Stormy Seas

(Here comes trouble)

There we were sitting happily in our cabin about 9pm on Wednesday, last week. Me typing my blog, Denis doing something work-ish. And the captain comes on the speaker with the warning that things would be a little rough during the night and he was sorry…. We made a little joke and went back to our important little tasks.

(That huge truck reversed all the way off the ship!)

Well… it’s hard to believe any warnings of bad weather when the sky is blue, the sea is flat and you’re on your way home after holidays. So we didn’t…  we didn’t believe him. Not that believing him would have helped. We had met two bikers on the way onto the ship and had discussed the various sea-sickness options. They favoured the drugs while I was going for the bands around the wrist, Denis doesn’t get sea-sick so he wasn’t involved in the conversation. Anyway, that was all before the captain started predicting the future. As he spoke I realised my sea-sickness wrist bands were still down on the bike and all the doors were locked! We didn’t know which cabin the bikers with the drugs were…. but as I didn’t believe the captain’s warnings I wasn’t too bothered.

(Greystones on the map and off the map)

It wasn’t until two o’clock in the morning that I became bothered.

My beliefs started to shift…. as the ship was shifting, with the wind. But I was lying down, it was dark and very easy to imagine I was a child again and my brother was gently pushing me on a swing. By six am he was pushing too hard and I wanted to get off.

(More Irish clouds)

Imagine with me if you will, toss, rock, toss, rock, bang. Where the bang is the best bit because at least it’s solid? Then it would stop and…. the moment before you think maybe it’s over… it starts again. I lay there, eyes closed completely present to every movement, I had no other option, because as soon as I thought of anything else I felt frightened and sick. I couldn’t even complain to Denis because talking made me feel sick (it’s an ill wind……). Never realised how much “work” is involved in thinking, talking and complaining.

(Calm Seas)

I wanted the storm to calm down.

I started to say the word “calm” over and over and something changed. The storm didn’t stop but my stomach started to relax. And for a brief moment I realised the storm that was really bothering me wasn’t the one outside (although that was disturbing). The big storm was the one inside me. The one that made my stomach clench and tightened lots of other muscles too. Brief moment over, I went back to experiencing the movement….. and started calming the storm inside. Eventually the one inside stopped and later so did the one outside.

(Now I know why they have the cup holders…)

None of us needs to be on a ship to experience the storm inside. Calm….. Calm…… Calm……

Calm, Mairead.