job), can’t get off, stuck, intimidated, insecure, anxious, rough, dark, cold, deep and dark waters with no end. Yet, now refreshed and liberated yet again by the beautiful salty blue mass of water.
Look closely at your hands; veins, creases, calluses, fingerprints, each unique and exclusive to your story. All they’ve touched and had an impact on.
Look at the mirror, into your eyes, brown, green or blue, find the depths of all that they have seen. Flick through images of memories, experiences, love, family, friends, laughter, tears, heartbreak, focus, determination, sheer will and grit.
Get onto your mat and pick your pose, pay attention to your feet or Pada Bandahs. The same feet that are the very dynamic foundation that dare you to transport yourself wherever you like, however you like, and as slowly or as fast as you like. To hover, to observe, to absorb, to walk, to run, to dance, to fly, to embrace and to soar — in other words, to take on life.
How far they’ve come since their very first steps, the mountains, the terrain, all the steps and hurdles they’ve overcome to get you to where you are today. But more importantly, look forward to dancing a storm into the exciting path of the unknown that lies ahead. Like the infinite horizon of the ocean, your opportunities are endless.
Thank you, Mama Ocean!
Laura joined the crew of a yacht in Auckland in March this year, sailed up the East Coast of Australia, Indonesia, Cocos Islands, and through to Mauritius. She is currently heading home to Cape Town before sailing off again next year to Brazil, Caribbean, Med.
You can follow Laura’s salty sailing adventures at @LauraJWeeks
In case you haven’t heard, No Shoes No Worries is all about sharing the salty stories lately, so much so, that the blog is opening up to contributors! If you have a story or adventure to share, or maybe some salty thoughts, don’t hesitate.