Beauty

Life on the cruise ship has become routine.  Not boring, mind you – but normal, standard, “the usual.”  Just as I’ve found my pre-show ritual or two, my days have found their own rhythm, whether it’s going to Dancercise in the mornings, hiking in Ketchikan, or shopping after church on Sundays.

As a result, I’ve noticed, I’m blogging less.  Not because I’m not happy (au contraire!) but simply because there’s not as much new and fresh to share.  I’m sure everything will change next month, when we finish our Alaska season and switch to California, Mexico, and Hawaii cruises (whee!!!), but until that time, I’m just going to have to be okay with fewer posts.   I’m also going to stop numbering my days in the post titles, because not every day has exciting things happen.

That being said, last week’s cruise had a couple outings worth sharing.  The first was that I finally went hiking in Skagway.  Remember how I said Skagway was my favorite of our Alaskan stops?  Well, if possible, my feeling has intensified.  In contrast to hiking in Ketchikan (a temperate rainforest, I think), Skagway hiking, a little higher north, is like Colorado hiking: dry air and pines and lakes and meadows.

I here give you my photo journey of hiking that day with five of my dancer friends (Kori, Kieran, Akil, Joanna, and Katherine).

LowerLoop1LowerLoop2LowerLoop3LowerLoop4LowerLoop5LowerLoop6LowerLoop7LowerLoop8LowerLoop9LowerLoop10LowerLoop11Can you feel the peace and smell the pines??  I love that you could see the glacier between the mountain peaks.  It was so beautifully, deeply moving.  I could have stayed out there all day.

I think I needed it.  For reasons I never figured out, I really struggled with not feeling well and not sleeping well last week.  (They were undoubtedly related.)  So my daily rhythm was slightly off, and I felt withdrawn and unsocial – quite unlike me, cross-stitching homebody though I am.

By the time we reached Victoria a few days later, I was truly unsettled.  I walked off the ship without knowing where I was going, and I ended up heading down to the rocky beachfront that I usually just walk past.  Eventually, I sat on a great big rock jutting out into waves, and there I sat for almost two hours.

I didn’t do or think anything; I just sat quietly and absorbed the repeated crash of the waves on the rocks, the shifting light of the sunset, and the majestic promise of the mountains across the strait.  These are a few pictures I took, trying (in vain) to capture the blood-red fluorescent sun and the flaming pink light that followed its setting.

BloodOrangeSunset1BloodOrangeSunset2BloodOrangeSunset3BloodOrangeSunset4BloodOrangeSunset5To my surprise, despite doing absolutely NOTHING for those two hours, I felt something lift off of me, and I nearly burst into tears with gratitude.  The malaise, whatever it was, had passed, and I could feel that I was back to being myself.  Beauty can heal, and it most definitely did so that night.

I suppose, funnily enough, that this cross-stitch I spent all week on (thank you, Katie!) sums it up, though I didn’t realize it until literally this minute.

Now and then, it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. -G. ApollinaireThough I am an employee of Princess Cruises, all opinions are mine only and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *