A quiet Sunday morning. I’ve already had breakfast on the deck with a beautiful woman. The sunrise was beautiful, the weather a perfect summers day!
How contradictory it is to sit under a pergola on my deck, just the two of us. My house is in the country, on an acre of land. Just my lady and I on a beautiful morning. Last week we were in Manhattan for several days. I was out and about in that huge metropolis at all hours of the day, and there is NO place on that island where you feel alone. Lonely, maybe. But never alone.
Later in the morning, while listening to The Sunday Edition on CBC radio I casually did some surfing on the internet and happened across the main page of Wikipedia. Today, they announced, is the anniversary of the sinking of the Swedish war ship Vasa. On this day, 386 years ago, The Vasa was on its maiden voyage. It had taken two years to construct and outfit this huge warship, and it was on its way to take part in the 30 Years War. After sailing just under one mile, a gust of wind caught the ship. It leaned hard to port, with its open gun ports going below water. The sea rushed in, the ship filled, and promptly sank in front of thousands of people onshore who had gathered to see her off.
It was found, during an inquest and in the years that followed, that the reason for sinking was a “lack of initial stability.”
In layman’s terms, they built the ship wrong!
This wasn’t just any ship. This was to be the flagship of the reverse fleet. The King of Sweden was very anxious for it to take up station. While he was in Poland leading his troops in battle, the new prize of his navy was sinking to the bottom of the Baltic. Sadly, there were many involved in the building of the ship who knew that the design was flawed and that it would most likely meet with a disastrous end. Presumably they did not see it coming this quickly!
They never told the King….because they were afraid of his reaction.
Thirty men died.
Almost 400 hundred years later, we all recognize that trait in our everyday lives. How often have you avoided telling someone bad news because you were afraid of their reaction. How many maiden voyages have we embarked upon that have sank in the first mile? Sometimes we all lack that ‘initial stability.’
But even if we lose a flagship now and then, there is more to life than one bad voyage. Life really is about the journey, NOT the destination!
Cheers to all!