Friday, March 17, 2017
Do you remember the day, hour, the moment she called out to you? I could never forget.
My teenage son, his girlfriend, Aubree, and I were out on my father's fishing boat on the 4th of July. It was night time and we were having a great time running around the Manatee River, which is lined with Mangroves, at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico. I spent a lot of time in the ocean that night, for one reason to get fishing line out from around my prop! The outside breeze was warm and so was the water, and I was more worried about the night time feeding habits of the shark, more than being wet.
We ran out of gas, but I was near a marina. Everyone was closed due to the Holiday, so I put the kids in a Taxi, and decided to spend the night on the boat and deal with the gas issue in the morning. I wasn't completely comfortable, but I was cozy on the water, surrounded by boaters. To my surprise the next morning, so many boat people had plenty of gas to share with me with exuberant smiles of helpfulness.
I headed home down the Manatee River at sunrise. The sea was calm like blue glass. Dolphins played before my bow guiding me home. A friend who was worried about me, met me at the public boat launch to make sure I was okay and helped me put the boat on the trailer. As I pulled over the bridge of the Manatee River, I looked out over those calm waters and stopped.
I heard her at that moment. The motion of her waters was still moving the very fluids in my body. She called me, "Come back to me." I felt her tug, her draw and my spirit reached out from within to find her, "Come back to me." I felt if I left her, my heart would break.
I hadn't known then, I would marry a sailor, who is a boat builder, a few years later. I do know now after many hours on the waters, it is the only place feeling like home. With each wave she still greets me, with each trough and blow of wind she beckons me further and further away from land. I am settled, I am calm, I am free in her embrace.