Hold Fast - Nautical Advice For Everyday Life

Posted by Molly Frazier on

Hold Fast

The phrase “hold fast” isn’t as visible within our brand these days, but we’ve enjoyed keeping it around as homage to our original nautical-themed roots. You may have seen it in many iterations over the years, and we want to dig a little deeper into what the motto means to us.

Hold Fast Wax Seal Necklace

Historically, “hold fast” was a command given to sailors when approaching a storm, warning them to grip tight to the ship’s rigging to avoid being washed overboard by the waves and rain as the ship plunged through the sea. Sailors would often have a “hold fast” tattoo across the knuckles of both hands, and it was quite a fitting location for that reminder. The tattoo was easy to read whenever the bearer had their hands gripped tight around a rope or piece of timber as they rode out a storm. But “hold fast” isn’t just a phrase reserved for sailors braving the journey around Cape Horn; it has modern-day applications for all of us land-dwellers too.

Through The Storms Of Life

We will all face trials and turbulence throughout our time on earth - this is just a fact of life. It doesn’t serve us to ignore that truth, and we would do well to prepare ourselves for inevitable difficulties. In the context of “hold fast,” that entails knowing which anchor points to hold onto during a storm, instead of grasping at any old thing.

The Storm At Galilee, Rembrandt. 1633

That is why it’s important to take stock of the truly important things in your life, the things you don’t want to lose. More than likely, the important parts won’t even be material things when you get down to it. But we need to carry the discernment even further: a job may lend routine and security of a kind, but that’s not the only thing you want to be remembered for at your funeral.

Think about where you spend your time and effort (or where you’d like to be spending it). Maybe your family comes to mind, or a beloved pet, or your community. You might think of your creative hobby or your love of travel and discovery. Are these people or activities anchored within your life, or do they need to be secured in their position?

Stay True

By running a tight ship, sailors always knew that equipment was secure aboard and that they could reach safety points whenever they needed. They stuck to a strict routine for maintaining the ship, not only for their sake but also for the sake of the entire crew. In a similar way, it’s necessary for you to maintain your “ship” and prioritize that effort for those around you.

Sterling Silver Hold Fast Pendant

In some iterations, “hold fast” is only one half of a longer phrase: “hold fast, stay true.” The second half of the phrase may seem like an unnecessary repetition, but it speaks to the long-term mindset of the motto. “Stay true” speaks to the key component of not only knowing what you value in life, but also using them as your guideposts at every opportunity. It can be easy to cling to loved ones during a rough patch, but are you maintaining those relationships during the sunny days as well? Are you structuring your life around your mindset and morals to strengthen yourself overall, and better weather the storms of life in turn?

Hold fast to the things and folks you care for, as they will be what carries you through the storms of life. Stay true to yourself and your crew, and your anchoring forces will remain long after the tempests have passed.

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  • I have this necklace and wear it everyday. It reminds me to hold fast and be unmovable in my standards , morals and beliefs. I love it.

    R John Anker on
  • Wow, very well said. Absolutely wonderful blog post. I truly needed to see and read this today.

    Amber Rains on

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