breaking out and open

Yesterday we went crabbing at Waldport. It was a beautiful day, warm, sunny, and not very windy in the bay. The kids went out on a boat and had a little adventure when the motor died and they had to be towed in. They thought it was great. We also put some pots over the side of the dock, but didn't get any there. All the crabs were farther out I guess, and several big ones were caught. (Not by me, I didn't get to go out on the boat.) Willow was not much interested in the crabbing itself, but the boys were fascinated by the crabs and wanted to be directly involved in all the aspects of crabbing. (If my mom were reading this blog, I'd have to be compelled at this point to reassure her that yes, safety precautions were taken. They wore life jackets and we were careful to watch that they didn't get their feet tangled in the rope.)

When I was a little girl we went crabbing once (I say "we", though I didn't participate, I just watched as a few adults worked) and I thought it was interesting but not exciting enough to want to do again and I don't remember being struck by the beauty of the coast. This time I found the pine and other unidentifiable smells ambrosial and the gentleness of the sun and sand and the fog and mist lovely. I saw a shiny metal rowboat, and had an intense sudden longing to take it out myself.

When I was a kid we didn't do these things. I thought you just didn't, unless you were special, maybe with some special talent or privilege or physical ability or because you'd grown up with it. Such things, like taking a rowboat out on the water, were unknowns, possibly dangerous.

A few weekends ago we had the treat of going out on a catamaran on a lake, so large it felt like being in a bay with the sea just beyond. It was beautiful. It felt like freedom. The person that owns the catamaran, my husband's uncle, is also a craftsman and that day we also got to see the amazing things he's done to his house. I hadn't know this about him before, so it brought home to me that yes, ordinary people really do just say, "I want to do this thing," and then they do it. They don't have to get permission from anybody. They don't have to know they're talented. They just do it because they have a vision and desire. What an inspiring thing, but how sad is it that it is inspiring, that it is not just already what I am, taken for granted.

I want to protect my children, be reasonable about safety. But I don't want them to develop a sense of cautionary inertia and be forty years old before they discover their sense of rightfulness in doing what they want to in the world. New things are wonderful for the sake of being new, and can develop into loved things, cherished things. I feel like I have so much life yet to live. I want for them that they will never not feel like that.