To many, it must seem strange that we tried so hard to get Spartan home with us. To us, she IS home.
But we are not just being sentimental. Without her, we are literally homeless for awhile. There is a lovely family living in our house in Toronto until the end of May, so we can’t return there just yet.
More significantly, Spartan has been our refuge and our sanctuary since we boarded her in July. She means safety to us. It is not for nothing that God told Noah to build an ark. First sign of trouble – a boat is where you want to be!
And we couldn’t have found a more patient teacher. We learned so many gentle lessons, and Spartan forgave us our mistakes. And in terms of social distancing – well – what’s more isolated than swinging at anchor off the coast of an uninhabited island?
Now, after months of feeling Spartan’s every sigh, shiver and shudder, we are like children kicked from the womb, straining to feel her heartbeat. My Beloved and I have separation anxiety: there’s a reason they call it the mother ship!
We have also been living outdoors for the better part of a year, going below just to sleep and cook. We learned to read the language of clouds, waves, and tides. We had daily communion with sunrises and sunsets. And the stars became as familiar as the freckles on our childrens’ arms.
Self- isolation is a cruel trick to play on any one; we are all social creatures. But it is the sensuous part of living that we are missing most – the cold indifference of rain, the gritty salt of sea spray, the scouring sensation of a hot, steady wind. I feel like I’ve had a bag put over my head and been shoved into a closet.
Still, we are not sad that our adventure with Spartan was cut short. What we left undone will still be there, and continue to feed our dreams. In the meantime, we are grateful to be sheltered (thanks Mom!), fed (thanks, Heather) and oh-so-well-loved.