Sunday, March 21, 2010

Drizzly Days and Water Memories

Soft drizzly days make you lazy of thought and the mind drifts to younger times. Memories of times that molded this life .... kind of like clay being formed for a later use. First there was fishing, then shooting, followed by hunting, hiking, rappelling, camping, whitewater canoeing, ham radio. But, water was and is a lure ..... near it, on it or in it and serenity is acheived. As a child, once swimming was learned, happiness was water. One summer afternoon, my cousin joined me borrowing a lonesome and inviting skiff tied to a post in a Alabama coastal lagoon. In those days, time had little, if any, relevence. We crossed the flat waters, drifting at times watching Blue Crabs scuttle across the sandy bottom and small fish scurry away. The clouds formed creatures and sailing ships. We talked of silliness. We drifted for an unaccountable period oblivious to anyones concerns. As I recall this, it's surprising we were ever allowed out of sight or perhaps not tied to a table leg forever.

We were all of 6 or 7 and the adventure was delicious. I can actually smell the air and feel the water slippin' on my finger tips of that long ago day. There was alot of "girls you know better", "you took someone's property without permission", "I have been worried sick", there were too many "what if ......"to recall. "What do you have to say for yourselves" gave me hope for salvation. Funny thing was no one wanted to hear my explanation or how much fun we had or "but nothing happened" which seemed to fuel the fire of retribution. Following a few days of house arrest, we were able to coerce our way out of confinement. Seems that was the only summer I was allowed, or perhaps invited, to join my Uncle and Aunt on the coast. Hummmm, looking back I probably would not have wanted to deal with that child's impulses either. However, it must be appreciated that as an only child, I was thrilled to have a "real" companion with which to share creative fun.

Odd that this would come to mind today. It's the water thing. In 1957 or 8, I was introduced to SCUBA. Without telling my parents exactly what the plan was other than a picnic with my boyfriend, we waded into a quarry of crystal clear water and I was hooked. Of course, much parental explaining was required when my boyfriend gave me tank, etc and I had to bring it home. There was no certification; you bought the equipment and went. Getting air was no problem and it was free. Boy have things changed. Remember Lloyd Bridges and Sea Hunt on T.V. .... equipment has certainly improved and I understand the need for certification..... yes, I did pass the classes at the YMCA winter program after marriage and children. The thought process was get one of us certified and we can get air. And, tag you're it..... a story of my life.

But that led to the four of us [me, husband and two sons] being able to share a water world of reefs and fish AND lobsters. Well, actually it was a bribe. "If you boys will fish the Gulf Stream with us, we will dive on the reef going in." So there we were, the boxes filled with fish and ice; AND, absolutely, we dove. Early on, the boys were smaller than some of the fish swimming with us. I sit here smiling to myself remembering when Jaws was released and Dad refused to get out of the boat. It was good and I am grateful but miss the sensation of the water slipping over me.

When I consider the influences that formed this clay of a life, they have forced me to search deep in myself to take the next step. There may be those that support you but when the next step on that path is taken only I am here to move my foot, as in a trust fall. There might be others on that path but they are responsible for their feet. Don't think for one minute that my next steps have been quick to achieve and I haven't stumbled, fallen into dark holes, rolled down the hill, wished to not be there, sought a way out, prayed. What I have learned, my life is what I make of it. I can be negative or positive in my point of view. I can sit and allow it to pass me by or get up and do something; after all, I've had my adventure and what could there possibly be left for me. I have NO IDEA. But as with that skiff tied to the post, some 60 odd years ago, I have to step in and untie the lines for a delicious adventure yet determined.

Holy cow, look at the time; sometimes these chats sure do wander. Temperature is beginning to drop ..... I need a fire, a cup of Ginger Tea and curl up with a seed catalog, or a nap perchance to dream.