Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.
These photos are all out of sequence and Word Press seems to have changed things so I can no longer put them in the order that they occurred. The last photo is of Sherry’s flipper as she swam back to join us at the beach restaurant. I’ve spent two hours trying to get the photos in sequence and another half hour with WP tech help to no avail. If anyone reading this knows of a more writer-friendly platform for blogs, please let me know. So sorry that Word Press is getting progressively more non-cooperative.
Fear of contact with that first cold wave keeps me lingering in bed this second morning at the beach. I can hear the surf that pounds the beach just ten yards from the garden wall of the house where I am staying for a week with friends. If they manage to rouse me from my warm nest, we’ll probably walk again down the beach to sit at a table at the Playa Azul to await Sherry’s return from her long swim to the offshore island and back. She resists the group swim that will take place later, the participants attached to floats on their backs to ward off overenthusiastic speed boaters who otherwise might stray too close, forgetful of the fact that other humans traverse these waters unencumbered by craft. It is her opinion that this daily journey is best accomplished in private, face to the water, snorkel fins flopping like friendly pats upon the ocean’s surface, as if to beat a friendly reminder that someone is about to visit.
Every January and February (and sometimes March) for years, I stood in these same waters, closer to shore, doing my thousand exercises while fighting the waves–lifting on their inward journey to land, feet settling again to sand on their outward pull back out to sea. Having nearly drowned once long before while Kayaking the Rogue River in Oregon, I preferred water with the security of a firm surface under my feet, even if it was just at intervals. What snorkeling adventures I have participated in since that near-fatal water adventure have included a boat within swimming distance, and so sitting here with longtime friends, discussing past adventures and writing and those other beach visitors that walk past us on the beach, I can’t help but keep an eye peeled for a view of Sherry’s flippers, flopping into view a mile or so away across the water, circling the small island, moving away from the sailboat that veers in her direction.
She will return to land, removing her false frog feet, shaking water from her second skin, to join us for coffee and hotcakes and eggs, chilaquiles or breakfast burritos, orange juice and papaya. Joined together again in the most communal of activities–a shared meal–we will again be united by those activities we share: laughter, tall tales, plans for the day, watching beach dogs, memories of past camaraderie, shared absent friends, plans for the rest of the day. This vacation at the beach after two years’ absence is a balm that soothes my soul and makes me thankful for this day, in spite of the future that might await us due to those others who guide the fate of the world. This day, this hour, the minute behind us and those long minutes in front of us are ones of our own making, and they are perfect.