Posts Tagged ‘surf’

Water Again

14 August 2009

Dear J-

Yesterday I came home and found figgy at home, early; she’d been pulled from day care — the cardinal sin there is leaving or sending a sick kid. Later that night we debated it a little but ended up deciding that I should stay home — whereas I’m a fairly replaceable cog in the machine (with sick time, natch) theVet is, well, the Vet most of the days she works and it would be nigh-impossible to find a short notice fill-in.

Nevertheless I’d been contemplating a Friday off for a few weeks now; between extended traffic in the afternoons and the usual barrage that comes for asynchronous schedules Fridays have been less about getting psyched up for the weekend and more like dreading the coming Monday for the next three days. Today was doubly nice because of the sudden notice; though figgy was up at 2 (between hunger and dehydration, she had a rough night of it), it gave me an opportunity to make some early calls — precluding the inevitable awkward conversation.

This morning was slightly hectic, as we ended up bouncing from store to store getting the usual bland diet supplies — cottage cheese, applesauce, bananas — before we found ourselves at the beach, drawn as if by magnets to the salt air and surf.

Sand Feet 0488 -sm

We are indeed lucky in where we live; if not for the traffic and lack of parking, we would have been fifteen minutes from house to sand. On our honeymoon we spent a week in Maui; we could be found every afternoon in the sea, rain or shine, because of the proximity to the water. figgy and I, we plunged into the surf this morning; we waded in until our hems were wet and splashed like loons. Today we let the water pull at our ankles, sand rushing out with the waves; as soon as I turned off the freeway she was already asking about the ocean, going to see the ocean, going to feel the sand give slightly under bare feet, going to swing and skim the water. Our steps quicken; shoes are discarded and before long we’re in the water again, always.



Lights Wink

7 July 2009

Dear J-

Lights wink on the horizon all the way up the coast; we pass through communities famed for surf and scenery, we drive on through the dawn and watch the day break anew.  Outlines are softer in the blowing mist.  Between the iron sky and gentle surf, life keeps hurrying along, trapped in painted metal boxes, destinations and deadlines foremost on the mind.  A river of headlights keeps flowing around us, past us, a steady metronomic beat keeping time to the expansion joints.

When we dream young, we dream big, of lands too vast to be walked, of limitless frontiers awaiting us over the next hill.  We learn that our ambitions are achievable and yet impossible:  pick a dream and prioritize, which one today, which ones tomorrow.  All around, the steady, measured pace of time slips past, and distance grows ever more intimidating.  If the universe is, as they postulate, ever expanding, sometimes it feels as though it’s relentlessly personal and immediate; from those quiet motions while the world is dark in your home to the daily commute.

We all live under the same sky; we all see the same moon and sun and stars spinning past at delirious speed.  We may be constrained, or if you rather, contained in this world, with a network of vehicles and communication tracing webs and connections to every point on the globe.  On a human scale, the distance we move under our own power may be minuscule compared to the tools we have at our disposal; the reach of mind and voice is immediate and visceral.  Hello again. Hi.  How are you?


Island Mind

14 July 2008

Dear J-

I’ve had Hawaii on the brain for the last couple of days and I think I finally understand why:  we got married in 2000 and promptly ran off to Maui; in 2004 we’d had enough of not having real vacations, so we went to Kauai.  Yet this year, nothing; we’d rather not subject figgy to the sensation of spending five hours strapped to a seat when she’s just getting up and mobile.

Hawaii’s significant to me as the first place we took an extended trip together without the schedule-planning influence of older folks or school or fitting in around someone else’s desires; we went with no plans other than having a car and a place to stay and no to-do checklist.  Back up for a moment, now, to 1981 and somewhere between Calgary and Banff.  There’s four adults and four kids crammed into a car that’s designed for six, a contemporary Ford Fairmont, and we’ve got an itinerary.  Must see.  Lake Louise, Vermillion Lakes, glaciers, Continental Divide.  I remember several things from the trip, but the opalescent jade glacier-melt lakes were not among them, instead, sneaking way too many people into a single room, being jammed up next to grandma for hours at a time, and the feeling of being on the road.  Forever.

When we went to Kauai four years later there was even less planned out, but the moments we had still sparkle in comparison:  I remember getting up what felt like insanely early thanks to still being adjusted to mainland time and getting out to the trail at the Na Pali shore just after sunrise and hiking that rugged path without seeing another human for what felt like hours.  Afternoons, we’d hit up a rental shop and find someplace to snorkel (the Tunnels near Hanalei being a particularly nice spot).  It’s not to say that I wouldn’t enjoy traveling with my parents, but  I think I might be too spoiled to.

It was less about the place and more about reveling in freedom — no schedule, no pressures, just finding something to bum around with for a few hours and then back to the hotel, back into the water, swimming every afternoon and knowing the biggest decision of the day was coordinating all the meals together to avoid eating the same thing twice.  Yeah, we can handle a shift in schedule.  We’ll pencil that in around the snorkeling and napping.

Yesterday we’re slathering on sunscreen and preparing to head down to Mission Bay.  Sun.  Sand.  Warm water, palm trees, shoreline gently sloping into the water, public-access parking and I look at the odometer:  only five miles from home, only five miles to that Hawaii state of mind.  We’ll be back, I promise.