Many days later, I still can't stop thinking about that night. The weather could not have been more perfectly suited to a cruise around Portland harbor - sunny, warm, a very light breeze. And the chance to spend an evening sailing around my hometown harbor (waving to my childhood home as we passed it from the water) with adults I love? Yes, please! We were on board the Frances, an 1800 replica of a working coastal pilot cutter (one that would be familiar to this port of that era) that spends her summers at the Maine State Pier and is available for day sails, charter sails, and other events. On this particular night, we were on a Pocket Cruise, brought to us by the folks of Pocket Brunch (who also bring Portland amazing yummies in the form of 158 Pickett Street Cafe and Bread and Butter Catering who blessed us with delicious fare for our Taproot Gathering last year - my, that's a busy bunch of kitchen magicians they are!). Of course, I captured none of that amazing food with my camera as I was apparently too busy devouring it, and admiring the views, and chatting someone's ear off (with no interruptions from lovely little people!). But I assure you, the food was as perfect as the weather. And cocktails mixed by Nan'l and so perfectly served in a coconut. Seriously! Such goodness. Many, many thanks to the whole crew for making that such a special night.
The effort of arranging childcare for five, animal feedings for many, and trying to fit it all into our schedule and haul everyone where they need to be, then dealing with tired bunnies in the morning is no minor feat. Sometimes, we find ourselves overwhelmed by those details and tempted to pass on the good things around us. But then we remember that it's one of the most important things we need to be doing - taking care of ourselves, each other, nurturing our grown-up relationships with our friends and being a part of this community we love so much. The conversations, the slow moments, the sights of the familiar harbor from just that one night have firmly reminded me of how good it is, of how important it is to create for ourselves a sense of place beyond our home's door.
And if we can do all that with a cocktail-filled coconut in our hands on a sailboat? I do hope I always remember to say yes.