Friday, August 26, 2011

Days Of Wonder

I do not think that I have ever had a more perfect experience being in any sea, anywhere, than I did this morning. I actually got up and off of my ass and went down to the beach fairly early, although the sun certainly rose without my help which I find that it does on a regular basis (I know- really?) feeling perhaps that I am more in charge of sunset-appreciation than in sunrise support.
Still, it wasn't too hot yet and the water was clear blue and green with gentle rollers and I walked and walked and walked and then turned around and came back and got in that water and I stretched out in it like a bed and closed my eyes and I think I could have fallen asleep and woken up somewhere...
I do not know. But somewhere else.

Here's what the sun's early light (not dawn now, y'all, I ain't lying to you) looked like on the water when I got there this morning:

I took scores of pictures, most of which I couldn't begin to tell what I was shooting. And as we all know, sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.

It is so hard for me to take pictures of birds in flight. Turn the camera on, try to frame them, snap, can't really see in the bright light...
But here are some pelicans, my favorite coastal birds, small pterodactyls, but still huge with wingspans of I don't even know how long. The are noble despite their ungainly shape and if they call, I have never heard them.
Here's one shot I got:

But then, the next shot, through a trick of the light, turned them into origami pelicans flying over glittered water.

I think I like that one better.

A ghost crab, running in the surf:

"I can see you," he says. "My eyes are on stalks!"

And then I tried so hard to get a good shot of the way the water looks when it curls up into a wave before it breaks, the translucence, the pure pristine miracle of salt water.

And this was the best I could do there.


Yesterday soon after I posted, Hank and Lily and Owen got here. I opened the door to find Owen in his pajamas and he looked up at me and said, "Mer-Mer!" and he reached up for me and I hugged him to me and we absolutely squished each other with our love. He hugged me so hard and so long and patted my back and when he got down he said, "Happy." Oh my heart.

That boy.

We took him down to the beach after struggling him into a bathing suit and sunscreen and with buckets and shovels and juice boxes and grapes and at first he only wanted to play in the sand with his buckets and shovels, stirring sand into a bucket of water and saying, "Done," when he considered it to be so. We tasted his sand soup and declared it quite fine.
But then his mama bear took him out into the waves,

which were pretty choppy yesterday, where Hank was already waiting and he got over his timidity about it all and laughed and chortled and got salt water in his eyes and up his nose and he only laughed more. We jumped waves and floated and he did the Choo-Choo dance in the water and that was my first time at the beach with a grandchild of mine and I will never forget it. We didn't stay down at the water too long- the sun was so hot and strong, but came up and had lunch and then Owen and Lily and I took a nap and then we got up and went back to the beach for more swimming and jumping and playing in the sand and feeding the seagulls and he used his bucket as a drum and his shovels as drumsticks and he beat, beat, beat, his baby-heart-rhythm and he ran around and there was a tidal pool and we played in that, too. Our own personal, placid body of water.

When we got back to the house the second time and were washing off, Vicki came running up to the house. Two baby sea turtles were making their lone way down to the water which is something I have never seen and barely heard of ever happening during the day. We ran back down and sure enough, two tiny perfect turtles were finding the water and as they swam away, I broke down and cried. "Oh Mama," Hank said, and he put his arm around me. "They're just so tiny and fierce," I said. And no, I didn't take my camera. No time. But I will never forget that, two turtles in that big body of water and I know the odds of them making it to adulthood are so slim but you know? It does happen. Some of them make it and the seagulls didn't get these and neither did the crabs or the coons and who knows? Who knows? Not me but oh, I hope.

Finally Lily and Hank packed up but before they headed out, Owen made fast friends with Judy. Here he is, showing her his elephant.

He insists the tusks are horns. Judy had two plastic bugs that are made to slowly crawl down windows and Owen had fallen in love with them and when he was all buckled into his car seat, she said, "Wait! You need to take those bugs with you." Owen was holding a shell in one hand and his elephant in the other and when she said that, he threw his shell and elephant down and said, "Present!" which I guess he understands the concept of and now he shall love Judy forever. I hope with all of my heart that he remembers the baby sea turtles but if I know children, it may well be the bugs he remembers. But we adults will remember what it was like, showing a boy the tiny turtles making their brave and enduring way into the water which is nothing more to them than everything, their entire genetic encoding instructing them how to find the water, how to swim into it, how to swim straight out past waves and currents and tides.
We will remember that for Owen and we will tell him the story so often that he will think he remembers it, which is almost as good. As Hank says, our family has a strong heritage of oral history.

And Owen is one step closer to being a beach baby, a beach boy, a child who will grow up loving the water, the sand, the sun on this amazing planet of ours with its many wonders, many everyday miracles, a planet where he, like you and me and every damn one of us, are miracles and wonders too.


  1. And on the way home, Lily and I saw a bald eagle flying down the coast.

  2. He has the cutest little baby butt ever!

    And the sandy beach, the wave...Thanks for sharing. My favoritest bestest ever.!

  3. What an unbearably perfect post. And day. And everything. My god.

    I can't believe you get in the water with crabs like that around though. Wargh!

  4. Perfection! Again!

    And there is nothing better in the world than going to the beach with kids.

    @Jo - Of course you can get in the water with a few crabs around. Don't you have crabs in Ireland?
    (I was worried about sharks instead.)

  5. Be still my heart. This is my favorite post ever.
    Those pelicans.
    The baby turtles.
    Owen's butt.
    The end. :)

    and the wv is rebud.

  6. Aren't the turtles wonderful? I too marvel at their instinct. It looks like a perfect beach day. More memories for you to store.

  7. Great beach photos ~ the pelicans are my favorite, too. Whenever I spot them at the beach I stop and watch them until they are tiny dots. Yours look like brown pelicans, which are the ones we have in St. Augustine. Their wingspan is 6-7 ft., but they're the smallest. The larger pelicans can have wingspans of up to 11 ft.!

    Owen gets cuter all the time and the way you describe him, his spirit is just as beautiful as his cute little body. I'd be squishing him with love, too, if he'd let me:)

  8. I would have cried, too.

    Love you Ms Moon.

  9. We have teeny tiny crabs, not crabs as big as our heads. I also worry about sharks, though we don't really have any :)

  10. What a beautiful and wonderous and wise post!

  11. How blessed are you, Mz Moon?
    Just how blessed are you....

  12. Great day!

    What a time, with nappy time and turtles to boot!

    The orgami pelicans and Owen's butt are my favorite pix.

    It is strange that the turts were making their way during the day... I wonder why? Cheering for them.
    Go turts!

  13. Wait a minute, the crabby was pretty dern cute too!

    Ok, done now.
    Night night.

  14. This post goes in the top 10 - easily! Thank you. Love those origami pelicans. Perfect.

  15. What an absolutely perfect day! You did a wonderful job on those beach pictures too. I think my favorite one is the crab.

  16. Perfect, Mary. Like being there. Perfect.

  17. You discribe this so well. I love those beach days so much, with my family and friends. I'm so glad Owen had fun and that you did too.
    Love you so much.

  18. That last photo of Owen is adorable. I'm so glad you had such a great day with your family.

    Thank you for all the photos. That's as close as I will get to the ocean for quite some time, and I love it. I am never happier than I am near the great waters.

    Love you, Mary Dear.


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