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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 78 - Set Sail

2 Jul 2011

Hi everyone,

Summer has finally arrived!  I hope to make use of my Ontario Events and Festivals guidebook to bring me to different events in
Ontario.  It is my ticket to much of what Ontario has to offer and it is right in my own backyard! If you wish to take a look at the booklet, go to http://flipflashpages.uniflip.com/2/31315/88764/pub/index.html or visit the Ontario tourism website at www.ontariotravel.net/TCISSegmentsWeb/main.portal?language=EN.

I am the daughter of a sea captain.  My dad loved travelling around the world and sailing the high seas.  The only thing he did not like was leaving his family at home.  I love to travel, but, my heart is always thinking about my mom at home.  I have those same feelings which my dad had felt.  If seasickness had not plagued by mother, I thought we could have sailed year round.  That was my childhood dream!  There is just something about being on the water that made me feel at home.  I wonder if it has something to do with my ancestors, who most likely lived near a river or a body of water since my surname means "river" in Chinese. 

For years, I have looked at opportunities to take my feet off the shore and getting on boats.  I have been on all kinds of boats in my life -- large ocean vessels, tugboats, row boats, sailboats, paddle boats, ferry boats, and jet foil.  I would not be surprised if I have missed something.  But, today, I am thinking about a different kind of boat which represents change.  For me, change is natural and not so scary, yet, it can sometimes be frustrating.  As some of you may recall, my attempts to escape from life in a cubicle brought me to some wonderful people and experiences.  I have travelled to many places, although you have not heard all about them here on KaTsZoNe.  In 2006-2007, I met several Canadian musicians - some of whom I have kept in touch with from time to time.  I wanted to see if a pursuing a career involving music (as a songwriter or entertainment law) was for me.  So, briefly, I left the shores and hopped into a boat.  I eventually went back to shore again, but, there was a change, and that was to work in a different area of law. 

As I get older, I think that whenever the boat starts to sail away, the gap between my feet and the shore appears to widen.  Sometimes, I just don't know what or how to decide.  It sounds quite funny, but, the widening gap makes me nervous.  Should I stay on land or get both feet into the boat again?  As funny as it may sound, I am afraid that indecisiveness will cause me to fall into the depths of the ocean.

I have watched passengers getting into boats.  Kids and youths may be very quick to hop into a small boat or dash quickly along the ramp to a larger vessel.  They are excited about the journey, short or long, and perhaps, they look forward to their destination.  When we get older, we take more time and are more hesitant to jump off the shore and into a boat.  There may be a bit more anxiety about travelling and leaving the safe, comfortable shores.

Have you ever felt like you had one foot on the shore and one foot on the boat?  Have you been trying to make some decisions such as a career change, getting out or into a relationship, having kids, going back to school, moving to a different city, buying your first home, starting your own business?  At some point, we need to make big decisions in life.  Based on my own experience, you can't keep one foot on land and one foot on the boat for too long -- well, especially if the boat is about to set sail!  If you are a great swimmer, no problem!  I am not a strong swimmer but I can keep my head above water.  However, as much as I love sailing on the water and being near the water, which to me is very comfortable and calm, I am not crazy about being IN THE WATER!  Falling into the gap between the boat and the dock is not an option!  At this point in my life, I know I have fallen in between the gap several times!  But, if you have never fallen into the water, you will not know whether you will sink or swim.  I have realized that I did not sink.  I can swim and in order to swim well, it takes practice. 

As Canadians celebrate Canada Day on July 1st and Americans celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July, let's think about what those days are about.  Since the arrival of the early European explorers, those who have come after them have a similar spirit.  All have dared to set their feet on boats and planes, bringing faith, hopes and dreams with them.  Many did not know what awaited them at their destination, yet, they took a chance and reached out to something better for themselves and for their families.  Is failure an option?  It doesn't sound like it, but, like I've said, if you don't fall into the gap between the boat and the dock, you won't know whether you will sink or swim.  I'm so glad that our parents, grandparents and perhaps, several generations of ancestors before us, came to
Canada and the U.S.  So, when we celebrate this weekend, we should try to reflect with great pride, and appareciate the hardy spirit which they possessed.  Those who left their comfortable shores and moved across the oceans did not always make a quick, perfect leap.  They simply refused to sink!  They learned to swim! 

Thanks for joining me for another episode of KaTsZoNe.

I wish you a Happy Canada Day/Happy 4th of July! 



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