We are just under 23 hours away from our plane taxi-ing away from YVR, with almost all our worldly possessions tucked inside its luggage compartment – next destination: Skookum V (yes, we’ve landed on a name, more on that later).
As I sit here in the early hours of our last day in Canada, I want to post a poem Stu shared with me as a gift which, typical of John O’Donohue, encapsulates so many of my feelings of why we’re going and what I’m seeking:
For A New Beginning – John O’Donohue
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
As I look back at the nearly six months since we made this life-altering decision, I am feeling, as the kids these days say, ‘all the feels’. We have had our engines on full-steam for nearly half a year, renovating a home, sorting, purging, selling, giving away and organizing everything we own, selling a home, buying a boat, wrapping up a 15-year law practice, moving in with friends, selling two cars, and don’t forget Stu’s whirlwind trip to Mexico to ensure the boat was the right one for us. All during a global pandemic.
Now here we sit, on the precipice of this adventure, and I’m thoroughly excited and terrified at the same time. I’m also completely gutted at not getting to say the goodbyes we would like. Missing hugs and close contact with so many we love. But, (aside from the pending international travel), we’re doing what we can to do our part in keeping everyone safe and healthy, and part of that means forfeiting ‘adios’ with so many people.
As we prepare our bags and bins one more time, do last-minute piles of laundry, and generally freak out about all the things we’re sure we didn’t get done (but can’t quite remember), we want to extend some pretty major thank yous into the universe.
- Thank you for all the privilege we have, for living in a time, place and country that permitted us to build a safe and prosperous life, that is now facilitating us making some very different decisions.
- Thank you to our families, who love and support us, no matter the hair-brained choices we make. Special thanks to my brother and sister for taking on some of the ‘stuff’ storage, allowing us to keep family mementos somewhere safe.
- A special Thank You to my parents who, while no longer with us, planted the seed for these adventures when I was a child; introducing me to sailing and travel, and giving me my first copy of Robin Lee Graham’s book, Dove.
- Thank you to Kennedy Justinen, our intrepid nanny from August to November, without whom we could never accomplished all the things we needed to do to get our house ready and sold. We could put our heads down and work hard knowing our girls were in safe and steady hands, and happy to be with their ‘Ken-Na-Dee’. We are proud of you, Kenno, as you continue to strive for and seek out your big goals…and your berth is waiting for you to join us on the boat!
- Thank you to our amazing friends, Nate and Christina, for their timely purchase of a house with enough space to house us once our own home sold. But, more importantly, thank you for all the laughter; epic plant-based meals; tolerance of our not-quite-potty-trained youngest; cocktails, wine and beer; kitchen dance parties; potato chips; sourdough schooling; childcare; bestie baths; and of course, for making your home a home for us! We are going to miss you so much!
- Thank you to our Whistler neighbours and friends, Sarah, Andrew and baby Aslo for being there. For morning hellos as you walked Phoenix. For ‘Furch’ and pancake breakfasts. For ALL the help in our endless renos! For Aslo cuddles, and Lily giggles and that time you looked after our girls for 4 days and it turned into 7! We couldn’t have dreamed up better people to live across the street from, and it’s been our joy to watch your family grow before our very eyes.
- Thank you to my partners and colleagues, who have graciously supported my departure/retirement, despite the fact it has added to the workload of many, and required several to step into new roles. Special thanks to Pamela and Chad, who are bearing the brunt of much of it, and who I am proud to have been able to introduce my clients to.
- Thank you to Behan and Jamie Gifford of SV Totem for their coaching and guidance, getting us to this point is such short order.
- Thank you to Ken, for selling us his little sailing home to care for going forward. We know how hard a decision this was for you, and we look forward to continuing her journeys.
- Thank you to all our friends, near and far, at various places around the world, for supporting and encouraging us with your words, messages, notes and posts! We made sure to buy a boat with a third cabin for the express purpose of having space for you all to visit! Our floating home is yours (once travel is doable again), and we really can’t wait to host you!
¡Adios! y ¡Hasta luego!