On Saturday evening we had the good fortune to get ourselves invited out on a friend's sailboat for an evening cruise. (If you remember only one piece of advice from my entire blog, let it be this: Make friends with someone who owns a sailboat.)
Our hosts created a fantastic spread of appetizers. As we ate and enjoyed a cocktail (or two), we motored out of the harbor and down the shoreline. We watched the houses reflecting the oranges and pinks of the sun setting behind us.
The lake was calm with rolling waves. A nice breeze was picking up. We all talked and laughed as we cruised along the beach.
But of course, motoring is not what a sailboat is designed for. A sailboat really wants to glide with the breeze. As the last bits of light disappeared the rising wind was too much to ignore. We headed into the wind, raised the sails, and we were underway with the air.
At first we weren't going much faster than we were with the motor, and everyone kept talking and laughing. But when our skipper cut the engine, everything changed. We'd all become accustomed to the engine noise and had adjusted our voices accordingly. Suddenly, we could appreciate how beautiful -- and silent -- the night had become. One by one we dropped our voices. Then we stopped talking all together. The wind and water had more than enough to say. There's was nothing we could add to it.
There are a lot of things in our lives that essentially just add up to an overwhelming amount of engine noise. We adapt and adjust; with each decibel of intrusion we get louder and louder, hoping to outshout the distractions.
Maybe what we need to do is actually point out how loud the engine has become. And then someone just needs to say, "Let's take a chance and unfurl the sails." Maybe then all the interference will slip away.