In my eleven year voyage around the world, I had the opportunity to
experience nearly four-thousand sunrises and sunsets. That's one of
the reasons I like living on a yacht; I have the privilege of seeing
the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening.
In large cities, it's rare to see sunrise
and sunset. In the morning you are still asleep when the sun comes up, and in the evening most people watch television rather
than gaze at the setting sun. It's not surprising that city dwellers
don't see sunrise and sunset. Tall
buildings surround them on all sides making it impossible to view the
horizon. Their sun isn't visible until it is well up in the sky.
Cities are horizon destroyers. When I'm living in a city, distant
horizons aren't part of my world, and I never think about them. I can
only see as far as the other side of the street and down the block; the
horizon isn't anywhere in sight. That's probably one of the reasons
why I don't like living in cities. My world doesn't feel right when I
can't see the horizon. I live in a shrunken world that no longer extends out to the horizon. My
world is a few square feet in size when I'm in an elevator, and a few square
blocks when I'm outside taking a walk. The dimensions of my world
continually shift throughout the day depending on what I am doing.
When I enter the subway, my world shrinks. When I'm in Central Park,
my world expands, but still I live in a horizonless world.
When I do expeditionary travel in the desert, my horizon
extends out to a couple of miles, and suddenly I start feeling better.
I know that when the sun goes down, there will be an awesome sunset.
The same thing happens at sea. My horizon extends five
miles in every direction, and sunrise and sunset become a routine part of my
Horizons have a salubrious effect on my mind. When
I look at the horizon, I feel my world expand. Not only do I have the
pleasure of watching the sun come up in the morning and set in the evening,
I realize that I can point the bow of my yacht in any direction and sail
over the horizon to a new life.
The horizonless world is unnatural. It's a world of man-made wonders
that don't do much for me. A widescreen TV is a poor substitute for a
real horizon that extends as far as the eye can see. What I'm really
talking about is freedom. If your world has no horizons, then it's
likely you aren't free. You have mortgages, cars, and endless
infrastructure to support in your horizonless world.
When I'm on my yacht, the horizon continually beckons me onward.. I don't know what will happen over the
horizon, but that's ok, because I am sailing on the ocean of my dreams.
I'm living in a world of far horizons, and life is good.