Dockside, the R/V Persistence also heavy, rests laden with fuel and supplies before it sets sail on it's approximate 1,700 mile journey to Aruba. It is midnight. The crew sleeps as I lay in the top bunk of the berth, awake. My mind stirs and torments me as I struggle to find rest, replaying the things of the day. Lists of to-dos and should-have-dones dance through my mind as incomplete bits of information collide. The din of thought is so loud I can almost hear it over the gentle distant hum of the Persistence's Diesel generator propagating through the steel hull. I know I am not alone in my insomnia tonight. Hours tick by while I wait to get up to catch the 6am out of New Orleans. I will head north to my home in New Jersey and the Persistence, south to Aruba. This will be the last posting on board until we reunite in the tarnished paradise about 9 days from now. Struggling to quiet my mind enough to grab a couple hours of sleep just makes me think more of how I am not sleeping. Frustrated by lulling in and out of a half-sleep, ready to abandon the attempt... my mind is suddenly stilled. So much was my mind silenced that it draws my full attention. I am listening. Almost as a whisper or a mist, the words of an old Longfellow poem come pouring into my mind in an image: "Come... wander with me she said, into regions yet untrod, and read with me what is still unread in the manuscripts of God".
It's clear to me that we are again being beckoned into regions of the unknown. We all have our hopes and expectations on what will happen and what we will find. All of us replay slightly differing scenarios through our minds as we lay awake tonight. There is one common thread however that permeates all of us. We know that God has us here for a purpose, and that purpose is being achieved and revealed to us one word of the manuscript at a time.
Transit Route - Approx. 1700 miles, Louisiana to Mexico, to Grand Cayman Is., to Aruba