This feeling of peace


No background noise, no irritation, no deadlines to meet or time keeping to
make, no questions to be answered or questions to ask, no plans to create
or problems to solve. It is said that in some form or another everybody
will find peace in their lifetime, even if it is for a split second or for
those more fortunate, a longer period of time. I believe that quite
recently I had this feeling which above and beyond all peaceful feelings I
have had before, it managed to erase my mind completely of all everyday
troubles, as I describe above. It also, most surprisingly left me entirely
appreciative of one of the world’s simplest creations.

Unexpectedly, I was whisked away back in July, on my first ever cruise and
set sail aboard the Ventura from Genoa to experience the glory in being one
of the Captain’s passengers. This in itself was one of the most fabulous
means of travel I will ever encounter, being combined with faultless
service, organisation, food and overall treatment. I felt important,
special and worthy of receiving such treatment and it still amazes me to
this day, that a vessel of 3,000 people can achieve such an unbeatable
experience. Many ports we stopped at in order to explore the beautiful
places that I have wanted to see for some time- Florence, Dubrovnik, Mount
Vesuvius, just to name a few. However, probably in amasement to all of you
and to myself in fact, although these places encompassed some fantastic
views, exceptional architecture and beauty all round, my feeling of peace
throughout this journey, was experienced on Deck 19, sailing along the
Ionian Sea.

As any novice cruise passenger will concur, it is quite astounding how many
hidden viewing spots a cruise ship can have and by chance, stumbling across
yet another door leading to another section of the top deck, I entered into
what I can only imagine heaven should feel like. How I would have loved to
have been even higher up, just below the clouds, to admire the wonderful
view even further. At the front of the ship all that could be seen was a
mast, and below, a little sunbathing terrace. To my surprise, there was
nobody else in sight at this moment, a secret spot, or my secret spot that
I like to remember it as. With the warmth of the afternoon sun on my skin
and the breeze of 6 knots, sweeping through my hair, I looked out to sea
and could only distinguish a faint sailing ship in the distance, almost
like it was painted on the horizon. With the sky so blue and the odd cloud
so perfectly formed, giving the sea its beautiful contrast, I could hear
nothing but the breeze past my ears and the water being pushed past by the
Ventura. Looking slightly down I could see the white tracks that the ship
was leaving in the water, marking our journey and reminding me of small
frothy peaks being formed like in whipped cream. Further out, there were
just the glistening crystals in the sea from the suns reflection. The
feeling of complete calm swept over me, but also the feeling of excitement
as I was able to view this huge mass of wonder beneath me that seemed never
ending. This moment highlighted to me simplicity and freeness and the only
thoughts to enter my head was wonderment of what events were taking place
in the water world below and how far away that sailing ship really was. I
wanted to latch onto the mast, at the furthest point to the front end of
the ship, like Kate Winslet in Titanic was able to experience. I wanted to
further feel, the excitement and vulnerability of being at the waters
mercy, yet knowing that I was completely safe by the security of the
Ventura herself and of the Ionian’s reassuring, calm exterior. I wished I
had a bottle to see how far my ‘peaceful’ message could have reached, as I
am sure the insightful waves would have returned their appreciation and
guided that bottle to another peaceful traveller. Maybe next time.

I could have stayed here for some time, being harmonised by the vision of
the parting waves, but as I reluctantly turned to depart from my new found
sanctum, I felt gratitude that I was able to receive this feeling in such a
simple form. I felt like I was meant to find this spot on Deck 19, being
almost guided, as the chosen one to appreciate this moment, as not everyone
would have been so grateful. I have not told anybody about this moment up
until now, a part from my boyfriend as if it was not for him, I would not
have had this opportunity at all. So I felt that not only was it was my
duty, to let him know how this feeling had touched me greatly, but to reach
out to others and share, what I consider to be one of life’s most wonderful
feelings.

We can all admire the man-made treasures in this world, but it is important
and most uplifting to be able to appreciate the world’s simplest, natural
delights. Some might wonder how this can possibly be achieved, but all I
know is my trip on the Ventura gave me an insight which will stay allotted
in my memory forever. I do wonder if I will relive this feeling of peace
at any other moment in time on my future travels. Rest assured though
readers, in the meantime I will continue to explore, experience and savour
each and every trip I have, as I do believe variety is the spice of life
and nothing should be taken for granted. However I will never go looking
for, or expecting this feeling again, as it is not in anyway predictable
and certainly does not bless everyone. Most importantly, it should be
remembered that peace can only be felt from within.


Sarah Kirk

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