This is the ninth of the eight boat stories, and quite possibly the last.
“May the road rise up to meet you”, goes the saying.
In eight years I spent living on a boat, the water did rise up to meet me quite suddenly once or twice: one minute ‘down there’ and the next ‘rushing up to meet me at speed’. On other occasions, during floods, it rose slowly, deliberately, made its point and then ebbed away.
The more mainstream interpretation is altogether more comforting: May the earth support you on your journey, wherever and however it is needed.
I spent about four years on my first boat Dawn. After meeting the love of my life, a bigger boat was found. And a little while after that a third person joined us.
The water rose up to meet us on our journey. A couple of times it rose a bit too far. But generally it was sufficient and supportive.
The nine months immediately following April were blissful, disorientating and very hard. Life on a boat with a small child is not easy. At close quarters everyone’s sleep is bent into a challenging and unrecognisable shape.
The patter of tiny feet isn’t completely at odds with boats. We know many people who have raised children on boats. Then again, we also know people whose children have fallen in. The right choice for us was to move onto dry land.
And so, the land has risen to meet us. We now count ourselves as land dwellers, and happy ones at that.