I’m writing this post like I wrote the first, sitting at the jetty bar, watching the sun make her deliberate way down to the sea. For some reason I’m close to tears, in a good way. I’m grateful. For this week, for the things I have been told and the things I have been reminded of. It has only been a week, but it has been enough.
I’m watching the sun do what she does every evening, and watching the sea gracefully receive her. I watch the birds skim over the waves, the white one, the 5 Black ones and the last one that always gets left behind. All listening to a clock that they might not always be aware of, one that says nonetheless when it is time.
This week was perfect. I planned to explore Zanzibar and I did, but I also spent time doing absolutely nothing and remembering how it feels to pause. Sometimes we rush about so busily doing so many things, that we miss life. So I paused; I did nothing. I slept early and woke up late; I ate new dishes, had evening cocktails and took long luxurious baths in the middle of the day. I didn’t check my email at every minute, didn’t fuss, didn’t stress, didn’t talk on the phone, did nothing I didn’t have…or want to.
And it was good.
I decided on this trip after a malaria attack that scared the living daylights out of me. Scared me because I am one of the healthiest people I know. I spent 3 days in bed sleeping, partly because I was unable to get out of bed. Weirdly though, my appetite was fine. I went back to work to hear how good I looked. I know it was malaria, my test results showed malaria, but I also know I was exhausted and that my body quite simply, shut down.
On this trip I’ve, without effort, found my thought processes arranging and assessing – all I did last year in life, work and love, all I need to work on this year, things I need to change, things I need to upgrade, goals and so on.
Things have popped to the surface, other things have disappeared and I can feel that again I am in a cycle of evolution that will see me better, stronger, wiser and more capable.
I had a funny experience on Monday. Now, 2 days before, on Saturday, I had missed an opportunity to see the dolphins on our ocean safari. So I asked God if He could pretty please, give me some dolphins. Fast forward to Monday, I asked the guide as we rode the boat to Prison Island, if dolphins came the route we were taking, he said “No, but who knows”. I accepted that I had missed my chance and forgot about it. On my way back from Prison Island (pictures soon), I was chilling in the boat, lulled into semi hypnosis by the movement of the waves, when the boat operator pointed at something with a shout.
Jumping, flipping, crossing from one side of the boat to the other. They’d disappear for a while and then, just as we were getting all settled in, they’d flip again and jump and play. The guide looked at me and said “You’re the luckiest person. I have never, in all my years of touring, seen those dolphins so close and so many. They don’t even come to this side of the sea; I have never seen them here.”
We have a Father who hears our silliest, smallest prayers. And who delights to give us these pleasures to make our lives beautiful. If He would send dolphins off their route to answer His daughter’s prayer, what won’t He give me if it is His will?
I’m grateful for this trip, that I took it and that I could afford it. It’s not a blessing I take for granted, God’s grace in my life in all its different manifestations.
I’m grateful that I got to watch the sun set, got to learn that no matter how dramatic life gets, that there are certain things that will never change, that all our worry is as futile as trying to stop the waves of the sea, that sometimes our “only me” way of thinking stops us from noticing the vastness of the world we live in. I’m grateful that I got to explore and experience things I’ve never done before. I’m grateful for the promise of possibility.
Watching the sun set this evening, with my heart so full that I feel I need to cry to ease the pressure, I accept again that I will always be the one who feels things maybe a bit too deeply, who is more sensitive than people think, whose heart is easily full…I know that it means that I will feel hurts that others will ignore, and that I will agonize over decisions that should be easy, that sometimes my heart will speak before my head. But I will also be the one to fall in love with the fading hues of the sunset, or the waves as they travel on endless journeys, or with dolphins who take the time to say Hello.
I got what I came here for. I’m full. I’m ready to go back home.