The Art of Extraction
By: Lara Dustin Scriba
(3 min. read)
The past two months have been full of travel to see friends and family before we head south to Mexico again. In between traveling, there have been a ton of extra logistics to tackle, projects to complete, provisioning, and boat parts to purchase before we set sail. It has been a bit of a frenetic pace as the obligations of our normal lives, like full-time work schedules, boat maintenance, and homeschooling the kids, are still running strong.
It wasn’t until I was extracted from my daily routines and environment that I was able to take some time to breathe and reflect. I always fly home once a year to see my family on the East Coast, so I pack up my boys, and we usually stay for three weeks or so. After a week of visiting, we are finding ourselves settling into a slower rhythm, which feels amazing. There has been a theme, though, that seems to be a throughline of all the conversations I’ve been having with all the different families that have come to visit. We are all deeply craving LESS. Less obligation, less noise, less people, less distraction…
This deep, recurring desire made me curious, though, as when you initially think of extracting things from your life, there is the initial interpretation that there is a void, that having or experiencing less equates to a less fulfilling life. But the sentiment that I see shine through is that by taking away the external noise and distractions that are devoid of any true value, it creates space for simplicity yet depth of experience.
Reminding me of the exact reason our family has chosen the cruising life. Living such an untraditional life can sometimes lend itself to a sense of isolation, but after having so many similar conversations, I realize that so many of us are craving the same thing: a simple yet deeply meaningful life.
The spaciousness that simplicity affords allows us to explore the world, one another, or ourselves rather than falling victim to the constant noise and distraction that always vies for our attention. The cadence of our breath and thoughts slow to a beautiful rhythm like the waves of the ocean. Within that wave, there is a powerful flow of energy moving through the water. Yet when there are too many external forces present, that’s when the waves get chaotic.
In this phase of preparation to leave to go sailing, it seems counterintuitive, but the flurry of activity is necessary because we so deeply crave simplicity. We move mountains in order to extract ourselves from the noise and business of the modern world.
Once we are there, we let ourselves sync with the rhythms of nature. Our day-to-day life is no longer predictable or necessarily easy, but there is a simplicity and attunement to nature, one another, and self that deeply fuels the soul. We wake to the rise of the sun, move when weather permits, and eat meals that are dictated by the state of the sea. It is both an ultimate act of surrender and active co-creation with nature—an incredibly humbling yet ecstatic feeling.
I am so deeply grateful for this bit of a pause to reconnect with my “why.” Allowing me to ground and recenter but also reminding me to take advantage of this simplicity and slower pace afforded to me here on land as well. To revel in the slow mornings, walks in the sunshine, precious moments with my family, and the laughter we share, reminiscing over old pictures and old stories to savor the moments that really matter.
I find that as we get older, we are all learning to master the art of extraction. Letting go in order to embrace simplicity while also refining and tuning into the deeper energetic undercurrents that truly fuel our hearts and souls. Mindfully creating a living, evolving work of art that is uniquely our own.