Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made. – Robert N. Rose


Richard Bode, author of “First you have to row a little boat,” learned at the early age of twelve that before he could sail the bay, cross the ocean, cruise the world, there were a few things he needed to learn for himself—like learning how to move backward toward the goals of his life. Sitting in the center of his little craft, facing the stern, destination someplace behind him that he couldn’t see, he learned to guide himself by a cultivated inner sense of direction. What he learned wasn’t so much mastery over the elements as it was mastery over himself, which is what conquest is ultimately all about.

“If we want to teach our children self-reliance, then we shouldn’t take them to the diamond or gridiron. We should take them down to a river, a lake or a bay and let them learn to row a little boat.”

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Photo by Jan Logozzo

Posted in Joy

8 thoughts on “Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made. – Robert N. Rose

  1. Great thoughts. I love rowing, but never thought about it as clearly as Richard Bode. Makes perfect sense. And I totally agree with the last quote, we don’t help our children much by making them sit on silk pillows – as we say in Norway.


    1. Love the silk pillows expression…summarizes it well! My father taught me to row a boat when I was barely big enough to manage the oars, and though I never really thought of it that way, in its own way it gave me a wonderful sense of self confidence and freedom.


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