Seward, AK

and a love story  

After homer we drove further around the peninsula until we finally came upon Seward.   Another small, commercial fishing village (as they all seem to be here), but with another lovely marina and another gorgeous backdrop.

Most of our conversations still focus on the possibility of buying a boat (though our awesome interaction with bears also keeps finding its way into our conversations).

No matter how much time and conversation we spend on the boat topic, we cant help feeling many of the same feelings we felt years ago when quitting our jobs and running away in E, our VW bus for mexico.

The unknown, the fear, the questions…but also- beneath all of it a confidence that comes with knowing that amongst all the fear and unknown and questions is a very true course of being true to ourselves.  That feeling is a high like no other.  It feeds our souls and provides a confidence to do things we shouldn’t have the confidence to do, even if we’re scared out of our minds at the same time.

Somehow we keep finding ourselves moving forward with the typical steps one would take to buy a boat, despite all the questions and uncertainties.  It’s almost like we keep trying to talk ourselves out of it… but we cant find a logical reason why we would.  This is either an act of pure genius or the world fastest path toward bankruptcy ever known.  Too soon to tell.

Suffice to say, we know absolutely nothing about this process.  Nothing about how to search for a boat, nothing about what it takes to buy one, and nothing about what questions we should be asking along the way.  We are in fact, i think, mostly terrified that it might actually succeed.  We are certain we sound like idiots to the people we talk to… broker, owner, surveyor…people and positions we didn’t even know existed until a few days ago, but that’s all fine with us.  We’re used to sounding like idiots- it’s part of admitting when you know absolutely nothing about something you’re about to pour yourself into (and we’re pretty okay with that). 

We spend our days exploring our current surrounds and our nights running numbers and discussing possible boat names and starting to familiarize ourselves with at the very least basic boat terms and safety standards.  It all seems so very normal, except for how very strange and surreal it is.The seller has accepted our offer, we now have a survey (kind of like an inspection for a house purchase, but for the boat) scheduled, and things continue to get more and more real by the day.

We assure ourselves it’s fine, because much like with a house purchase the survey means we can pull out at any time and still get our deposit back… but we also catch ourselves saying that we are already down this path and “if not this boat, than another one”.

Im almost starting to believe this insane twist of fate is actually about to happen, and i honestly cant really figure out how i feel about it.  Some combination of awesome excitement and giddiness for the direction we’re going and also shear terror.  Lots of shear terror.  Its a surreal combination of opposing thoughts and my emotions and fears sway back and forth almost by the minute.

This morning, as we’re driving around looking for coffee and a place to hit the bano… we stumbled upon a giant chalkboard with the simple words at the top “Before i die i want to…” And paused for a moment to read the things everyone had written beneath.  Some so fleeting and seemingly unimportant or fairly nearsighted “fish on a friday” or “find my keys” some huge and profound or more focused bucket list items…

The board was cool.  Every town or gathering place should have one as a reminder to whats important and to keep people dreaming and thinking as they move by it… but our experience this day was even more special. As we stood and watched, and as the couple in front of us read the same board, he walked forward and grabbed a large piece of chalk. 

I watched as he paused, and then watched his hand shake as he slowly wrote out “marry helen” and then walked back to her side.  I watched for a fleeting moment hoping beyond hope that her name was helen… but as she turned to look at him and a tear streamed down her cheek i knew without question that it was.

They embraced deeply without speaking for a long time.I stepped away to give them more space and as jen joined me i described what i had just witnessed and then, after kissing him on the cheek and collecting her thoughts she proceeded to move forward, pick up her own chalk and after wiping away some more tears wrote just beneath his words “say ‘yes’ to Bernd.They both broke into tears – as did we… and after another long embrace and kiss (by both them and us) we offered to take their photo and send it on to them.  It was so lovely.  Truly heartwarming and further convinced us of the beauty of this sign, of the constant requestioning of what’s truly important to you and of following your heart, and for us… given where our hearts and minds are these days- absolutely solidified the fact that this crazy new direction we find ourselves on is in fact the right one.  Because in the end, there is nothing more important than love and passion.  For each other, for where you are and for what you’re doing…and for life.   

They say time has a funny way of making you think you have more of it.  Don’t waste it.
Say the words.  Live every day as though it may be your last.  Tell them that you love them.  Chase your dreams with wild abandon.  Live recklessly…and if it’s terrifying simply move through it and keep moving forward (that probably means its the right path) and let the pieces of chalk fall wherever they may.

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