We were leaving Lizzard Island in a beautiful pink and gold sunrise, with good wind, when we noticed a bird in the upper shrouds. Greg said some birds like to hang out, and tried to shake her off so she wouldn't poop on us. Soon it became clear that the poor bird had her wing broken around the shroud. Just hanging there, helpless and suffering.
That was the day I found out my mother was dying.
Now, as I sit here in Darwin's harbor, the anchor lights from the other boats like a constelation in the darkness, I wonder at the timing of it all. You have your mother for your whole life, almost 45 years, then, the day you venture across the world she goes to the hospital and is told she has weeks, maybe months to live.
The stars light up the night sky and wink at me.