Fishermen know

In September 2007 we visited the historic fishing village of Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

In September 2007 we visited the historic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
Vincent Van Gogh

Fishermen are among many who labor at occupations fraught with potential hazards, but our lives and well being depend on workers who understand that benefits often outweigh risks.  Where would we be without their courage?

Caution is helpful unless it causes us to be paralyzed with fear.  Fishermen and other professionals use fear as motivation for preparation, wisely learning how to read the weather, evaluate the limitations of their craft, and recognize when they need to remain ashore temporarily to minimize the risks.  Then they press on, and we are all better for their refusal to be intimidated.

It takes a different type of courage to respond thoughtfully to others, whether in person or online.  To make one’s thoughts available to an unknown public, even in the relative anonymity of a blog site, can be intimidating.  I want to thank those who blog or respond with thoughtful and positive comments here and elsewhere on the web.  Those of us who put our thoughts online do so with full knowledge that we may encounter argument, disdain or disapproval.  Readers who respond in conversation are extending a type of generosity that not everyone is willing to risk.  Those of you who do take the time to read and post comments are deeply appreciated, by me and my fellow bloggers, and also by many others who read your comments.

Almost all of us face fearful circumstances from time to time. I hope we will use that fear as a motivator to learn and prepare, not an excuse to retreat or withdraw. There are risks in connecting with others, but these are insufficient reason to remain isolated.  May we continue to draw strength and courage from each other as we share our diverse but strangely unifying struggles.

19 Comments

  1. Wow! So picturesque, such a lovely combination of colours! Fear in the right measure will do us good. Some students who are very cool never take the exams seriously. But on the other extreme too much fear affects their performance.
    Yes, it’s better to face it and get over it. Enjoyed this post, Julia.

    • Thanks Bindu, since you are a teacher you often have seen the results of too much fear, or its opposite extreme, not enough caution. One benefit of school is to teach students how to prepare wisely without getting too stressed out. This is a valuable lesson no matter what vocation they pursue.

  2. As Zig Ziglar would say,”If you wait till all the lights are green you won’t ever go anywhere”. Our son, Andy, was away at college on 9/11. My advice to him was to go about his business as usual. Just be vigilant. The point being, as you mentioned, not to let the paralysis of fear take over and take away your courage. Another truth worth sharing is that knowledge dispels fear. Knowing what you are dealing with is much easier than trying to deal with the unknown. [Which is why we always search for answers for why a tragedy like Boston happens].

    • Yes, I agree that it’s much better to get the uncertainty behind us as much as possible. It was such a relief when all of Jeff’s initial diagnostic tests had been discussed. Even though they were ALL bad news and more bad news in the beginning, we can adjust to almost anything if we know what to expect and what our immediate priorities are. Of course, there are always times when we have to accept that answers will be in short supply, and here too caution can be helpful as long as we don’t get frozen with fear. Thanks for being here!

  3. Carlyle

    If you will permit a humorous comment : I was once asked by a lady, upon learning I was a pilot, ” Are you ever afraid of flying?” I replied ” No. I have sometimes been afraid of NOT Flying.”:-)

    • Daddy, that’s a good one. I hadn’t heard that particular story. My favorite “fear of flying” remark was the time you were having a conversation with a couple of friends, one of whom was so terrified of flying that he vowed he would NEVER get on an airplane. The other person asked you if you felt afraid and you were explaining how you were always prepared for emergencies. You said “on every takeoff I assume I will lose an engine just as I reach V1 speed. The friend who was terrified of flying added “I assume the same thing, that’s why I won’t get on an airplane.” 🙂

  4. MaryAnn Clontz

    Beautiful quote & encouraging words! You offer thought provoking ideas: “wisely learning, evaluate, courage”. Thank you for caring about us & people you do not even know. Ah! That brings a thought: Matt is like his mom in never meeting a stranger!
    Love & prayers, MaryAnn

    • Thanks Mary Ann, it’s true that Matt and I are both much more extroverted than either Jeff or Drew. I am so happy you like the blog!

