|A scene of Thanksgiving|
Give me peace like a river,
Give me love like an ocean,
Give me joy like a fountain
In my soul,
In my soul.
-- African-American Spiritual
Peace Like a River
Water is the foundation of all life.
We're mostly made of water. Our blood surges with the moon, washing in waves through heart and mind. Deny us water and we wither and founder in short order.
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," we say, affirming between the words that water is life.
For the last too long, Anke and I have been building a new home on the shore side of water's edge. Our foundations firm in ashes and dust. Sleeping in a cradle unrocked. Dreaming of the other side - the wet side - of the line between sea and shore.
But we've crossed over.
Our vessel is set upon the sea, and our selves again with it. Once more, we rise and fall with the world's tides. Once more, we breath a little easier; sleep more deeply; dream more expansively.
Awaken more eager to meet the new day.
When we first sought the life afloat, we walked the strand, looking to the boats sailing free and easy beyond our reach. Waterborne and lifting to wave and send. How we envied them! Imagining the feel of their pitch and roll as if dry land could liquefy and buoy us.
Our first night on the water... aboard a vessel of our very own... how can I describe it? We thrilled to every complex motion. Each lip and lap of water against the hull. Each tremulous touch of distant, hydraulic force seething beyond the river's mouth. Peace like no other.
Our first voyage... fraught with perils real and imagined. Ocean teaching us at every moment, guiding us by its touch... at once intimate and indifferent. Love for this as reflexive as breath.
Our first harbor, safely reached... greenhorn heroes' voyage at its triumphal end. Fears faced and unlooked-for courage found. Hardships endured and overcome. A small victory hoped to be the first of many.
Joy like a fountain in our soul.
|Here they lie where they long'd to be; |
Home is the sailor, home on the sea,
The sailor home from the hill.
Apologies to Robert Louis Stevenson's Requiem