We were determined to go back sometime, and in a few days, we will do just that (yes, another biggish birthday coming up).
A lot has changed in the past ten years: Back then, I had no idea of the heartbreak entailed in losing a parent, and that it was to come so soon, not decades in the future as I had always assumed, if I gave the matter any thought at all.
We also had no idea that we would give up living in the “in” location in the inner city in exchange for undertaking the renovation and reconstruction of the house my great-grandfather built (a project motivated, at least initially, to a large extent by my inability to face another loss, which then, fortunately, took on a life and a meaning of its own). Luckily, we also had no clue how complicated, difficult and all-encompassing it would turn out to be (German has a rather apt saying about children and fools being protected by a higher power).
We had dipped our toes (excuse the pun) into scuba-diving by then and I would have predicted that we were to continue with it (although I might have been surprised at how important a part of our lives it would become). And knowing the husband’s penchant for perfectionism, I could also have guessed that we would get a lot better at underwater photography than the above suggests.
But looking back at that trip and forward to the one coming up, I’m mainly amused by the things that have remained the same. Then as now, we were fascinated by odd creatures and plants and happy to just sit back and observe.