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Making the Most of Your Commute

When what matters is listening to practically nothing at all

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Playful Sedna by Kakulu Saggiaktok

During the commercial fishing season, I serve as weekend crew on a 40-foot trap net boat on Lake Michigan. This line of work involves extended periods of time riding in the boat between port and where the various nets are anchored in place. It differs from the world portrayed in the popular series Deadliest Catch; it’s slower, and yet at times quite dangerous, given the Great Lakes’ sudden weather changes.Not today: the water is glass calm as we motor along, the diesel rumbling evenly, and an occasional seagull punctuating the sky. The steel boat is designed for heavy-duty work, with an open deck for the nets to slide across, and a small pilothouse at the bow. The captain at the helm is a fourth-generation commercial fisherman. He and I just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary.I love when we are out on the water, even though it involves hard work. It is peaceful, with the horizon stretching to infinity beyond the pine-and-sand islands. Inside, the pilothouse is strewn with weatherworn tools, rain gear, errant fish scales, and a single thermos filled with hot coffee.Today the boat ride feels lo …

About the Author

As Deputy COO of Spirituality & Health Media, Meggen Watt Petersen contributes her expertise across the board, including to the editorial team. She has written on matters of interfaith or international relations throughout her career.

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