I am still here! Really….
I am actually writing……
Please visit The Literary Traveler for my latest published article.
Thanks for checking in on me.
The Co-Existence Bagel Shop, North Beach
Life without an ongoing challenge is the enemy. Of course in the middle of busyness, relaxation is often foremost in my mind. But as soon as I have it….. BORED!
A little over a year ago I made a list. What should I do next? I felt dull, dissatisfied. I longed to do something demanding.
Hmmmmmm….. I am big on lists…..
Bike across the continent, east to west.
Snowshoe to the North Pole.
Scuba dive a coral reef.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Walk the Great Wall.
I can’t find that inventory. I know there were a couple more ideas on it, but I don’t remember what they were. After ticking off pros and cons for each idea, I settled on one. It was actually the undertaking that posed the biggest risk for me. Is that why I chose it? That may have been part of the reason. It was also a venture in which I could contribute something, which held priority in making the choice.
In August, I began researching volunteer organizations. It had to be an international entity, I required it be reputable and endorsed by respected people and groups, and it needed to offer the type of volunteer work I was looking for. I settled on Global Vision International. I chose to join a group monitoring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef: the Mexico Conservation Expedition.
It was a perfect fit for me. I could go for four weeks (or longer if I wanted) during the summer. The focus was coral reef preservation, which I feel is paramount for our future well-being. And it was a huge challenge, because….. I was afraid of deep water. How crazy is that?
Exploring that fear and subsequently overcoming it became the first step in the process. I asked my friend Elizabeth to hypnotize me so I could traverse my subconscious. A few little clues popped to the surface, which we talked about and I journaled and meditated over. I also went to work in the swimming pool. I joined a club with a beautiful large pool that uses an ozone filter system instead of chlorine, so my skin, hair and overall health were not jeopardized. I was going to be spending a lot of time in the water!
I began by standing on the ledge in the deep end (twelve feet) and putting my goggled eyes under the water, staring at the bottom for as long as I could. That started out to be for about ten or fifteen seconds before I had to look away, panic bubbles rising in my chest.
Breakthroughs came, however. I swam four or five times a week. I took six private swim lessons between September and January. I completed the on-line PADI diving certification course. I finished the pool, outdoor classes, and diving requirements, receiving my Open Water Certification in early June. I purchased all the necessary equipment. I have gone out on a few fun dives with my group from Underwater Connection. Next week I am taking the PADI underwater photography class with them.
In less than two weeks I leave for Mexico. I am a little anxious and very excited!
She is two years and four months old. The terrible two’s….. well, not terrible, but definitely opinionated!
As we ride down the street on our bicycle, we spot a group of Harley bikers quaffing drinks at a street-side beer garden.
“Look Nana, pirates! Where is their parrot?”
Riding the bike another day.
“Nana, I’m frustrated.”
“My head itches under this helmet!”
Skyping with her Uncle Derek in California is a weekly event. He likes to teach her how to make fake burp noises and he puts on silly faces for her.
“You are being ridiculous Uncle Dada.”
Teagan, it’s not nice to hit other children on the slide. If you continue to do that, we will have to go home.
“No. I want to hit them.”
“Because I want to.”
It’s time for bed Teagan.
“No. I’m not ready yet. One more book. Pleeeaaase!?!?”
Who could resist?
Who is in this picture with you Teagan?
“My Princess Ariel.”
“STOP BARKING ZOE, YOU’RE TOO LOUD!”
“Nana, are you home? You’re home!”
Yes, Teagan, I’m home.
“I’m home too!”
Who are you today, Teagan?
“I’m an apple.”
“I’m estrellita.” (little star)
“I’m Super Reader!”
“I’m a frog.”
“I’m a princess.”
“I’m a BIG girl.”
“I’m a monkey.”
That’s for sure!!
The Liquid Sparkled
from The Little Mermaid
The thin grass strings of the ghost net were wrapped securely around my right wrist. As soon as I realized what had happened, I began to struggle. That only pulled it tighter. The lines were made strong to entrap the mahi mahi. I had dropped the knife from my belt, swimming down to grab the immense oyster lying on the sand, under the net that I hadn’t noticed in my eagerness. The mollusk was the size of both of my hands spread out, and I could picture the pearl in the middle, as big as my thumb. In the center of that luminous pearl, a tiny grain of sand. This, my last pearl, had quickened my karma.
My knife lay next to a magnificent, lavender sponge. Too far, I couldn’t even reach it with my foot. The needlefish nosing around it was of no danger to me now. I settled gently next to a huge fan coral that waved gracefully in the current. A few small blue tang paused next to me. Blue body, yellow fins, dark faces peering inquisitively. The school grew larger and encircled me. My wake.
Letting the last of the air out of my lungs, I watched the small silvery bubbles’ rushing and jostling ascent to the surface and the sun that wavered far above. When I inhaled again, the water felt familiar in my lungs. I was back in my mother’s womb: part of the sea, the coral, and the tangs dancing around me. I found their dance and embraced it.