The plane hurtled up the runway in Nassau, gathering speed, and I looked out the window, ruminative, thinking about the week I had spent on a boat with strangers (I met Trish in January when I went to Cozumel, but didn’t really know her very well before this trip).
As the wheels lifted off and we flew over the still quiet city, I spotted our boat, docked, preparing for its next group of passengers. They will be boarding tomorrow.
Who will those passengers be?
I know who we were: a brain, a teacher, a lawyer, a prosecutor, a police officer, a pilot, a researcher, and a dental hygienist. And many, many more. And much, much more.
Buried amongst all those labels we were all divers, and all Americans. We looked out for each other and shared our finds, our photos,our movies, and our experiences.
The last few years have been difficult. They have shattered us. They have amplified our differences, and torn us apart.
And here, for 6 days, we came together. In the brief time we spent at sea, we let our disparate lives disappear and dissipate, and we focused on one thing that we shared.
We didn’t talk about the things that would maybe drive us apart in another time and another place. We didn’t focus on terms like “liberal” and “conservative.” In fact they never came up. And I happily dodged the rare political talk that I came across.
We let ourselves be divers. And friends.
Maybe we should have had deeper discussions. Maybe we missed an opportunity to engage each other in the difficult conversations that might have got us all thinking.
But maybe they would have created vast canyons in a week of togetherness.
Maybe it was better to start with unity.
In this week we were all divers, and it was enough.
Perhaps that little step that we all took is a start for the next strides that we all need to take. Maybe we all expand each other’s bubble just a little.
Or maybe that’s all we get.
But this week, on a 65 foot sail boat in the Bahamas, 22 divers and 6 crew had a moment. During this time, even though we were all very different, the thing that united us was stronger.
But the seasons will continue to march forward, and COVID seems to be abating (at least in the US), so I’m already thinking about my next trip. I don’t yet know where it will be, but it’ll be a quick journey, much like my trip to Marrakech.
My next stop after this is New York for the weekend, and beyond that, back to home. The summer is coming, and Butterblogger will take a break. This has been a quiet year for the blog. (I think of years in an academic sense, from July-June).
When the time comes, I’ll let you know. Until then: See you in the fall, my friends.