blessing the boats by Lucille Clifton: Reading and Meditation

May 13, 2020  • Executive Leadership Seminars Department

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blessing the boats, Lucille Clifton


Change is often accompanied by fear as the tides move us from one stage of life to the next. In times of transition, what would it mean for you to “kiss the wind” and live with the certainty that it will love your back, guiding you to where you’re meant to be?

This poem is one that’s often read at graduations, memorials, or milestone moments of transformation and transition. How do you respond to change in your life? As you embrace new stages of life, what do you see in the water waving before you? Lucille Clifton deliberately chooses the word “sail” through this to that, bringing an intense imagery of movement through embrace, rather than movement through work or through struggle. When was the last time you let the winds carry you to your destination, rather than harness it? What happens if you let go, carrying only your innocence and the certainty that the wind will love your back? 

Brianna Curran, Washington, DC

Wellsprings of Living and Leading
April 15, 2020 •