Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dream On

For those who know me very well, you know about my fishing shack. It’s on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, where the icy rollers crash into the granite much of the year, and the craggy trees cling to life, rooted in the ice-formed cracks of their supporting rocks. It’s a crooked one-room shack with multi-paned windows looking onto that every-changing and terrifying sea, from the comfort of a hundred-year-old building that has stood the test of the elements and time. There is a Franklin cast-iron stove in the corner, burning lumber cut by my own hands, and warming the kettle for my Earl Grey tea. Wooden walls, wooden floors, with every imperfection, containing knots that display many works of art, like the bleeding heart that hung above my head in my childhood bunk-bed at the family cottage. And, naturally, no inner ceiling to mask the sound of the tapping rain on the roof. Weathered cedar shingles on the outer walls, a simple stovepipe, and the backyard landscape is a forest of my own, subtlety divided by a small dirt road that is rarely used by more than a bicycle. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries grow wild is the scrubby bushes in the summer, and nothing grows in winter besides the night. My home library becomes evermore populated in these times, and I’m content in knowing that the changing seasons bring their own discoveries, that nothing is forever, and there is a reason for absolutely everything.

Every sailor has their alternative dream, what they’d be doing if they were home. What they’d be doing if the boat didn’t consume every reserve of energy, and every copper penny passed under the table or over. Well this is my dream, and some nights, following little more than a couple of lonely days, it's almost strong enough to draw me home. No crew, no autopilot, and two to three weeks at sea in my own company; yet it’s a feeling strong enough to make that possibility seem rational. But, alas, I know I won’t. Timing is wrong. This fishing shack has existed in my imagination long before I ever stepped foot on a sailboat, and the possibility of making it reality is not about to disappear in the passing of one more summer, autumn, and winter.