Our kids are in the other room, and they’re not sleeping. You would think that after a day like we’ve had today, they’d be out. In fact, Charlotte fell asleep on the drive home from Sámara, potholes and all. It was a fifteen minute nap, and we figured that we’d be able to seamlessly transfer her to her bed and we’d be golden. Get the boy rinsed off, teeth brushed, in bed, and out like a light - then sweet time for ourselves. Yeah, that didn’t happen. That sweet little girl doesn’t need sleep and never has. A cat nap will do for her for hours. But the beautiful thing is that we have time. Most nights during a normal week, with all that needs to be done to stay afloat, we’d be scrambling to grab just a few minutes of time together before conking out. I’d like those kids to go to sleep, don’t get me wrong. But there’s time and space…
And there are adventures! The first two nights it poured at night. A good, thundering, cleansing rain. Lightning and thunder that we were sure would awaken and terrify our children, but apparently, once they fall asleep, they’re out. Having both spent time in Micronesia, Rachel and I love a good hard rain, and although it wakes us up, it’s cozy and soothing. Wednesday night, a troupe of howler monkeys took up residence in the trees around the house where we’re staying. Thankfully we’re familiar with the sound because a good howler roar in the middle of the night will make you crawl out of your skin. Our kids slept through that too, but they sure did notice the poop around the yard in the morning!
Surfing has been an adventure as well. Playa Guiones is well-known as a great beach for learning to surf. And there sure are a lot of waves and lots of white wash if that’s your thing, but the consistent breaking waves are huge and far out. Paddling out that far through constant walls of white wash is a little beyond my endurance at this point, but I am improving at riding a shorter board. Rachel is committed to learning to surf as well, which is awesome.
I’ve also learned that mosquitos can suck blood straight through a hammock. I thought reading in the hammock this morning would be nice. Since I could wrap it around me for more protection, I didn’t really see a need for mosquito repellent. Instead, I ended up with thirty seven bites on my back. That was an adventure.
Probably the biggest adventure for us right now is just the sheer terror of having no clue where we’re going to end up. But the good news is that we alternate in our terror; one of us will be stable and peaceful while the other is full of uncertainty and emotion. While we were still at Pacific Union College, we spent a weekend at the Albion Field Station as part of the Student Missions retreat. One night we snuck down to the river where I convinced Rachel to go canoeing with me in the pitch-blackness. She was terrified, but she went along with it and it is one of our favorite memories.
One of my favorite poems, an epitaph from the fictional town of Spoon River.
Spoon River Anthology
Edgar Lee Masters
I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me--
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life. 5
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail 10
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire-- 15
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.