Building the Boathouse of Life

When Norm and I began the process of building a boathouse last spring, we thought that it would be a spring project. That the project would take a month, maybe two. But that’s not what happened.

The lumber was delivered to us in early April. The men whom we hired to drive the pylons into the water did this by hand with a contraption that they had built themselves. I am not mechanically inclined and was very impressed not only with their strength and agility, but also their ingenuity.

I am just not made that way.

Building a Dock Building a Dock (2)

The dock was completed within a month. But this was not the end of the dream. The boathouse was still unrealized. The storm in my life still raged. Life is nothing more than a series of dreams, anyway. Once one is realized, another takes its place, or another dies. And the storm continues to rage – always will – in spite of one puny person’s aspirations.

But I am not ready to let go of some dreams, in spite of the hurricane’s roar.

Dock (8)

Summer came, and we enjoyed the dock with our friends and family. I wish I had taken more photographs, but I was happy, and content to be as I was, not worrying that the moments would be fleeting.

Boathouse (15)

Summer passed. Progress on the boathouse more or less came to a halt. But life’s maelstrom continued – and a piece of the puzzle was just missing. Gone. Poof.

It takes strength to drive into the storm, and I am not strong, so I just kept dreaming about the boathouse, the one change that I welcomed.

Boathouse (18)

First the walls then the roof were erected. “I want to live here,” I told Norm. “You do live here,” he answered. “No, I want to live here,” I said, “in the boathouse.”

There is something about the water that takes it all away. The world is gone, and it – all of it – just dissipates. Happiness does not replace it, but the ability just to be becomes possible.

Boathouse (19)

Installing the electricity and the hoist were the finishing touches. The boathouse was even more beautiful than I had imagined. Norm indulged me a little bit with the light over the entrance and the cedar siding.

He has even said that he will install Christmas lights around the perimeter of the roof. This is a huge deal in our house – Norm is not big into Christmas decorations.

Boathouse (20)

Now it is autumn, and the boathouse has been finished. Complete.

But dreams will never be complete, will they? Not when one still has to live out there, in the storm. Not when one hangs on to the shred of hope that the heart’s holes will be healed, or filled. Not when that piece of the puzzle is still missing.

Boathouse (21)

Even so, I still want to live here, at the boathouse, where silly dreams and inclement weather do not matter. Where that hole in the heart does not exist. Where the puzzle piece remains in place. Forever.