I live on a God damned island. Bear this in mind as you read this and understand how much of a whiny child I am.
Oceans, lakes and rivers and I have a love-hate relationship. I draw inspiration from the water. There’s something cleansing about it. I do not live close enough to a large body of water but had I been walking distance from a body of water you would always find me there.
I love boats. Travelling on water, in all it’s forms. I was a swimmer, before I grew up and hijab/being a ”woman” interfered with the ease of the process. I’ll have to try again, that’s for sure.
At the same time, it terrifies me.
Yesterday, we were on a boat in Dingle, Co. Kerry. Fungie, a 41 year old dolphin haunts the harbour. She’s known for playing chasing with the boats. We were out on one to try catch a glimpse of this dolphin.
There were two other boats out to find her too. It was very pure, three random small boats, all out to find this little dolphin and catch a picture of it for your Snapchat story or maybe your Instagram story, whatever you’re into.
I have zero idea as to how oceans work so if this sounds retarded, feel free to correct me. We hit the ocean equivalent of turbulence, we hit strong waves. The boat was rocking, and in that moment I grabbed onto the side of the boat and thought, ‘yo, what if we go overboard?’
I looked to see how far land was. I figured I could make it. But it was freezing out there, cloudy with a hint of rain. Would I even be able to control my body to swim anyway? And yo, where the lifejackets at? Pretty sure we were told when we got in, definitely ignored her.
My line of panic thinking was distracted by Fungie, she popped back up again to chase the orange boat (see: above).
I drive, questionably well. I always take the unnecessary risk, speed when there’s no need to and even break the occasional red light. With the road, I know one thing. God forbid something happens, I’ll hit ground, my fate is determined.
Water and air travel are the smartest and dumbest things humans have done. With both, if things go wrong, you’re in a weird limbo. Where air is concerned, you have to hit some kind of ground, so you have time to fall through the air. And with water, you’re struggling against the tide only to be lost to the vastness of the ocean highlighting the insignificance of your tiny being to planet Earth.
And the refugees. Dear God, the refugees.
Imagine hopping on an already overcrowded boat having left your home and your family members behind to go to a country that is safe but not really because the people don’t want you in their country in the first place. When the risk of ocean-limbo is better than your home.
How bad must it be?
How many people fleeing absolute terror get on a boat to face the terror of nature, the vast, unforgiving ocean? They’re at the mercy of the waves.
I made it back to dry land, as evident by this post. All was well.
The ocean does not always swallow you up. It didn’t swallow me. It doesn’t swallow everyone.
Sometimes, that’s a risk worth taking.