Where Are We Going?

The sun rose this morning, much as it has since I can remember. It’s dark and then there is light. As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, the first inkling that I had that it would soon be light was the sound of the milk truck. It woke me as it stopped in front of the house. The clinking of milk bottles being deposited into the milk box on the back porch signaled the end of night. The sky brightened, and another day began. I was on my way.

A few years later, my mother’s voice, alarm clocks or my older sister’s scurrying to get dressed for school took the place of the milk bottles. It was time to get going. Get dressed, have breakfast, off to school, to the beach, to the park, to college, to a dance, to work, to a wedding, to a funeral. We were on our way.

As the family grew, so did the destinations of the day. The standing orders of family life directed our efforts to provide destinations to those we cared for the most. Competing destinations, conflicts of paths, objections, both rational and irrational, surfaced. But there was always that sense, if not perfectly clear, that we all were on our way.

When the family blossomed into families of their own, and when destinations could be unhinged from the constraints of wage earning and parental responsibilities – not due to a lack of love or concern but an acknowledgement of their own destinations – we were on our way.

Sailing took us down south through turbid tidewaters and saltmarshes, across the deep indigo blue sea and over the clear turquoise shoals. Through squalls and sunshine, between the flat Bahama sand banks and the volcanic islands in the Caribbean we carried on. Hurricanes occasionally scar this landscape, but vegetation grows back quickly, covering the gashes and slashes. Human history washed over the islands as well, leaving a patina of mixed races and legacies that also left scars. Time may heal all wounds but sometimes fail to hide the scars. Nevertheless, the continual forward march is unstoppable. They are on their way.

We enjoy the journey knowing full well that there are many other possible voyages. Many other destinations. But here we took pause and then the possibilities froze. In short order, there was no way we could be on our way. Was this how the wooly mammoth felt when the ice and snow descended on their roaming lifestyle? What do the sockeye salmon think when they swim up against a dammed Baker Lake? Totally out of their control, they cast their fate to the wind. We sit and wait for the virus to subside, mask at hand, hand sanitizer at the ready, an eye to the weather, and hope wind is not our fate to challenge. Others rebelled. It was not impossible to carry on. They did go on their way only to find similar circumstances at their destination.

The deep freeze is slowly thawing. Movements are small but encouraging. Businesses are further opening their doors beyond mere take-out. Of the two big summer destinations, Grenada and Trinidad, Grenada has already opened their doors to cruisers, quarantine and tests required. We believe Trinidad will eventually allow us to proceed and, if so, we can haul Kalunamoo and fly to New York to visit. The threat of hurricane damage there is minimal, and the boat will be safe. So that is where we are going, eventually. And we will be on our way. Again.      

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