Weaving the Webs of Connection
By: Lara Scriba
(4 min read)
This past week we finally “splashed” and made it back into the water after six and a half long months on the land. Tears filled my eyes as the travel lift began to gently drop our boat, “Starr E,” back into the water. She and we are finally back where we belong.
There is a certain way of life that is palpable as soon we hit the docks. Neighbors pop their heads out of their boats like friendly little gophers. Ready with a helping hand to grab a line, or simply smile and wave to welcome you to the community.
Stories of where you’ve come from, how long you’re here, and of course, where you’re headed to next flow between us, just as easily as the water that flows below us.
When there is a new kid in town, curiosity is piqued to learn more about one another. We never know when the wind will blow, and our newfound friends will have to leave. A web of support, connection, and a sense of community is weaved within moments, and I am happy to have found they can also last a lifetime.
You would think the impermanent nature of our lifestyles would reduce the willingness of others to reach out. An assumed sense of isolation, as we are literally just a blip on the radar to one another when at sea. But I have found the opposite to be true. Our impermanence does not lessen the impact we have on one another, it actually increases it.
There is a simplicity that exists here, reminding me of the fast friends that are made in the sandbox when we are young. Proximity implies a playmate has been found. No questions asked, tag you’re it, and pass the shovel!
Connection is just so much simpler here. Maybe because we have all intentionally chosen an alternative way of life, we know we have enough similarities to ease into a conversation. Or because we are so far away from what is familiar to us, we crave the grounding effect connection gives us.
I think the impermanent nature, though, pushes us past the traditional formalities when it comes to forming friendships. Though we’ve only been at the docks for a week, we’ve already shared so much with our new friends.
Rather than taking months to finally ask to meet for a coffee, we meet that very next morning. Recommendations are not only given for a favorite restaurant, but they’ll join you. Allowing you to enjoy not only an amazing meal but wonderful conversation.
The boys quickly made friends with a fellow boat kid, who graciously taught my boys and me how to crochet. One lesson turned into daily lessons either tucked down below, watching movies as we practiced our new skill, or gathering at a favorite coffee shop, swapping new stitches learned over a frothy mocha frappe.
Walking with a new friend starts out by sharing mandatory lifetime logistics… where you grew up and how you got here. But as we turn for home, it quickly shifts to sharing our dreams of the lives we are trying to build for ourselves while navigating unknown territory.
A simple meal becomes a playful encounter with the waitress as we try out new words, testing our newly gained Spanish skills. The bigger the smile we get, the further we know we are from the correct pronunciation! I think it’s having the beginner mindset that feels so freeing. A willingness to try new things and make mistakes.
An unexpected visit from a neighbor who just happens to be a robotics coach brings all her gear over to teach my boys coding and electronics for the afternoon. Lighting up their minds just like the little LEDs they’ve just figured out how to successfully light up themselves.
Sharing meals, stories, jokes, and of course, the love of music together. Pureness in the delight of simply getting to know one another, a willingness to share anything that might help another out or bring a little laughter and lightness to a challenging situation.
It feels like a place where the pretense that can exist in traditional society falls away, and it is the simple act of sharing our love of nature, adventure, and authentic connection that brings us together.
I share this, as building connections can often feel hard. Living life through the lens of living for the moment vs. planning for the future can seem frivolous.
We crave stability, structure and predictability to create a sense of ease and safety. It often isn’t unless someone suddenly passes away do we ask ourselves, “What if there was only tomorrow.”
There are a lot of challenges that come with living this lifestyle, but I am deeply grateful that I was so beautifully reminded of one of its greatest perks, connection.
I hope this reminds you to also look for places where you can nurture the connections that already exist or look for new opportunities that are simply a smile and a wave away. Even if you think your friend roster is already full or you simply don’t have a spare minute.
We are not meant to navigate this world alone, and in so many spheres of my life, it shows itself over and over again. Creating meaningful connections and community are the key to healing, learning, and embracing the many gifts this world has to offer.