  5. Jenelle

    Lately, I’ve been hearing how we need to just *get over* fear. Okay? I cannot express how much I appreciate your words, “I hope we will use that fear as a motivator to learn and prepare, not an excuse to retreat or withdraw”. To learn and prepare… words of wisdom on how to act when afraid. Like many others I adore this blog and your heart, Julia. I’m a new kid on the block to this community and in the mornings I get excited, wondering what picture and inspiring words you will have for us today.
    I dream about visiting PEI, especially in the fall. Sigh. I fell in love when I first read the Anne of Green Gables series. One can dream 🙂

    • Thanks so much Jenelle, it always makes me so happy if others enjoy what I post. Anxiety has been a huge part of my life for as far back as I can remember. Some of my fears are logical and some are not, but I am gradually learning to distinguish between the two. I’ve never been to PEI but we did to go New Brunswick as well as Nova Scotia, and there are references to Anne everywhere. I bought a small doll of Anne which I use as a Christmas ornament. My good friend Amy who sometimes comments on this blog is a big fan of the Anne books. I only ever read the first one and don’t remember much of it so I should go back and read them again. I hope you are able to travel to that part of Canada someday, it’s beautiful and feels somewhat remote, serene and peaceful. I appreciate your visits here and your comments!

      • Jenelle

        Julia, my friend in MA knows my Anne/PEI obsession (she’s equally obsessed) and bought me a mug with Anne and Gilbert kissing on “their bridge”. But her daughter broke the mug! Sad! So she sent me a picture of the picture and it’s the screen saver on my phone, haha. I love it! The quote underneath it says: “Make room for a little romance in your life Anne, girl. All the degrees and scholarships in the world can’t make up for the lack of it”– Aunt Josephine. Every time I look at the picture I smile and gain more and hope that someday I’ll get there. Thank you sharing all your beautiful pictures with us!

        • You’re welcome, I’m so glad you like them!

  6. Sheila

    Julia, your photograph captures so much detail, evident in all fishing villages,I suppose. You have matched the picture and the quote so perfectly. We live one mile from Murrells Inlet, “Seafood Capital Of South Carolina”. The weather terminology here often includes “Small craft advisory” which certainly is in effect today, because of the wind. I so look forward to the blog that you share here everyday. Sometimes I wonder if my thoughts match what your blog is conveying. I just know that God put us here for each other and I am grateful. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jeff, and Matt going into this week. Sheila

    • Thanks Sheila, I am so glad you found this blog and I have really enjoyed hearing from you. I appreciate your kind words and comments about the posts. I will keep you and Bill in prayers this week, hope you both have a wonderful week.

  7. I saw your picture and before I read the caption, I thought, “That looks like the picture we have on our wall that I took at Peggy’s Cove.” Very fun!
    It’s true that those of us who blog appreciate feedback. Thanks for putting the thought to voice.

    • Yes, places like Peggy’s Cove were probably the inspiration for the word “picturesque.” I had a canvas print made from this particular photo (slightly filtered to appear more as a line drawing), so it’s hanging our wall here too, that is so funny! I’m sure a photo of the lighthouse there will show up here sooner or later. Thanks for being here!

  8. That’s almost a storybook photo, thanks for sharing it, I’ve never been. Just like they’re part of a community that supports them, I think of WordPress like that too. It supportive and generous, I feel I’ve made real connections and enjoy visiting with you and so many others. I’ve only ‘un-followed’ two since I began as they turned out to be not my cup of tea. It’s been a joy.

    • I totally agree, it has been a wonderful surprise. I think folks who blog tend to have a lot in common; we’re all comfortable with reading and writing, and many of us enjoy traveling the world yet enjoy being at home also (or have to be there for whatever reason) so online communities can offer the best of both worlds in many ways.

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