Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A double marine mammal morning here in Margaritaville
There were dolphins arcing in and out of the surf this morning. I walked along the sand just a a few feet from them until they outpaced me. A few seconds after I turned back, I spotted two seals, or maybe sea lions, diving through the waves. To the south god-fingers of light spread through the clouds, and to the north the coastline was swaddled in mist. The ocean itself was cellophane--blue layered over green layered over silver. A color without a name. Lucky, lucky, lucky. The word repeated itself and I listened. The capriciousness of the universe sometimes seems most evident in the weather. Superstorm Sandy wreaking havoc and misery while I make footprints in sand so smooth it looks as though some beach version of a Zamboni has whisked across it. There is no reason as far as I can tell.
The misfortunes of the east coast have caused me to pull the "earthquake protection" guy's card from my rollodex. Time to anchor my towering bookshelves and old armoires. Time to think about storing some water, check the batteries in my lanterns, and figure out where the battery phone charger went after last December's windstorm. But I am never prepared, really, when the bad stuff happens. I prefer to dwell on the smooth sand murmuring about luck and marveling at dolphins.
The heroes whose job it is to respond to disaster, the men and women whose jobs require drills to man lifeboats, escort passengers from crippled planes, race gurneys down hallways are as exotic to me as dolphins. Because my daughter C and her husband are both sailors in the tall ship world, I found myself staring at my computer screen in the wee dark hours watching the waves wash over the HMS Bounty after Sandy hit it. I thought of how many times these submerged sailors might have run the lifeboat drill, and I thought of the hours of training required to be a Coastguard rescue swimmer or helicopter pilot. I wondered what it must be like to be in an upside down canopied lifeboat praying for rescue. Or to be washed under and not make it to the lifeboat. But I couldn't visit that scenario for long.
My daughters and I sometimes talk about having superpowers. All of my children are crazily brave in ways I cannot imagine. It seems to me that they really do have superpowers. My superpower? It might be finding lost babies. I've found three, so far, in my life and shepherded each of them back where they belonged. So, hey, all you wandering toddlers out there......never fear.
photo credit: paintingsilove.com