Sailing the Winds of the Sag Harbor Spirit
Sailing the Winds of the Sag Harbor Spirit Sarah Miller July 2014 “I know you.” “I get that a lot. I’ve got one of those faces.” “No, I’ve met you. What’s your name?” “Paula.” “Paula, I’m Sarah, Lisa’s daughter.” The last time I saw Paula, we both happened to be in Boston. She’s a chef on sailboats, and her boat was docked in the harbor. We had brunch. She gave me $20 bucks to buy a Guinness, and we were on our separate, vagabond ways. Before that I was a pre-pubescent kid with bleached blonde hair, stuffing my face with s’mores over a campfire on the Cowlitz River in Washington State. Paula is a cousin of mine. Well, more like some sort of third cousin removed on my mom’s side, and then re-instated once you grow up and can go out for a beer together. The formalities no longer mean anything, you’re just family. Four days earlier, her boat had sailed into Sag Harbor and anchored down directly across from where I stood, just inside the newly renovated B. Smiths. After several long hugs, and laughing through the initial amazement that we happened to stumble upon each other in Sag Harbor of all places, she sought after my shower. I gladly offered it up, along with a bed (no risk of head injury attached), and some good ol’ AC for the night. Plans for the evening set, an exchange of phone numbers, and she was back on her morning grocery run. At dinner, post Paula’s shower, I finally had to let her in on why I was so amazed that she showed up in my life on this day in particular. I wasn’t originally supposed to be in Sag Harbor. My summer was supposed to be spent in the muggy confines of Manhattan, where I’d chosen to spend the past 5 years. However, the Sag Spirit winds had stepped in about 8 weeks prior and nudged me toward the Harbor; which was, apparently, exactly where I needed to be. The past 2 and half years, I had been praying, looking, and wishing for a way to step away from the craziness of New York City life. In therapy, I constantly fantasized about moving to a small town, in a little cottage by myself. I could write, meditate, and bask in the glory of nature. I admitted that what I was asking felt a bit akin to my childhood wishes to be a Disney princess, but laughed, and never let go of the possibility. I’ve got brown hair. I like books. I just needed the quaint village. And maybe a flock of sheep. Sitting in a meditation one afternoon, outside my little Sag Harbor Cottage, a stack of books next to me, and deer wandering in the greenbelt just beyond the fence, it dawned on me: a Disney reality is exactly what had manifested in my life. I had become a modern day Belle. Amidst all of this, A Course In Miracles had also made its way into my life. The book starts off with a statement that can either make you run away, grasping tightly onto your ego and glass of rosé, or draw you in with its mystique and promise of miracles. “This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time.” I read that statement, and quickly opted for the first. Synchronicity then played its hand once more, and I had no choice but to surrender to the mystique. It was time I open that puppy up and give it a go. I instinctively knew when an old teacher of mine stayed on the same property I was at, and had her own copy of the Course siting on the couch one day. The day before Paula walked in, I had been sitting up in bed writing about the way that Spirit works through people, and for me specifically, Spirit works through familiar faces in unfamiliar places. Generally they come as a form of reassurance, but lately, they had also been bringing small messages to me. My writing had been spurned by a feeling of loneliness, and I knew that as much as my alone time was helping me heal, grow, and get in touch with the spirit I could suddenly feel cocooning me at all times, only through other people would my miracles come. This felt important to recognize, as I was learning that miracles are what set forth our true healing. I had gotten my wish to be out in a cottage alone, in a small unfamiliar town. I knew it was probably a good time to let my ego down and listen to what I was being led toward. Nonetheless, when you’re an introvert by nature, it’s easy to seclude yourself; to make excuses to all the happy hour and beach invites, and to go it alone. Regardless, especially as an introvert, a familiar face is always a welcomed presence. Paula had come as a message, as well as a miracle that day. My familiar face in an unfamiliar place. My reassurance that the work I was doing, the path I was on, was exactly where I needed to be. My job was to simply keep navigating the winds of happenstance that had been coming my way the past several months. Paula and her crew sailed off several days later (post coaxing me into bar hopping down Main Street, a game of corn hull, and stuffing my backpack with a bottle of wine), and another miracle came my way. This time in a much more subtle, profound way. Through Paula, the winds of Spirit that brought me to Sag Harbor embraced me with a love and acceptance that I, in turn, felt for my family; something that I had never experienced before. I suddenly sensed a kinship that had been difficult for me to unearth in the twisted roots I had grown out of. As I city hopped on my own, I began to find hints of this feeling in friends and the places I’d chosen as home, but still found myself searching for it at my core. And there it was. The cocoon of serenity, synchronicity, and shimmering reality that originally swept me east now blossomed into a beautiful affinity for my family. The moment I arrived, the mystic spirit that blankets Sag Harbor enveloped me. It gifted me messengers, and through them, let me in on to a secret. A Sag Harbor awaits us all. Our only job is to toss up sail, hand over the ropes, and trust it will be there. It will.