Sunday, May 10, 2015

Reflections On the Ocean

I just got back from a 4 night cruise.  Being out on the ocean is a humbling experience.  Your life depends on the soundness of the ship itself.  The prospect of having to evacuate into one of the small lifeboats was not something I wanted to experience.  Outside of some turbulence the first night of the cruise, it was a safe first time experience.

While walking along the deck of the ship I could imagine what it must have been like for those sailing from Europe to settle in America years ago.  I also reflected on what it must have been like for those captured as slaves in Africa and brought unwillingly across the ocean.  There is a difference in voluntarily making the journey versus forced relocation.  Both of those groups had different emotions.  Those voluntarily making the journey must have had hope for a better life  and the promise of a new start in a new land.  Those forcefully being enslaved must have felt fear, dread, and hopelessness at being taken away from their lives.

I could imagine the wooden ships making that journey long ago. Now in stark contrast I was on a steel ship with 2,000 other people all on board for the purpose of having a good time.  An endless food buffet, entertainment in an auditorium every night, singers, dancers, comedians.  Lounging in the jacuzzi or swimming pool.  Loud music blaring at the main pool on the top deck of the ship.  An ocean that years ago served as a liquid highway to a "new" world, is now an entertainment water parking lot where cruise ships pass each other daily taking people out for fun.

While looking over the expanse of the ocean I could only wonder what daily life must be like for those who spend most of their time on a ship.  When not encountering stormy weather I can imagine it must be peaceful.  But when the storms come, there is no where to hide.

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