I should be happy to be back in the land of plenty. Our sailboat is docked in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the good old USA, just a few blocks from one of the nicest beaches in the state. It is hot; hot as hell actually, but we have the air conditioning running. The water is plentiful here at the dock, so I can let water stream over my head as I shower- I have not done that in over 6 months. I can surf the internet, call my kids and friends on my cell phone, stream movies, watch Season 8 of Game of Thrones, and leave the lights on to my heart’s delight.
Within a few miles from our boat, there are numerous CVS stores. There’s a Trader Joes (be still my heart). There’s a dry cleaners nearby and a nail salon on every block. There’s Uber, whose drivers will take me to a place where I can buy Sabra hummus, Face yogurt, or my shiny silver hair stuff. The six washing machines and dryers at the marina are always empty, the office has quarters, and the directions are completely understandable. Down the street is Mexican food, pizza, sushi, oysters, Capital Grill, and Seasons 52. Everyone speaks English. The money that is accepted is the American kind.
I am in the land of plenty. So why am I so sad?
I thought I would be happy (at least for awhile) back where things are easy (notice I did not write, “free and easy”), and yet I find I miss my days of un-plenty. I miss them terribly.
I miss being anchored in a secluded harbor, pointing out a turtle that has popped his head out of the water.
I miss deserted islands and beaches.
I miss skinny dipping, and showering off the transom.
I miss my friends being only a few boat lengths away.
I miss hanging out with women who, like me, have no fingernails and unexplained bruises up and down their legs.
I miss exploring new lands and new cultures.
I miss dolphin shows in the middle of nowhere.
I miss simply “making do.”
I miss walking around a new island looking for a place to buy ice cream.
I miss gin and tonics that we make ourselves and sip as we watch the sun go down at 6:30 PM, which coincides with cocktail hour (and not a late dinner).
I miss going to bed before 9PM, when it is pitch dark.
I miss the moon at sea. I miss the Milky Way, Jupiter, and picking out Scorpio where my friend taught me to look for it.
I miss playing games at night.
I miss simplicity, serenity, living as part of nature.
And yet…this is a time of transition- a transition towards what I yearned for often while at sea–being with the people I have loved for a very long time, and who love us, and rejoining my original community. It is a transition to spending time in an area where my memories were made and cemented, where everything is familiar and comforting; to being Home, despite the fact that we have no home.
The culture here in southern Florida is not my culture; the values here are not my values. I have no community, so it is no wonder that I am not happy. We will soon be on our way north, where we can hug our friends and family, catch up, and be a presence in their lives, while we live in nature. I know that this will make everything better.
But until then, with over a 1,000 miles still to go in the transition phase, it looks like I’m going to need some major retail therapy.
Luckily, I seem to be in the right place for that.