Tags → swim2021
The water this morning was clear and perfect. It was my first time to bodysurf at the Jetty in the early morning since the Stingray Incident on the early morning of July 19. I’ve been cautious and have tended to go to the beach in the late afternoon and evening sessions. And shuffling my feet more diligently. Getting stabbed in the foot definitely affected my responses—how I carry myself in the water. I have felt myself relearning the ocean. For many weeks nearly everything in the water set off a fight-or-flight response which I had to manage and learn to process anew. “That’s not a stingray, that’s a bunch of kelp. That’s not a stingray that’s a rock. That’s not a stingray, that’s some trash. And even, that’s not a stingray I’m looking at, that’s my own shadow.” The fear didn’t keep me from swimming, but it reminds me that as a kid I saw Jaws at age 6 and I remember imagining sharks in the water then. I had moments in the water where I worked up a fear based on imagined threats. It’s been an incredible opportunity to experience that again, and learn to manage those feelings and emotions in a way that’s proportionate to the threat. There are definitely critters and currents that demand respect and attention in the water, but like learning to walk in a city or drive in traffic, it can be learned. I consider this all in the category of “know thyself.”
This butterfly was face down in the water on the glassy tide. I scooped it up. Let it dry on my finger. It batted its wings and and was back in the drink. Scooped it again and held it in my cupped hands. I blew on it. We hung out. It made a break for the shore. It flew toward shore beyond my aging vision. I like to think critter made it safely somewhere good.
Flat tar cakes like this can form from oil that’s spilled and congeals over time on the ocean. Here some small mollusks made it their home. I’m going to keep voting against people who think more drilling is a good idea.