Six weeks. It doesn’t even sound like much, does it? It’s long enough though. Long enough to change habits, long enough to weaken, long enough to grow tired. The family left a few days ago, after 6 weeks of their summer sailing holiday. We are exhausted.
From what though? Sure, the sail-wash-polish-repeat pattern can wear on you, but we love sailing and I even love polishing, so it’s not the hard work and harsh sun that tires me. It’s simpler than that. It’s the humanness. It’s letting aside your hunger for theirs, your sleep for their rest, your sweat for their air-conditioning. Their comfort and well being comes above all else. It’s our job. So they eat first, shower first, sleep first. We are there when they wake up and we are there when they retire. If something breaks, you quietly fix it. And if they don’t even notice? All the better.
So it’s worn us down a little. Even the recharge from our mid-way stop over in Gocek (to repair the goose-neck/boom fitting) feels long gone, and the last three days we’ve taken off here in Israel feel well overdue. It’s hit me in ways I didn’t notice at first – more stress, less positive thoughts, mood swings – all symptoms of no time for myself. I’m slowly re-balancing habits: stretching and meditating in the mornings, going for runs, eating regularly and re-hydrating. It takes time for that to take affect though, and I still have a frustratingly short fuse sometimes. There are moments when I feel I’ve learnt the lesson before, and can’t understand why I’m going in circles. To quote a wise friend though: “Our life cycles are more like spirals. Always spiraling outwards, never quite covering the same ground twice.” Maybe they are even moving inward, towards our truth. I am growing, and I am learning, and each new cycle brings me closer to where I want to be.
Right now my spirals are in Israel. Monday, we sail back to Cyprus, where we plan on being based a little while. Our time in this small but powerful country have been rich. It’s a new experience for me to run to a bomb shelter at 6 in the morning when a siren goes off, and then to hear the missile explode in the sky as we’re half way there. It’s nothing new for Israeli’s though, and it’s with nonchalance that many people have told us “I don’t even go to the shelters anymore”. Nice to have so much faith in the Iron Dome, Israel’s missile fighting technology. A lot feel the same way we do though: that it’s not worth the risk. Besides, just 60kms away the bombs DO hit and people ARE dying. I need a way to respect that.
I’m very grateful for the current cease fire, which has made the last few days a little calmer. We rented a scooter and did a tour – to Jerusalem, The Dead Sea, Jericko, and parts of Palestine. People-powered two wheeled vehicles will always be the best form of travel, but when you’re short on time, the petrol-powered variety substitutes pretty well. At least you’re still open to the world and not stuck in a box. There is so much to learn from this area, and I cannot begin to understand the solutions or even the problems – but meeting the people and hearing their perspective, brings me ever-closer to the humanness, and that’s what I need right now.