We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still.Carl Sagan, Cosmos
Hello family and friends on this most unusual Christmas Eve! First, let me offer my apologies for not writing in quite some time. Ed and I have been extraordinarily busy finishing up the house remodel and boat projects. Neither of us has had a day off since perhaps Thanksgiving. I’ll share what we’ve been up to in a couple of weeks, and hopefully resume regular blogging as our schedule frees up a bit.
I wanted to take the time to share some thoughts and offer some perspective as we wrap up an incredible year…not necessarily incredibly great, but certainly one that will be memorable. Many of us are perhaps bummed that we did not get to gather all of the family together, or take that winter vacation to somewhere sunny and warm. Nearly all of us humans are explorers and travelers at heart. We are one of a very few mammal species that can be found on nearly every corner of the Earth. We all love a good adventure that always leaves us with great stories to tell. Our stories shape how we think, how we experience life, and connect with one another. Story telling is one of the few common activities shared across all cultures on Earth. Traveling and meeting new people allows us to collect new stories. It is certainly a valuable commodity.
The chance to experience new cultures, meet new people with experiences quite unique from my own is almost the sole reason I’ve chosen to embark on this crazy sailing adventure of ours. My wanting to do this really has very little to do with the actual sailing. It is just a means to an end.
Although this year has found us quite restricted in our ability to travel through the space around us, we must not forget that we are also travelers through time. I have found myself reflecting on many of my previous life choices and circumstances that have led me to where I am now on December 24, 2020. So many things could have led me to a very different life had I picked the other path when faced with a fork in the road. Other moments in my life I have stumbled on through dumb luck that later snowballed into other opportunities. And some others yet, I am only just secondarily or tertiarily associated with, but they made such an impression on me that it ended up having such a large impact on the course of my life.
Although the details of my life are unique in many ways, everyone’s life is, in general terms, the same. We all have those moments in time that were critical junctures in the course of one’s life. Sometimes we regret decisions, sometimes we wish we could go back. Other times we are grateful for the luck that has come our way. We can become haunted by those two words that can drive a person to madness–
The simple, cold, objective, and unsatisfying answer is life would be different. If it weren’t for the pandemic, we’d all be having different conversations and would have made different choices. The pandemic is an event that has changed the course of everyone’s lives in some manner or another. We all will have our stories to tell, much in the same way we can ask nearly every American adult, “where were you on 9/11” and nearly every person will answer with more than just a location.
I encourage you all to find joy this Christmas, even though you’re missing family and friends. You are all travelers in this moment, and we will soon get to share the stories that shaped us this year!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.
With love from the Aaron Family