It was the middle of the night on a trying passage. I’d jumped onboard in Ft. Lauderdale because I couldn’t let my friend make the passage to Andros alone on a boat that was falling apart. We both had a deadline. And even though the engine was unreliable, we were going for it anyway. I had already deserted my other option. I’d let the flight leave without me, thinking the engine problem would be resolved before we threw the lines on board. In two days I was to experience my first charter as Captain on board, so I was a bit anxious about getting to my vessel.
As we made our way into the Gulf Stream in the darkening night, the engine went from bad to worse and started leaking copious amounts of oil. We were lucky to make it across and set anchor for a couple of hours of rest before dawn. While the sun rose on the horizon, we agreed that we would have to sail and save the remaining drops of oil to get us through the pass between the reef.
We raised our sails in a headwind, only to discover that the mainsail was no good. Yep, it ripped right down the middle. So there we were, beating into the wind with only a headsail. I was screaming inside. I wondered if swimming would get me there faster.
But on my next midnight watch, I was able to melt into acceptance. The stars were little pentacles of hope above me. And phosphorescence graced the journey with beauty as we sliced through the water at a snail’s pace. The moment became so profound that I never woke my friend to relieve my watch until the rising sun warmed my cheeks. I reveled in the joy of the open water and basked in the delight of my confidence.
I could navigate a broken down vessel in the dark of night. I could DO ANYTHING! This attitude has carried me through countless pursuits: cruising with my family, running countless miles (40+ in a day) in the woods, and practicing gratitude in the most trying situations.
And now I find myself running a Kickstarter campaign to launch the non-profit I feel compelled to get off the ground, Growing Alliances for Sustainable Agriculture. The seeds of this venture were planted about the same time I began typing away at the posts on this blog. It has grown from sharing a few open-pollinated seeds to a vision for facilitating farmer workshops and establishing traditional Bahamian food forests around Bahamian schools.
Sometimes, I question my sanity and wonder why I bother to attempt to change a system that seems huge and unrelenting, a system that puts wealth and health in the hands of a few. But I can no longer sit and watch, when I know that I can stand up and use my voice and my hands for something greater and more beautiful. I want to be able to look my grandkids in the eye and say that I tried. I tried to make sure the reef stays vibrant and beautiful, the fruit trees stand abundantly together, and the world remains a peaceful place to inhabit.
But I realize this is one effort that I cannot do alone, only together can we make real change happen.
Please take a moment to check out the Growing Alliances' Kickstarter campaign and contribute towards an initiative that strives for sustainable food economies, equitable opportunites, and healthy, diverse ecosystems.