Take your eyes off the old . . !


LEAVING your comfort zone is very difficult and sometimes painful. In my book, DARE, I have a chapter, “Dare to leave your comfort zone” but today I’m not going to quote from my book, but from a story, possibly a true one, written by Katherina Seidler:

‘The waves were rhythmically sloshing beneath the keel of the Santa Maria, the flag atop the mast was fluttering above the billowing sail. The East wind had been blowing for 36 days!

Pedro leaned over the railing and stared with burning eyes as the Canary Islands disappeared over the horizon. “What are you dreaming about Pedro?” asked Columbus as he placed an encouraging hand on the sailor’s shoulder.

“Land is disappearing Admiral; there go the last mountain tops of Spain,” said Pedro wistfully and with a deep sigh continued, “And out here there is nothing but the East wind. How can we ever get back to Spain with that? My wife and children are waiting for me at Palos”

Columbus looked kindly at the homesick sailor, “Turn yourself around. Behind your back beckons India. Doesn’t it lure you with its treasures? Don’t fame and adventure attract you?”

Pedro nodded but said, “Yes, they certainly do Admiral sir, but I miss my family, my boat, the safe harbour, the streets and my hometown. Those were so pleasant to come home to every evening!”

“Pull yourself together and prove yourself a man!” Columbus shouted as he grabbed Pedro’s shoulders and shook him, “As an experienced sailor, you know fully well, that no one discovers new coasts until he takes his eyes off the old one!”

Well Columbus discovered more than India, he discovered America, the richest land in the world, and I can well imagine that Pedro must have benefitted immensely from the discovery. This morning I heard that a close friend’s two daughters were going abroad to study. They’ve grown up in a very loving family and it must be a very tough decision, but one they’ve dared to take. My cook’s daughter also has decided to leave for Canada, and I’m noticing many of the younger generation are venturing out, what about you?

What’s the move you have to make? Decision to move from the city you live in or housing complex? Or is it, that you’ve moved and instead of making new friends in the new place, like Pedro you keep looking back, missing old friends?

A lot of that, ‘looking back’ keeps us from enjoying the newness around! Or it could be you’ve lost a loved one, or split up with someone and instead of living in the present, live in past memories? Pedro must have dragged his eyes from his beloved Spain after Columbus spoke to him, but must have been a happy man later for, ‘taking his eyes of the old..!”


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