Life on Boat

Boat life is drawing to a close. I’m scheduled for only two more nights on her and that’s if everything goes well – another 4 degree night is sure to find us calling friends again, taking people up on their offers to house us in case of boat-life-saturation.

Overall the experiment has been a raving success in the same way my experiment on the birth control pill this past spring was. ‘They’d’ wanted me to go onto this chemical concoction with the intention it would be of benefit to me and my diagnosis. I carefully weighed the options and thought sure, I’ll try it. Yeah, I may be completely against the allopathic medical system’s preponderance towards prescription medication ‘solving problems’ while completely ignoring what actually causes illness, but sure, I’m at a place now where I can maintain an open mind. Sometimes allopathic medicine can be helpful. That experiment lead me to understand I will certainly not be putting myself through that again.

It’s not as though I’m saying I’ll never live on a boat again. I’m just saying I’ll probably never live on a boat with these exact set of circumstances again. I’ll know more what I’m getting into. I’ll understand that I’ll need to quickly dismiss any romantic notions of an at home daily yoga asana practice. I’ll simplify. Simplify everything.

Yesterday we made some amazing pasta sauce with the masses of tomatoes we’d previously been gifted by some lovely friends, which were going to go bad (two nights in a row away at friend’s places will do that). There were at least five ingredients in the sauce alone. This is after I’d made the decision to simplify meals as much as possible. Pasta sauce comes out of a jar. It does not need to be recreated homemade in gourmet style on a boat. The only reason I was able to rescind my previous assertion of no gourmet meals was that, other than rowing home in the morning, it was the main activity of the day. Ah the simple life. Yeah – it should be exactly that: simple.

I’ll simplify my clothes, both storage and items. I’ll simplify my mornings and my self-care routines. Simplifying my practice was one of the first things I did. It’s hard to maintain the space and time necessary for single-pointedness the way spiritual practice requires. Constant shifting of my weight to maintain equilibrium is a wonderful metaphor for yoga’s ability to encourage peace and contentment in the ups and downs of life, but it is not the environment I want for my at-home meditation practice.

And so the experiment is deemed a success: I’m alive and breathing and I made it through living on a boat for a summer. The experiment has the added factor of a basically new (does long-distance really count the same way?) relationship having its maiden voyage on the same waters. The verdict? Check. Another success.

All in all it’s been a wonderful summer. Who can really say no to being rocked to sleep every night by deep ocean waters, blue herons as neighbours, and ocean sunrises? I’ve loved the row into and out of town and the hilariousness of not tying the dinghy onto the boat and needing to swim out to get her. Most of all I’ve loved the simplicity. It’s something I’m looking forward to embodying in my life in these new ways I’ve now discovered.

We didn’t quite get all the way through Moby Dick, but we sailed through our summer on a boat.

 

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