Yesterday in Dakar, we found a small (100m) beach and ran around for a bit. We didn't need anything, so we just wandered around town until we decided to stay on the beach. It was a tiny beach, in between resorts and embassies, but about 20 people must have been living there. They were all young men, keeping themselves busy by training- running, doing squats, running through the water.
I wrote a post about the boat and visiting different places but it was very boring, so this is attempt #2 to share something about our trip.
One thought that's crossed my mind over the past week was this: if we're to have good days and bad days on the ship- same as anywhere else- wouldn't it be better to just be settling down in our place in Cape Town? I'm terrible in these transition times, but there's something to be said for trying to settle into the transition, with many of the bits of our lives removed.
What I mean is that usually, we have all these buffers in our day: work, cooking, cleaning, buying groceries, watching TV or movies, having access to internet, seeing friends and family. I appreciate those moments more now than I did before. They're not really buffers, are they? They're our lives. Sometimes they were reasons to be stressed or cross at Noah, sometimes they were the justification we weren't having discussions on the meaning of life. On the boat, we're still not having deep discussions on the meaning of life, and I still get cross at Noah. I do pray more, try as best I can to take the days as a gift (we saw hundreds of dolphins yesterday), and enjoy the fact that we don't have to cook or clean (though we're washing diapers), as much because it's temporary as anything else. We're working every day, and it lends some structure to our days. I'm trying to reframe my time with Noah as time to hang out, not my babysitting my own child, which seemed like a chore.
It's good to be-- more or less- just the three of us, but after the community of our last months in Boston, and our time in Milano, I have a renewed sense that our little family is not enough. In the busy-ness of life in Boston, I sometimes felt like I needed to be the Guardian of "family time", like if I didn't set up some good boundaries our unit would be swallowed up by different commitments. I remember that need, but it's more like a vague dream as, on this trip, it's just the three of us for what feels like a very long time.