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.