Most of my life I have spent within either a few hundred yard of water or within no more than a quarter-mile. Was there a deeper reason for that? Is there something buried deep within my genetic code that demands that I live near water? Could it be my own personal Feng Shui? Could be. I know it had nothing to do with the family I was raised in.
My adopted mom hates water with a passion. As much as I love it, she loathes it. So I know it’s not a matter of nurture. My childhood home had a picturesque trout stream running through the back yard. I spent humid summer days on the banks and in the spring fed waters beneath the deep green branches over head, lost for hours. It was a childhood paradise, at least until myself and the other neighborhood kids would turn blue and have to get out.
As I have aged one constant has remained, my love of the water. I feel at home on it and in it. I now own a place on the ocean in Alaska. I take out my skiff to fish by myself or whale watch, it’s where I am at peace. The blue expanse and the white puff of a bow head chasing a school of fish my way just lights a fire in me. I watch my neighbors hauling in their nets, the silver flashes of salmon and an eagle guarding over head. It’s like I was meant to be here. This seems right, but why?
That pesky DNA. Nag, nag, nag, then an email, “Great News! Your AncestryDNA results are in.” On March 30 of last year, it would mark caffeine driven ancestry fueled cram fest researching. Pandora’s box was open. Where were my sailors and fisherman? Oh! There they were!
I used methods recommended by groups like DNA Adoption to build my tree I found a member of the Royal Navy, could this also be why I am a devoted consumer of BBC programming? Then on the other tree I labeled maternal, I found a ship’s captain on the Great Lakes. This sounds familiar, are these men where my love of the ocean, of being on the water came from? Without solid research, documentation, and fact checking it’s just fancy on my part. This was a start. My DNA was yielding a picture of those wonderful people who came before me. Those sailors, those captains, those fishermen who worked hard to make something in the new world for their families. I had set out like them on a course that was uncertain looking for discovery and my own truth.