(Africa Mercy sailing away from Tenerife)
I've been holding seasickness at bay for the moment by regularly taking anti-nausea meds. It doesn't help, though, that I have leadership meetings in one of the topmost rooms of the ship (topmost = rocks the most) for 4 hours every day this week. I'm going to the meetings early so I can sit centrally and look out the windows on the bow at the only horizon that doesn't buck wildly, appearing and disappearing like so much magic.
We all stagger about drunkenly; even walking down the hall is a challenge when you ricochet off the sides like a bowling ball off the gutter guards. Suddenly crossing the dining room from one side to the other requires enormous amounts of skill and energy--first you climb your way up the incline, then dig your toes in as the floor suddenly pitches and you're racing downhill.
"Keep two feet on deck," they say--to which I might add, "and one hand on the railing." I'd hate to fall overboard, to be sure, but I'd also hate to take a tumble down the stairs, so I hold on tight as I strategize how best to ascend or descend.
In my room, I wince as I hear things smash about inside cupboards and closets. The mirror on our wall swings like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, and I scheme about how to measure the angle of our incline by tracing its path on the wall. At night I wedge one knee tightly against the small guard rail on my top bunk, praying I don't roll out. (I did roll off the top bunk once at summer camp in Montana, waking up with a scream when I hit the ground. After all, how many of your falling dreams actually turned out to be the real thing?)
This little flat-bottomed ferry was never meant for the open seas. Yet we chug steadily along, somewhere off the coast of northern Africa, headed towards Togo. And we are reminded:
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.