Don’t Miss the Boat!

I first came across the following poem while visiting the very scenic Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, back in May. – It reminds me how important it is to remain “tuned in” – not distracted by external influence, during any time of great decision:


Missing the Boat

by Naomi Shihab-Nye

It is not so much that the boat passed
and you failed to notice it.
It is more like the boat stopping
directly outside your bedroom window,
the captain blowing the signal-horn,
the band playing a rousing march.

The boat shouted, waving bright flags,
its silver hull blinding in the sunlight.

But you had this idea you were going by train.

You kept checking the time-table,
digging for tracks.

And the boat got tired of you,
so tired it pulled up the anchor
and raised the ramp.

The boat bobbed into the distance,
shrinking like a toy—
at which point you probably realized
you had always loved the sea.



  1. […] Assuming you have some goal, some activity, or some… thing you want to do. You must realize that nothing worthwhile was ever accomplished without having to overcome a few obstacles. Some of my friends are freelancers facing constant uncertainty while others work 80+ hours per week with families to raise. It may sometimes feel like you've boarded a cruz ship headed further out to sea when you were meant to make landfall. The trick is not necessarily to jump ship and swim ashore. Rather, to chart a course that will steer the ship in your direction. Direct and redirect as much as needed, but don't miss the boat! […]

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