Monday, September 19, 2011


Another boat on my list of dream boats is a 42’ Wharram catamaran. On Secret we had about five old Cruising Worlds, donated by the previous owner, and one had a full-page spread of a Wharram cat, under full crab-rig Chinese sails, coming into harbor. It was like a centerfold. I pored over the article again and again.

It’s hard for me when sailing friends say I’ve swallowed the anchor, when I meet people whose husbands used to race boats in the Gulf of Mexico. The internal battle I feel between motion and stillness is ongoing. It’s merely a peace treaty I’ve signed. I want to be here, yes, in my Snuggie with my foot heater on, frost beginning to show on the buttercup squash, but I also want to be raising sail under a waning moon, setting my sights on Hispaniola. I want to know what the next adventure will be. I want more stamps in my passport, my passport that expired thirteen days ago.

I do cherish the sun more with every day. Every day my walk inches closer toward noon, even now, even before the equinox. I try to tell myself that sun is not a limited resource, that what I lose in autumn here, I make up for in spring and summer. Heat, however, is. It’s not logical, my internal Mr. Spock says. Why would human beings choose to live above the thirtieth degree? More logical is a life closer to the equator.

Still today, wood was lugged, and split, and stacked. I ground up radishes for relish, made brine for pickled peppers. My apples await a magical not-yet-established process to turn them into cider. The basil, which may already be dead from frost, now adorns the glass room. Still no fire. Still no heat.

Today, Garrison Keillor of Minnesota said, half-joking: Then October, and the suffering resumes.

I’m doing my absolute best not to complain. But not complaining is different than acknowledging and dealing with reality. Maybe I’m still unprepared, when on nights like this one, when the temperature dips below 40 degrees, I start daydreaming of setting a course by the stars, of bathing suits and sunscreen, of clinging to a mast while breeze blows off the bow.


wfrenn said...

"To young [wo]men contemplating a voyage I would say go." Joshua Slocum
Renew that passport!

The Capt'n

Melissa said...

As any old sailor would say... The passport renewal is being budgeted, to be sure. If only I could trade turnip greens for a passport.