Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Shifing the balance

Our current stay inland is winding down. Yesterday was my final trip to the dentist to get a missing cap replaced. Later in the afternoon we said good-by to Daughter Youngest and her Daughter, always a tough thing for me. We are hoping for a solid offer on the condo before we leave, but it is on the market and that was what we needed to get done. Friends David and Nancy are headed this way; our ride back to Oak Harbor and home.

Today has that weird feeling of hanging in the balance, something that happens on every trip back to the loved ones. Sometime before we actually leave the focus will start to shift forward to the trip back east and the work we need to do to get Kintala in the water. Five big projects remain; bottom, bow, solar panel, interior / inverter mod, and auto-helm. Six if I include painting the non-skid. Or seven if the rigging inspection comes up with anything. Eight maybe, if adding a remote oil filter, changing all of the other filters, and getting the engine checks done gets included as a “major” project. Only the bottom paint and bow work need done to get the boat back riding to her anchor somewhere in the Chesapeake Bay, so I expect those to take top priority.

I am noticing an oddity to these trips back inland. On the one hand it gets harder and harder to leave Daughters, Sons-in Law, and Grand kids. This is especially so since it is likely our forays back to this place will get spaced further and and further apart as (if) we range farther and farther afield. A year isn't much time to a cruiser. But grand babies, only months or weeks old now, will not be babies a year from now.

On the other, it gets easier and easier to leave the rest of land life. In fact there is an increasing impulse to get as far away from it as possible, as soon as possible.

Maybe it's because the 2016 auction for the White House is under way. If you haven't paid any attention, let me tell you, most of the people offering themselves up for sale are plain, flat-out, nut cases. Somehow this system works up-side-down. The very worst of us rise to the top and vie for one of the most powerful positions in the world of politics. I understand it takes a serious bit of ego for someone to think they are the ones to do the job. But when did being a megalomaniac become part of the equation? Being far off shore when any of them takes the Oath of Office seems like a good idea.

Maybe American politics really isn't the problem. It has, after all, been this way for my entire adult life. Maybe it's just being exposed to the constant noise and rush and fear of living the American Dream. Those of us who live on the ocean live with a different kind of clock. Most noise comes from a natural cause. There is a different timbre and cadence, and it doesn't grind on the psyche like the noise of a siren or low flying helicopter.

Rushing around boats is usually bad form. It will lead to getting far less done at the expense of far more effort. And, anyway, "rushing" a sailboat is an exercise in futility. "In a hurry" and "on a sailboat" are contradictory ideas.

Fear is a thing most sailors know. But, most of the time anyway, we are afraid of real things. The seas a big, the forecast is wrong, or that wall cloud bearing down in the anchorage is going to rock our world for real and true. Supposed terrorists riding around on decrepit pick-up trucks a half a world a way? Nope, not far up on the things that scare me while out on open water.

It could be that my need to be back on the boat comes from getting a little crazy myself as the years go by. The reality of Mother Ocean and Sister Sky keeps me from falling off the (left) edge of the planet. Somehow the ocean feels more solid and life-bearing than does the concrete under a city. Bits of the sky peaking between the buildings is one thing; stars blazing from horizon to horizon quite another. Nothing will settle a spirit like being face to face with an entire universe.

Or maybe I have just learned to love a life that is simple, a light burden for the earth to carry, and connected with like-minded people living in the same environment. I am a content member of the cruising tribe now, in spite of the work and the effort. (See the list of stuff I need to do above.) It is where I need to be for my life to make any sense at all.

See, the balance is shifting already.

1 comment:

tod german said...

Great post, they say leaving grandchildren is hard for cruisers. Keep posting, you give hope to us wanna-be sailors.