Zen and the art of delay…

Spiritual lessons often come in unusual situations…

Strange to think that a lowly starter-motor could provide such an enlightening opportunity!

By now I should have been well north of Glada Hudik, or happy Hudiksvall as it is known in Sweden. However, a tapestry of events sees me remain in a state of pine-scented bliss at the Borka Sailing Club, infused in the tranquillity of the present moment among the forests. Here are evenings where darkness is but a memory and the silence a balm for my weary mind, interrupted only by the sigh of a gentle breeze and the lullaby of almost imperceptible motion at the gateway to my dreams; I could stay here forever.

The new moon rises above the forest.

The new moon rises above the forest.

Last night I sat in quiet meditation watching the moon rising above the forest while my breath anchored me in perfect presence. The whole of time seemed to stop and it felt as if there was no longer a ‘me’. None of this would have been possible if my starter-motor hadn’t taken so long to repair; in fact, that chapter remains incomplete, time opening into the void: no longing, no grasping, no anger, no impatience…

It is what it is, and that’s good enough for this sailor.

The saga began with me extracting ‘Sally’ (let’s call it Sally starter-motor, to shorten the missive) and handing it over to Tommy, who then gave it to Peter a local mechanic, who knew someone called Kurt in the village. The plot thickens and this is still only Act one! Kurt attempted to open Sally up and test her by fitting her into his car by running up to Hudiksvall. The following week he returned to Borka and handed Sally back to Tommy, who passed her to me like a strange cosmic rugby game. I carefully reinstalled the poor old lady, turned on the ignition and…


Oh dear, not good.

And so begins Act Two in this Norse Comic tragedy, involving a phone call to Micke, who comes up with the idea of contacting Anders, a local mechanic/inventor; a whiz with all types of machinery. Maybe he possesses the elixir of life that will awaken Sally from her long slumber?

That evening at nearly eleven o’clock, while I was reading on deck (I know, it sounds crazy but that’s Scandinavia in summer for you) a jolly chap walked along the jetty and entered, stage right. Yes… it was Anders.

This lovely man joined me in testing Sally again and confirmed that my diagnostic testing was correct, kindly admitting that I was quite a good mechanic, something very few men have ever commended me with. Anders then removed Sally again and suggested taking her away to Hudiksvall to find… (fanfare)

‘Diesel Otto’!

He is an old German gentleman, revered for his almost god-like qualities in all things diesel, as his name implies. His specialities are fuel pumps and starter-motors. Rumour had it that he was dead, but according to Anders, he is very much alive, but hard to find. Could this be a possible duel resurrection, Otto and Sally coming back to life?

And so ends Act Two.

Time twists and weaves around me but I remain firmly anchored in the present what is. There is a powerful spiritual message in all of this, despite the light-hearted nature of my account. So often our lives are blighted with stress from the pressure of time, and yet if one takes a moment to breathe and return to the now, maybe closer examination will reveal a place untouched by the past or the future.

The Saga has reached an interesting stage. What is the Viking Queen’s part in this metaphysical dance, this Lila, if you will? The only real choice she has is her reaction to what is. Will she grasp at the future, kicking up a storm to try and resolve the problem, or just cultivate patience, allowing the actors on this stage the chance to complete their parts? Maybe this is spirit’s way to gently heal her path and teach true surrender; to cease the eternal battle against the environment she graces?

So many questions…

With the Northern climax of my saga so near, it would indeed appear to be a great disappointment to finish here, but the inner Camino has taught her lessons about the true path and what it means to be complete. She has to lean back into the great Cosmic Unknown and trust in the Holy Spirit.

Plenty of time for contemplation.

Plenty of time for contemplation.

‘And a great peace descended upon the eternal warrior,

her axe no longer cutting a swathe.

This need to prove her worthy,

now in Valhalla laid.’


About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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9 Responses to Zen and the art of delay…

  1. christisn says:

    Glad that you are enjoying the extra time there and still being one with all that around you. Your own batteries should be fully charged. Lovely pictures as all ways. Have a cup of coffee for me.

  2. Rosemarie Nitschke says:

    Dear Poppy, I’ve been away and am now just getting settled in back home. I love what you have written and feel that you are truly finding your way to your soul self. That is really what all of life is all about. We create those outside circumstances that help us to understand that it’s always been with us all along. It is that trust that we have a greater inner wisdom and that there are no mistakes ;). Will write a longer mail soon. It’s late…. Love you and am with you in my heart! Rose

    • Viking Queen says:

      Welcome back Rose! I love your wisdom and remember those wonderful conversations in Edinburgh. I look at those few days as an awakening of sorts. Certainly you helped to create a sacred space in that beautiful city, and now that very space seems to have infiltrated my life, right enough. I look forward to your longer email and am also with you in my heart. I miss your teaching. Bless you.

  3. Rose says:

    Bless you! I also wish we could sit together and talk and let nature inspire our communion. Maybe just sit and enjoy our presence in silence under the northern skies. You put it well speaking of that inner space that is becoming part of your life. It’s a beautiful space that allows peace and quiet to be at home in us. Thank you for your inspiration in my life through your openness and your truthfulness. You are a free spirit. I have learned from my evening with LD Thompson that my life isn’t out there – rather it’s something that I am creating in every moment from within. It changes everything, seeing it from that perspective. It is very empowering.

  4. Viking Queen says:

    True wisdom Rose… Maybe i can visit Canada sometime. It’s a country I’ve always wanted to see. I’m glad you’ve had such a wonderful time in Europe. I’m glad we met in Edinburgh. Wonderful serendipity!

  5. And so continues this spiritual journey. I have tuned back in and can’t wait to see what unfolds.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Amanda! How lovely to have you back again. It’s been a little quiet since you went on your hols! What’s new?

      • Thanks, Poppy. I am well rested and rejuvenated, ready to cope with the rigours of life in modern society, thanks to my wonderful sojourn in the north getting back to my Viking roots. Since coming back, I have tried to use more of my free time to paint, but have been tempted back to the blogging world the last few days! Words can enrich us as much as art, I think!

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