Some time ago I was watching some show on PBS about travel in another country and I started to notice the boats in the canals and on the rivers. Several nights (or even weeks) later we were watching Doc Martin, a PBS series about a surgeon who faints at the sight of blood who has been assigned to serve in a coastal community some great distance from London. There too I was noticing the boats that were in the little harbor and I grew quite fascinated with the look of the boats. They were different, significantly, from the boats of Europe on the rivers and canals and all quite different than what we are used to seeing here.
Growing up I spent my summers at a cottage in Holland, Michigan. There on the shore of Lake Michigan there was a smaller lake as well, Lake Macatawa, which offered great harbor space for thousands of boats. Holland was the site of two manufacturing plants for boats during the fifties and sixties; Roamer Yachts and Chris Craft. Grand pleasure yachts came from these factories of lengths of up to sixty feet. I do not claim to be a boat historian, nor do I have a great storehouse of knowledge about pleasure boats, or working boats, or boating design. But I know what I see and what I see is a significantly different look and style of boats around the world.
People around the world have been developing boats for thousands of years. Boats that would serve their particular need, the makeup of the water the boat was to be used on, and what the boat would need to carry; were all factors in how the boat would develop. The Vikings developed a very different looking boat from the Polynesians, whose boat looked very different from the Asians and the Alaskans and the Native tribes of the Americas. Though their powers of reason, their intellect, their creativity and the need; they each developed a look, style and propulsion system that was unique. Even when one looks at boats designed strictly for pleasure, fifty to seventy-five years ago, one can see a distinct difference when looking around the world.
With the recent launch and departure of the mega-yacht from Palmer Johnson and some idyll time searches looking at pleasure boats around the world today, they are, in my mind, looking more and more alike. As ideas are shared and as we become more of a one-world society in some ways modern boats are losing their characteristic differences in styling.
Religious practices have developed in ways not unlike the above talked about boat designs. While generally quite similar religious practices have taken on very distinct differences in practice and ideology while remaining generally about connecting with what is considered sacred among us. Societal and cultural differences, individual creativity, and the materials at hand would lead any group of people to develop different practices and traditions and so it happened with religion as well. What is common is the inner need to connect with the sacred in order to feel the greater essence that we are all a part of in the world today.
Who is the one who has revealed the sacred One to you?
What is important in the practices you have ritualized?