In the second half of week five of our US road trip, we rented another car. We drove through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and stayed a few days in Florida.
I was born into a family that had a boat. It was rather small for a family of four, but this was back when people still accepted being a bit uncomfortable when going on adventures. Despite the boat’s size, you could cook in it, eat in it, sleep in it. My parents loved it, and we spent many days and nights aboard. My sister learned the difference between port and starboard well before she could tell left from right. I had some of my first memories on it.
I owe some of who I am to that boat. My legs are sea legs.
Who can honestly say what they were thinking or feeling during the first few years of their life. But I know some things. I know that I was absolutely crazy about water, and that I loved that boat. To this day there’s something deeply magical, almost mystical, about boats and ships and harbors to me.
I was probably no older than four when my parents sold it. They had bought a summer house, and there was no time, place, or money for a boat anymore. You can imagine how I reacted. That little orange and white thing was probably the first loss of my life, and it imprinted a lifelong dream somewhere deep inside my mind. I wanted a boat.
Now, 30 years later, I have one.
Let me introduce you to my Bella 642, a Finnish hardtop boat. The Pale Blue.
It’s got room for me and Lena and a few friends. It goes really fast if I want it to. There’s a ladder so you can go in and out of the water if you’re up for a swim. Two people can sleep somewhat comfortably in it. The deck is white and the hull is navy blue. And I’m proud and happy. Not because she’s an especially impressive boat, but because she’s mine.
My dad died a year ago, so he never got the chance to see it. But my mom has been on it, and my sister and her family too. And maybe, if I ever have kids of my own, they might find their sea legs too.
I want to get back out on the ocean. I want the wind to whip the water into a frenzy. Rain against my face. Forward. Onward. Away.
Full throttle through the crashing waves. The promise of the horizon. Then continue. Make all land disappear.
Forward. Onward. Away.