A couple days ago we took our dinghy up a salt water stream, spanning across Shroud Cay. As we rounded the last bend we came upon a breath-taking scene. I do believe it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Pristine white beaches, turquoise water in many shades, sheer cliffs and a forest of palms on the hills. And we had it all to ourselves (for quite a while)! I think we were all filled with joy and a bit of awe as we took it all in. We are so blessed to be here and so blessed to live on such an amazing planet.
Interestingly (and disappointingly), the pictures and video that Travis took that afternoon really did not do it justice. Something was lost in the translation. It got me thinking about something I have been pondering lately…even living in paradise isn’t perfect! There are many small glitches, stresses and discomforts that can dim my view of the beauty all around me.
For those of you who may be wondering if cruising the Bahamas has any “flies in the ointment”, here is a list of a few of my least favourite things!
- Losing our new fishing lure the first time it hooked a fish
- Losing Rachel’s new flip-flop overboard
- Losing our lemon squeezer overboard
- Losing our cherished carrot cake overboard (when our Backpacker Oven tipped over on the BBQ while baking it)
- Leaving our backpack (with the dinghy navigation light inside) in a car when we were hitchhiking
- Leaving a fishing line and lure behind somewhere
- Spending 3 days waiting for the company providing us with a satellite weather service to reconnect our service (we had to stay where we could access wifi until it connected)
- Having alternator problems (the alternator is what charges our batteries when the engine is running)
- Not being able to use a fan at night because we don’t have enough electricity
- The alternator dying
- The new alternator we purchased in Rock Sound burning out (after Travis had already spent almost two weeks trying to figure out our alternator problems)
- The old spare alternator not charging the batteries either
- The fridge smelling gross when the frozen squid (for bait) melted as the freezer thawed (because of the low batteries)
- The water maker refusing to take all the salt out of the water (probably because of the low batteries)
- When it’s too windy to go where we want to go
- When there’s not enough wind and we have to use the engine all day to get where we want to go
- When there was no wind, and no-see-ums attacked us relentlessly (flying right through our screens) all night
- Asking the kids to wash the dishes for the fifth time
- Asking Rachel to do her math for the fifth time
- Rachel asking for a snack for the fifth time (before lunch)
- Asking the kids to settle down and stop making annoying screeching noises (for the fifth time)
- Paying way more than we expected when treating ourselves to a meal at a restaurant
Whew…if you made it all the way through that list and have not given me up for a completely petty whiner, then thank you! The point I am trying to make is that even when in the middle of having my “dreams come true,” I can find plenty of reasons to be discontent. It has shown irrefutably that entertaining thoughts such as “If only (person or situation that bothers me) would change, I would be totally happy”, is a huge waste of time. There will always be reasons I can choose to be worried, grumpy and stressed. And there will always be reasons I can choose to be grateful and content. It has been very good exercise for my “choosing-happiness” muscles to let each of these unpleasant things go and direct my focus to the wonderful God who loves me, the wonderful people I am travelling with and the wonderful adventure I am on.