Wednesday, February 19, 2014

San Diego: whisper of wings

        I stood in the companionway this evening watching four pelicans fly through the dying light.  A changing formation.  Separate.  Together.  One ahead.  Then another.
        Almost fifty years ago, when I lived aboard my first boat with the woman who was then a part of my life at Seaforth Marina on the other side of this basin, one night I was rowing the dinghy after dark and a pelican flew past me within arm’s reach.  So close I could see each individual wing tip feather and hear them brush the air.  A magical moment  that has stayed with me a lifetime.
        Here, this basin and adjacent Mission Beach, are the center of much of the best of my life on land.  
        During the life saving summers I spend with my grandparents in North Mission Beach, I sat on the sand and watched sailboats.  Dreamed and planned.  One night when I was fifteen or sixteen I walked down to the jetty and climbed barefoot over the jagged boulders of which it is constructed to the end.  Somehow it was important that I reach the end.  By the time I did my feet were bleeding.
        I have been here with all the women to whom I have been married, except one; and with others who were important to me.
        My time here now is short.  A matter of a few weeks.  Two more now.  A few in May.  Being here again at intervals this past year and a half has been a grace.


        I did not work hard yesterday.  An hour or two in the morning; another in the late afternoon.  I had things I could do today, beyond scrubbing the deck; but I didn’t.  I didn’t feel like tearing the boat apart again and making a mess.  I wanted to enjoy GANNET clean and uncluttered and back in her slip.  So I did.
        I rather like her in a black skirt.