When I was younger yet and the boats were smaller, we would be able to look out the bedroom windows, my dad and I, and look at our sleeping beauty covered in snow, sitting on a trailer in the driveway. We'd even get out there some days and shovel her off and go below and have a sit in the frigid cold. The visits were short and we we were soon back in the house, warm in front of a fire talking and laughing about the past summer and conspiring over the next.
The Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Willie & Waylon and the soundtrack to "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" ("JLS") often accompanied these days of rock-hard earth and water just as they would on those soft, summer days at anchor in a secluded Canadian Shield bay or racing back to the harbour with a bone in her teeth.
My Pop has been gone for just over ten years now and despite the evolution of digital media I still have some of his cds in my collection and books on the shelf...
I have a boat of my own now and I live on her. She floats on sea water not fresh. She does see snow but, it doesn't last. Hauling out means a few days on the hard not several months. But, the "fall feelings" I experience has not changed.
The cockpit cushions are stowed away as are the deck chairs. The dingy is on her davits. The diesel fireplace is on daily now after months sitting idle. It's dark soooo early and getting more so every day.
I love the rebirth of spring. Fresh buds, leaves, the promise of local fruits and veg. The first Friday beer on the patio of our favorite local. Putting the top down on the car. Seasonal vendors folding away the shutters. Road trips and hikes... you get the idea.
It's not that most of these activities cannot be entertained during the fall and winter months here, in fact, we are very lucky to be able to enjoy the out-of-doors almsot all year round here. But, we do still face the short days in which to do them and, I admit Island life can make one a little "climatically soft"
I'm thankful to be able to throw on the foulies and go for a daysail in December or, on a sunny January day to put the top down and soak in the rays while bombing down the road. So, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining but, the fact remains that I've never been in love with fall and I am still not...it makes me glum. But once winter sets in, things do brighten up in my heart. Once Christmas passes, the days get longer again and Snow Drops and Shooting Stars pop up with a pledge that Spring is just around the corner.
For now I will attempt to celebrate Autumn with a cozy fire and warm tea. Maybe I'll dust off that "JLS" cd and give it a listen and float away for a while on memories of my Pop, warm days at the lake, Loons, towels drying on the lifelines and digging through all those cassettes for the perfect soundtrack of the day.