I awoke in the dark of the early morning with an eery feeling at my heart after a frightening dream of a mystery where I was forced unwillingly into the role of a heroine. My eyes became used to the darkness and the silver light of the cold moon sifting through the window pane. My ears hearkened to the lapping of the waves against the boat, cradling my senses in the warmth and safety of the bedclothes. Just on the brink of dozing off once more, I jolted myself awake by throwing off the sheets and, pulling on my robe for warmth, I took my Bible and a reading light and stepped out on deck.
Lifting my face to the softness in the sky, I felt the wind kiss me as it blew by. The heavens were periwinkle and grey, mundane and beautiful, and the sun had not yet risen over the expanse of the dark, quiet sea.
Opening my Bible, I sat down in a chair and devoted myself to reading and prayer. Once finished and my soul refreshed, I stepped back inside and shook my younger sister awake.
"Gretchen! Gretchen! You've got to get up!"
"Come on, Gretchen! You know Daddy won't let me go exercise alone!"
"Get one of the boys to go with you," she says, turning her face toward the wall.
"You know they won't come! They're probably all still asleep. Come on, don't be selfish!"
Gretchen's better half prevailed, and, grumbling to herself, she got out of bed and we both pulled on our tennis shoes and sweats and went out into the hall. We felt our adrenaline start pumping as we took the stairs two at a time and ran out of the glass doors into the dance of the ocean wind. It blew my hair into my face, and I struggled to get my hoodie over my head and tie it firmly beneath my chin.
The boat was quiet under the quickly-fading stars, and the only sound to be heard was the breeze whistling in the ropes overhead and the waves rushing by. Gretchen and I climbed up to the lap deck, and began running around the lap, letting the wind blow vigor into us. We conquered one lap.
"Stop! Stop!" Gretchen said, puffing and huffing heavily. "I can't go on. It's too hard."
I impatiently jogged in place. "You are ridiculous. Don't be a sissy-pate!"
"I'm serious. I'm not used to this sort of thing!"
An extremely fit army soldier passed us running at a very steady and altogether marvelous pace, and yelled over his shoulder, "Run eight minutes, walk two minutes––that's the way to do it!"
We smiled, and I turned back to Gretchen. "Just keep on going. You'll get used to it."
So Gretchen and I ran on, I reveling in the dark expanse of sea all around me, and wondered what sunken kingdoms we were sailing over.
Halfway through the lap.
"Stop! Camille, I really can't go on. My throat is burning from this wind. I'll go sit on deck and read my Bible till you're done. Go ahead without me. Really." She hobbled way, slightly doubled over and panting.
I continued to run. As time went by and six thirty struck other exercise buffs came to the lap deck and began to jog. We formed left and right traffic lanes, and I enjoyed the fellowship even as I wondered at the great speed of the genuine runners, running two laps to every one of mine.
About six forty-five I turned the corner and was awe-inspired by the appearance of a glorious sun rising over the still horizon of the waters. I wondered, as I ran round and round and came upon the miracle again and again, at the thought that the same sun I looked upon was the sun that Adam and Eve had looked upon, that had risen over Abraham on his journey to Canaan, which David wrote about in his poetry, and Jesus saw when He lifted His eyes to the Heavenlies to pray. I marveled at its brightness, and how it alone warmed our entire planet and gave us light to see by, gave us the beauty and colors that decorate the earth so splendidly. All from the golden disc hung in the blue sky.
At three miles I joined Gretchen, Annie, and Scott on the lower deck, where they had been observing the sunrise as well, and within an hour we had all dressed and met the family in the restaurant below deck for a yummy breakfast.
After breakfast, Alex, Benjamin, Gretchen, and I went back on deck in the hot late-morning sun, with the wind blowing knots in my hair and no hair-band to constrain it. Our friend David showed us how to play the shuffle-board game chalked on the boards, and soon Gretchen and I were pleasantly observing the boys trying to scoot the disc from one goal to the other. I remembered pictures of Grace Kelly playing this very game, and wished I had a chiffon scarf, glossy sunglasses, and red lips like she did.
Gretchen and I took turns with it for a while, but, as our frail, feminine muscles couldn't quite manage to scoot the disc more than two feet, the boys soon gave us leave to step forward a great deal from the line, so that we could actually score something. Gretchen and Benjamin won, unfortunately, as Alex's muscles were too much for the poor disc, which generally shot completely away from the goal and off into the outfields.
Once we were finished, we went up on top deck, where there was a put-put ring and several children playing in the turf. The wind majestically tore at us, making Gretchen and I hold on to our shawls lest they go flying off to smother some poor fish in the wide ocean. The deck was decorated in ship-wreck garb (yes, quite what one would like to dwell on in one's first cross-ocean experience), and Gretchen and I took turns struggling against the wind onto a false ship bow, letting our shawls float behind us, and crying, "I'm the queen of the world!" Unfortunately the wind got a bit angry at this complacency, and, after almost keeling backwards in its wrathful force, Gretchen and I desisted.
After lunch the whole band gathered in the very belly of the ship, where our performance that night was to be held, and had our soundcheck. The sound-people were very helpful in our slight seasickness, as the stage lurched so much that my harp kept on falling away from my shoulder and I could hardly keep my eyes on the right strings as my hands searched for the ever-moving strings to pluck. Benjamin was forced to replace his uneven stool for an even one, because it rocked back and forth so much. Annie, Alex, and Gretchen had some very serious concerns as to jumping while playing, lest the floorboards drift away from them.
We partook of a delicious, gourmet supper, and then all dressed for the concert. Gretchen and Alex finished early and went to hear Phil Wickham and Third Day perform, which they very much enjoyed, and then, at eight-thirty or so, we all gathered in the Palladium for a splendid concert. There were some rather dizzy spots, but otherwise our legs showed themselves dependable, and we loved learning the art of balancing while playing our instruments. Such an interesting feat to experience what one experienced at the age of two.
After a delightful hour with a wonderful audience, we packed up our instruments, and Benjamin and I, who are generally the ones of the family who can't keep our eyes open past ten o'clock, went promptly to bed while the others went to hear other performers and drink coffee (decaf, of course!) with old and new friends.
And thus ends day two of our voyage.