Monday, June 23, 2014

Storms and choices

The Mother ship filled the western horizon. Another monster storm was headed our way and it looked wicked. (I would have preferred a real mother ship complete with big-eyed aliens, this endless run of thunderstorms is starting to get old.) The wall cloud spanned at least 20 miles and sported a clear rotation. Tendrils of cloud hung low in scary places and no one, least of all me, would have been surprised if a full blown ugly started probing for the ground below.

Daughter Eldest, Son-in-Law Second, and grand kids second and sixth had joined us for dinner. They spent most of the day at a Spanish Mass, having started their Sunday hours before mine. Grampy T (that would be me) is a happy heathen who sleeps in on Sundays without a second thought, yet virtually all of the people I love most in the world are people of faith. In fact Son-in-Law First is a Catholic Priest. (It is a long story that I don't actually understand myself.) They all love me as much as I love them so all is well in the extended family of Kintala. If the rest of the human family would learn to do the same, much would be better in their world as well.

The Mother ship drew closer and the radar image showed a pronounced bow echo pushing our way. We made haste to clear the decks of anything that could go flying in the expected wind gust and literally battened down the hatches. Grand child second joined me under the dodger looking for signs of water spouts. Truth to tell I would rather have had them all in a jet, eight miles high and able to run at 500 knots. But I left that world more than a year ago. Corporate America burned my life down without a care (metaphorically speaking) in a Board Room dog fight. It wasn't the first time the powers that be had praised me for years for my excellent work on their behalf, then showed me the door without so much as a "thank you".  But I was determined to make it the last. We pointed Kintala's bow toward the horizon and never looked back. This is not to say that, should America ever decide to free itself from the tyranny of profit-over-everything, I will pass on the chance to (metaphorically speaking – of course) burn down the houses of those who torched mine. But I live on the ocean now, far way from those kinds of people and glad of it. Part of that means swinging the bow into the storm and accepting what comes.

Daughter Eldest and family live on the nearby Floating Bear for different reasons. They are artists and writers, creators of beauty and seekers of truth in a culture that has rejected both. For them the American Dream of endless hours spent serving the god of profit-over-everything, to pay for things they don't really want or need, amounts to a soul crushing life of misery. They are seeking a different path, one which also requires swinging the bow into the storm and accepting what comes.

And so our little family of social rejects (which is just the opposite of how it sounds) watched the Mother ship swallow the city of Coconut Grove. Whatever that rotating wall cloud was spawning was now hidden in the rain shield sweeping across the mooring field. The winds built, 15 – 20 – 25 – touched 30, and then fell away. Rain pounded the waves flat. Lighting flashed, thunder shook the rigging... Deb served up the dinner she had been cooking and all was well.

Sometimes, not always but sometimes, the storms we face for daring to live a different way are full of bluster and noise and are scary looking, but pass without doing any real harm. The rain eased and the crew of Floating Bear rode the dink home. I sat in my cockpit and watched the lightning flash and fade on the far horizon. Overhead the stars shone while off to the side the clouds glowed with the city lights. Kintala rode easy to her mooring. We don't live like most people do and that suits me just fine.

We will be on the move soon, but not as far north as we thought. Too much time was needed to do that thing I needed to do. Kintala and The Floating Bear will move north about 30 miles, risking the Florida heat, bugs, and hurricanes this year. We will do what we need to do, and then keep going.

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