As I listen to him prepare for his travels, I've been contemplating his connection to the sea.
With little exception, all of the places he has been fortunate enough to live have been very close to the sea. Newfoundland and Labrador, Brazil, England, France, and now Vancouver.
And interestingly, one of my favourite songs that he sings is "Wave Over Wave". A song about wanderlust and the sea. He and his brother sang it with an a Capella group in high school, and they also sing it in three-part harmony with their Dad. And it gives me shivers every time I hear it.
Going away to work has been a way of life for many cultures over the years, although, in my estimation, seafaring folk seem to have a predilection for it. Some times this made for relatively short-term stints, like a few weeks on the Grand Banks fishing. And sometimes it was longer. Ontario and Alberta have been destinations for as long as I have been alive. My grandparents' generation saw Boston as the destination. My grandparents on my Dad's side actually got married in Boston. On my Mom's side, my grandmother received a scholarship from the Grenfell Mission to study in Boston.
Funny where life will take you.
Now, in the meantime, I am hoping that the waves in Vancouver are kind, and that Son #2 has a wonderful time.
And I am also hoping that he finds his way back to the east coast with a little less wanderlust in his blood.
Wave Over Wave
Me name's Able Rogers, a shareman am I
On a three-masted schooner from Twillingate Isle
I've been the world over-- north, south, east, and west
But the middle of nowhere's where I like it best
Where it's wave over wave, sea over bow
I'm as happy a man as the sea will allow
There's no other life for a sailor like me
But to sail the salt sea, boys, sail the sea
There's no other life but to sail the salt sea
The work it is hard and the hours are long
My spirit is willing, my back it is strong
And when the work's over then whiskey we'll pour
We'll dance with the girls upon some foreign shore
I'd leave my wife lonely ten months of the year
She made me a home and raised my children dear
But she'd never come out to bid farewell to me
Or ken why a sailor must sail the salt sea
I've sailed the wide oceans four decades or more
And many times wondered what I do it for
I don't know the answer-- it's pleasure and pain
With life to live over, I'd do it again