January sucks. I had to get that out of my system. I just hate this month with its long darkness. The sense of urgency I feel to get out of here and into someplace with more sunlight can be simply overwhelming at times, causing sleepless nights, irritability, and thoughts of simply walking out the door, getting on the boat we have, and sailing away. So I frequently have to smack myself into thinking more clearly about The Plan. The smacking happens more easily on days like this: filled with sunshine and being on the boat. It’s cold, but at least down here at the marina we can get the benefit of whatever sun is available this time of year.
We’ve been spending a lot of time looking at boats lately and this has led me down the garden path into thinking that we’re closer to leaving than we actually are. Fantasy is really so much more enjoyable than physical reality. What we really need to be doing is selling Moonrise. So we’ve begun preparing her for sale. This is kindred to a grieving process since boats, as everyone knows, have consciousness and personality. Moonrise is a steady, supportive boat filled with kindness and a sense of adventure. She is upbeat and sincere, and like a good and faithful dog, always wants to please. We have had many years of good times in this worthy boat and being down here at the marina, working on her to get her ready for sale, gives me time to reflect on these times and to be glad I’ve had them. If it were not for Moonrise, I would not even be considering long distance cruising, and she knows it. Moonrise has shown me that it is completely possible to feel safe and secure while on the water, even in nasty weather.
So first, get Moonrise on the market. Concurrently, we need to prepare to rent out our house. This causes yet more of those feelings of grief. It’s hard for me to leave houses. I left houses all the time as I was growing up, a brat with a military father. So I tend to get rather attached to them, and at the same time I resent this attachment. Probably no one except another kid with an upbringing like mine can understand this pathetic and delicate rapprochement. Our house is filled with sweat equity. Every room bears witness to the countless hours we spent making our house the home it is today.
And I cannot even begin to express my dismay at leaving my garden. I have begun to withdraw from the emotion of it in order to continue to move forward with the plan. The huge pond and waterfall I built with my own hands, my koi, raised from tiny babies and protected lovingly from herons and their ilk. The greenhouse Mike insisted I needed and built for me. The garden walls I built, using my own red cement mixer. The berm in the back, built with the cooperation and help of my many gardening friends. My hundreds of lily bulbs. My thousands of dollars worth of rare plants that no one but me can identify. My 30 or so different types of hydrangeas, many of which cannot replaced. Who will protect my emerging hostas from slugs? Who will know to go up to the witch hazel and sniff the flowers in the dead of winter? Who will know, when the Himalayan lilies bloom again in about 4 years, that this is a rare and wonderful thing? How will anyone else appreciate these things, much less care for them? If I think too much about it, I will get a little crazy.
So I prepare to walk away from this, because it’s the only way we can move on to the next part of our lives and not get stuck in the same old rut forever, until we die, old and unfulfilled. My worst nightmare. I’d really like to skip over all of this part and just move on to the boat shopping. I tried that and it worked for awhile. But then I remembered that we already have a boat, and a house, and that I’m supposed to be getting these things ready to be released into the universe. So that I, too, can be released.