Wednesday, December 30, 2015

March of the Tiny Sea Turtles

The way the sun said goodbye every night, with a pale green explosion upon entering the liquid red of the Pacific west, made me aware that it ushered in the hour of magic.

It was the hour when there was still light in the horizon, and yet you could still feel the starshine start to sparkle.  A march of tiny turtles... and then there was the trembling of dreams just about to flood your head and your heart.

(March of the tiny turtles....)

I love walking along the beach in the "magic hour" - the hour when the skies assume pinks, grays, and then indigo tones.

Last night, I watched 30 or 40 newly hatched turtles scramble toward the wet part of the sand where they would quickly meet the tide coming in.

March of the tiny turtles...  endangered sea turtles scampering to sea...
Children cheered and urged them on in what had become a heartwarming tradition to combine nature's processes and visiting children's desire to become little guardian angels. The turtles bobbed in the surf, looking all the world like tiny corks, and I wondered how hard their little shells were, and which predators gathered in the darker waters just outside the buoys and the nets and waited for the shower of tiny swimmers.

The skies turned from indigo to a color I could never name, and the moon rose oddly pale and distant. As I continued to walk, I smelled smoke from fires, and the salty warm breeze of a tropical depression far offshore.

The turtles would swim. The waters would move in tides, currents, and waves. And I would return home, my face glowing, my eyes sad, my smile volunteering to be that probably mainly ornamental outer layer to tell the world I mean no harm; I mean to bring joy.

And, I would wonder about what it means to move into the darker waters with only a fragile shell to protect me.

How can we protect each ourselves and each other?  I would do it with memories and beautiful interpretations of the small things we experience every day in our lives. 

And every morning, after witnessing and wishing on the sun setting in the ocean, I awakened to dual, even triple perceptions:

First, I was in the moment, "I'm here and this is my routine; I love drinking cinnamon-infused coffee, eating thick lumpy oatmeal with nuts and raisins, and the tropical fruits that appear in the fruit basket every morning."

Second, I fast-forwarded to the future as I looked back on the moment I'm living now. I will remember always as a special time (although how it is "special" I have not yet determined -- that will be manufactured by the still-life collages and the selfies I'll snap today).

Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico
 Third, I took an "outside, looking in" approach, "How does this open patio, with its sheer curtains moving like deep inhalations and exhalations in the breeze, the leaves of the bananas and mango trees dipping as geckos and iguanas scamper across in search of fruit, trigger a primordial desire in those who see the scene to come to this garden in search of whatever in their lives they perceive as lost, or at least, riddled with duality?" I am, after all, looking at things from a tourist perspective, and as such, I'm desperate to create meaning (and in doing so, obliterate the interpretive possibilities that make me uncomfortable).

Toward the setting sun, Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico

Sometimes I wake up dogged by existential angst and doubt. Don't let it show, I think. But, by not sharing, I further cut myself off, and feel sad and disconnected. 

I dare not say anything. My friendships (precious and few), have been hard-won. Sometimes I think they are predicated upon my power to imbue a space with warmth and happiness. Even my best friend tells me he likes me when my voice is cheerful and sweet, and my eyes radiate joy.

Well, I like myself when I'm feeling that way, too. 


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