The moment before

It was the stillness of the river that struck me. I stood on the pontoon at Laranjeiras, alone, Julian and the girls already aboard Carina, 100 metres away. I stood waiting for my ride across in the tiny rubber dinghy of Scott, the man who’s been looking after Carina while we’ve been away. The tide turned as he rowed Julian across the water, Carina and the other boats lazily swinging around on their moorings until they faced upriver, into the out-going current. Scott returned alone with Lily’s and Katie’s life jackets and rowed the girls home. Alone for the first time at the end of a journey that started twelve hours earlier in windy wintry Coventry, I deeply inhaled the moment. The birdsong, the cloudless sky, the warm sun on my face. The river calm, but the current quick. The dull clanging of a bellwether on a hillside field, the occasional car along the remote country road that runs alongside the river. I stretched my arms high over my head, pulled myself up to my full height, stretched my body, inhaled deeply. I absorbed the moment. Soon I would be aboard Carina, airing the bedding, unpacking, making tea and getting settled in the couple of brief hours before darkness fell. But this was the before moment. Before I took the final steps home, before I joined my family in the middle of the river. Before I saw and heard Lily’s and Katie’s reactions to being home. Before Julian and I examined how Carina had fared in our absence. This was a moment of perfect bliss. A moment of possibility and a deep quiet joy that here on the river I was almost home. Scott rowed to shore, I lowered myself into his dinghy and we set out across the river.

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6 thoughts on “The moment before

  1. Hi Martina,
    I’m happy your all aboard safely,and I hope you have fair weather for the coming months that you are sailing,
    I decided after reading your blog on clutter that you have a very valid point !! my wife and I have lived in our home for 20 plus years, and raised two children who have now “flown the nest”
    we decided to follow your lead, we looked at all the “stuff” we have accumulated and decided that actually it would be easier just to bulldoze the house flat and start again ! at the first cupboard we each found things that needed to go, but then we each found five reasons why those items should stay! nothing was being achieved so we arranged a meeting over a cup of tea and a biscuit to discuss the best way forward, we have decided that one day the children will inherit the house, so we will leave it to them to sort out,
    And so the 30 year old boxes full of letters to Santa from Neil and Sarah written in crayon stays, along with my 4 golf bags 3 sets of clubs 3 fishing rods etc. etc. !
    I’m going to build some more cupboards, that should help out in the short term, My wife quite likes the idea of adopting your life style, but we could never afford the money required to buy and run the 60m second hand coaster it would take to fit everything we needed on board!
    wishing you Happy times
    Graham

    • Graham,
      You’ve put a huge smile on my face!! I love that you’ve decided to expand to make more space for your stuff!! Leave it all to the kids. My dad saved everything – every school copybook, every school report, audio tapes of 3-year old me dividing grapes between the family and making sure I got more than anyone else! In 2006 my mum wanted to clear our her attic and I drove to Ireland and spent the Christmas holidays going through a lifetime of memories. Half went into the bin, the other half I loaded into my Ford Mondeo and brought it back to the UK with me. The car was packed to bursting and straining under the weight of all that stuff. It’s hard to let go, that’s for sure. Enjoy the memories that all your stuff brings you.

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