Anxiety aside, my heightened emotional state was also out of sheer joy that finally we will have our very own home again and, after spending almost half of the last six months apart, ours will be a (more consistently) two-parent family. While I am very accustomed to solo parenting our three girls, it's not always easy and sometimes can get downright ugly (ask me about how many balls I drop on a daily basis). Daddy being a regular presence and influence around here will be SO welcome. The fact that Scott is also sailing our dream boat (and home) back to us is also quite incredible and surreal. Scott and I have been dreaming of owning a Hallberg-Rassy 46 since we owned our very first Hallberg-Rassy, Rasmus. The other week, in fact, a blog follower wrote me with the screenshot of a three year old Facebook post in which I had posted a picture of a Hallberg-Rassy 46 and wrote, "One day we *will* have this boat". I have no recollection of putting it out there like that, but I did, and if that isn't a point for how the Universe works and manifestation, I don't know what is.
The truth is, for as much as Hurricane Irma took from us and all the stress she bestowed on our family, she gave us so much as well. Not only do we now own the boat of our dreams - an ironic turn of events that is not lost on us - but we have made some truly incredible new friendships that began and grew because of the storm. We are under contract on a new boat better suited for our daysail company, and every single day I am so grateful that we are able to live on the island we love, slowly putting the pieces of our life and business back together with some amazing people in our corner. People hear our story and often express sorrow for us. I am the first one to say, "NO! Please do not!" While obviously we'd have preferred Irma to have not upturned our life and those of so many others, we are some of the really, really lucky ones. We had insurance for both our home boat and business boats, we were paid our claims in full, we had a nice chunk of money saved in the bank, did not have to endure the horror of a Cat 5 hurricane with our kids, and we had the open arms and incredible generosity of friends and family to fall back on when we were lost...we were and are FINE. There are others who were - and continue to be - way worse off. Our hearts go out to those people who continue to suffer and who's lives have been changed irrevocably. We are not those people. We took a hit, for sure, and our path and inner-selves are forever altered by the events of the 2017 hurricane season, but we are back and - ultimately - stronger for it. Irma, it seems, might just have changed us and our lives for the better...
Our new boat, after much research and deliberation, has been named Sonder; the suggestion of my good friend Christel from Stell and Snuggs (the merry family of roving sailboat musicians). We loved it immediately. Our criteria was 1) one word 2) easy to read and pronounce 3) unique and 4) a great meaning behind it. Sonder is a sort-of made up word from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (fascinating and worth a gander) and means:
Sonder: n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.In short, the word means everyone has a story. As both a writer who loves stories and someone who, particularly after Irma, is hyper aware of the fact that we all walk around with a well of stories and scars within us that are not apparent to the naked eye - it just made sense. So s/v Sonder she is.
This story is ours, and today marks the start of a brand new chapter. s/v Sonder is finally homeward bound, and we are so excited for what lies ahead.