Friday, May 22, 2009

Off of Tern & onto bigger things...

I just took a look back on my last blog entry in April... holy cow. Where has the time gone?

I arrived in Honolulu last night via the Oscar Elton Sette, NOAA Research Vessel extrordinaire. 2 1/2 days at sea was a little rough for me, ship virgin that I am. The last day was great though -- smooth waters, nice wind, and friendly company. Oh, and the spinner dolphins that leapt and jumped out to meet us right outside of Oahu -- an amazing sight.

I am sitting in my cousin's living room now, halfway wishing that Google had been kinder to me out at Tern and allowed me to log on as I pleased. In a way though, I'm glad I couldn't get on the internet as much. Instead of typing out stories of my times and struggling uploading pictures of my fun, I was out and about actually living it.

My last month at Tern was amazing. I've met so many awesome people that I never would have met otherwise. It's funny where and to whom life takes us. One of the first times Whitney and I had a talk, we were laying out right above the remains of East Beach. For some reason, Whitney brought up how she didn't want to know about her future from fortunetellers (random? yes, very much so), that she was loving going about her business, not knowing what was going to happen next. Surprise spices up life. I heartily agreed. If you had told me a year ago that I would've gone to this island state -- better yet, go to an even remoter island of this island state -- by myself, pretty much on a whim, I would've shot you a look that could've frozen hell over. God has been so good to me my entire life, and as I look back on these last 3 months of heat, sharks, and guano, it is so evident that He wants me to enjoy the surprises that He hands out. I've had the time of my life out there, and it was just what I needed at that particular time in my life when I didn't know what to do with myself. Tern provided a buffer between me and the real world for a few months, so I could think and get away from the maddening crowd.

People kept asking me "Are you sad about leaving?" I have to say yes and no. I (already) miss the island atmosphere, my friends, the refreshing untainted Pacific, and of course all those crazy birds. But as I was walking down the runway Tuesday morning (the day I left Tern), albatross chicks along the runway stood up one by one and flapped their clumsy, too-big-for-their-bodies wings, desperately hoping to get enough lift from the wind to go off to sea. These guys have been on the island their whole 5 - 6 month lives. They have thousands of miles of ocean to explore. They are ready to get off this island! And as corny as this sounds, I thought "If they're ready, I am too." I needed this time to reflect; now it's time to get back to the "real world" and keep living this glorious, unpredictable, scary life God has blessed me with. I have come off of Tern with a deeper appreciation for the environment, feeling closer to nature than I ever thought I could. I have made several great friends that I will be able to yell "booby!" with for years to come. I have seen things only "Planet Earth" could narrate properly for me. I appreciate the refreshing of a clementine orange and the crispness of fresh spinach. I loved my time out at Tern. Now it's time to come down from the mountain, so to speak, and live in the valley for awhile. Valleys are good too -- they make us stronger, and because of the struggle, they make us appreciate the mountain tops when we finally reach them.

"I now belong to a higher cult of mortals, for I have seen the albatross!" ~Robert Cushman Murphy

Photos later on. Time for a run around Honolulu.

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