The Gift of Connection
GYLI was a truly transformational experience for me for many reasons, the main being that it gave me the gift of connection. While on the Mystic Whaler for my Year One experience, I learned about my connection with the Earth, with my community, and with myself (just to name a few). To be able to take a break from the world and the constant need to connect actually deepened our connections. I found that I made some of my closest friends on the boat in just a few days. My roommate, who shared this tiny cabin with me, has now become one of my best friends.
One of my favorite memories with her was when there was a major rainstorm. This storm was just DOWN POURING. I couldn’t see ten feet off of the boat. It was so much fun because we were so drenched, despite our best efforts of putting on raincoats- that we just ended up using no raincoat and standing on the deck in our regular clothes. My roommate and I were laughing so hard while just standing out in the rain. When we changed, we laid our wet clothes out everywhere in our cabin. When other people saw our cabin, they were astounded by how much water there was. It was like the rainstorm came into our cabin. We still laugh about that memory today.
Another memory I have of the rainstorm was when we were tasked with shucking corn for dinner. In order to shuck the corn, you went up to the deck and threw the corn hulls over the side of the boat. One of the chaperones on the trip started singing, “We are shucking corn in the rain,” to make everyone feel better from being miserably wet. That song and that memory of shucking corn in the rain is another reason why GYLI was such a special experience for me. When in our busy lives are we able to happily stand in the rain, drenched, and shuck corn? Never.
It seemed as if the disconnection with our hectic modern lives actually connected us more with each other, with the environment, and with ourselves. GYLI taught me that we must disconnect in order to connect, a lesson that proves to be valuable in my everyday life.