Thoughts for No One in Particular

Old ship sets sail anew

Today is a holiday in my homeland called “Marine Day,” a day to be thankful of the benefits we reap from the seas and wish for prosperity from maritime gifts. This holiday was newly created while I lived abroad, so I did not really understand what it was about and I never really bothered to find out… until today. How could I scribble about it here, if I do not know well enough?

 

So, I went to see the very origin of this day:

 

Meiji-maru

 

This is a ship that was built approximately 140 years ago originally as a lighthouse tender vessel. But it was such a state-of-the-art ship at the time, it also served as the royal ship… the ship that took the then His Highness around the country and brought him safely back to home on this date, the date now commemorated as Marine Day (technically, the exact date is July 20th, but we have made the holiday fall on Monday to always make it a long weekend).

 

Just how avant-garde was the ship, you ask? It has undergone quite a few make-over works to maintain her beauty over the years, but take a look at its still luxurious lounge…

 

Meiji-maru_Lounge

 

… and the gorgeous salon…

 

Meiji-maru_Salon

 

… and last but certainly not the least, the exquisite royal suite!

 

Meiji-maru_Royal_Suite

 

Well, I was pleased that I now knew fairly well where it all began. But I was fascinated to find out how it unfolded from there. After serving as a lighthouse tender and occasionally as the royal ship for about twenty years, it retired from the workforce to become a training vessel for over five thousand marine professionals in roughly fifty years. It also saved many many lives at times of natural and man-made disasters serving as an emergency shelter, before it finally hung up its… well, screws and settled down where it is today.

 

It was designated as an “important cultural asset” the year I was born (what a coincidence… I feel so much closer to it now!), for being the only existing ship made of iron in my country. It is viewed as a valuable resource to tell the ship-building techniques of the iron ship era, and is taken good care of to remain as beautiful and full of knowledge for many more years to come.

 

Maybe times change whether you are ready for it or not.

Maybe you are the Fortune’s favourite one moment, but on the brink of oblivion the next.

Maybe you will feel defeated and heart-broken falling from grace.

 

But maybe there is always another way in life, as this old ship has repeatedly set sail anew.

Maybe the new direction will bring about a different kind of satisfaction and accomplishment in your life.

And maybe one day, all you have gone through will become important assets to you (and to many others).

 

Who says old ships cannot set sail anew? Certainly not this ship!

 

In which direction will it set sail for going forward?

No one can tell just yet, but I get the feeling it will find a brand new life once again, just as it has up until now.

 

Meiji-maru_Steering_Wheel

“Take the wheel and set sail anew!”

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