I didn’t grow up celebrating Canada Day or Independence Day. The historical significance wasn’t drilled into me in history class. In the Bahamas we celebrated Independence Day when I was nine and which was a week-long celebration brought vividly to life by Junkanoo: a costume street parade and festival also celebrated at Christmastime. This festival celebrates ‘home rule’ after 325 years of British rule. Picture a slightly tamer Mardi Gras, usually—at least the part that we participated in as kids but as colorful and happy.
How did I come to grow up in such a unique culture? That answer brings us to my mom and her sense of adventure and bohemianism. My mom was fiercely independent—she was a divorced single mom in the sixties for a decade before I was born. She owned her own travel agency before she was thirty. She moved to new country, 1500 miles away from the only city she had ever lived in, with an almost three-year-old, an unhappy pre-teen, and my father to whom she wasn’t yet married. Brave or crazy; it’s a coin toss. Independent? Did I mention fiercely? The more family and friends told her she couldn’t or shouldn’t plan such a move the more determined she was.
My parents gifted me with thirteen years of independent living and thinking in a town named Freeport. And I learned at a young age what it meant to follow my heart and interests. A free spirit nursing her injured pony by riding bareback on the beach and swimming together in the waves. Independent? Fiercely. Later, as an odd teenager living in the ‘States’ for the first time I craved normalcy and only wanted to ‘fit in’ but the mold was cast. I was independent even when I couldn’t admit it. I didn’t embrace my mom’s bohemian legacy until my daughter was born. Then, I was fiercely determined to pass it on.
This past Fourth I didn’t want to deal with the heat, traffic, or crowds. Not feeling like Junkanoo but more like renew. The guys took a much-deserved break from the boat and the heat. Jeff and I spent a quiet long weekend at home. We worked on projects; made art; watched movies; and puttered around the house. We were quietly and comfortably independent of others and we continue to celebrate our dream of living independently; off the grid as live-aboards. The Bohemian life isn’t for everyone and I thank my mom every day now for giving me a leg-up into the adventurous life of a free and independent spirit.