Last year Ev and Maia tried to wake me at midnight to ring in the New Year. Normally I’m awake to see the change of the year, but I had pneumonia (just didn’t know it yet). So I barely stirred as I let 2010 slip into 2011.
I wonder if I would have woken to acknowledge the role of the calendar if I knew what was coming my way. I didn’t yet know what it would be like to say goodbye to dear friends and family to sail 8000 miles across an ocean. I didn’t know what it would be like to cross the equator and make landfall after 19 days at sea (three spent with only one rudder). I couldn’t yet picture what it would be like to enter the pass of a mid ocean atoll, swim with sharks, or visit ancient Polynesian ruins.
I couldn’t imagine the friends I would make, or the tears I’d shed with each goodbye. I had no idea how much I would need to challenge myself, my marriage, my family. I didn’t know what it would be like to be becalmed in the middle of a silent sea, or dive deep into its depths with my daughter—and watch her scuba bubbles rise.
I didn’t yet know the joy of walking those endless stretches of beach, or of making those hilly climbs—each with a new mystery just around the bend. I didn’t know about the people who would welcome us into their homes and hearts.
I couldn’t imagine any of it.
But if I did, I’d like to think I would have gotten up and sat with Ev and Maia out on deck—memorizing the stars and speaking in awe of the amazing life we are living. I’d like to think our tones would be hushed and grateful as we spoke of what was to come.
Every day, every year, should be met with gratitude and awe. But some days, some years, change you. They show you a world, and your place in it, in a way you never imagined.
I don’t know what will come my way in 2012--I can't even begin to imagine where I may spend next New Year. But I know tonight—I will look skyward to try and memorize a sky where the constellations are still strange and new, and I will speak in a voice that is hushed with awe of my future.