Whales

A noon walk through the eucalyptus forest across the road from where I work, then down to the edge of the ocean. I often come to park myself for a few moments on the bottom rung of a ladder on the front of a lifeguard stand. In winter the stand, which is quite large and heavy, is dragged back a hundred yards or so from the water, presumably so that it does not get washed away. The air today is crisp. Most walkers wear coats and pull the collars up around their necks. Even Hawaii, my daughter tells me, has dipped down to sixty degrees at night.

A band of gray sits low on the horizon, in an otherwise blue and lightly breezy sky. The edge of a storm system about to move in, perhaps, but I thought so yesterday as well when I saw the same gray band in the same location as today. The ocean is in a lull, with a smooth surface and tiny waves. I see a couple of kayakers paddling south, about a half mile off shore. Many recent whale sightings must have sparked them to go have a look on this perfectly calm day. For such a wintry feeling in the air, I did not expect such tranquility beyond the shore. If I were able to walk on water, this day would be an easy hike for me out to visit the paddlers and whales, but alas they have the vastness of the open ocean all to themselves, while I return to the office building.

I recall that my mother-in-law died a year ago yesterday. Daughter R. said that she had a dream the night before last that grandma appeared to her in a white robe and told her that everything is just fine where she is now. Daughter R. was not cognizant of that day being the one-year anniversary of grandma’s death. The experience of living is so sprinkled with coincidences and intuitive abilities! About the time I become bored with life and think of it as all so predictable, an event like this one occurs. The surface is calm, with whales swimming below.

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