"I've got peace like a river (or ocean) in my soul"
By Jamie Miles
Define fabulous. How about 10 days at the beach and glorious cellulite-free legs? Well, my glam gams only remain as long as the beach’s tan, which camouflages that cursed bane of adult women. But, honestly, after 40 it’s all smoke and mirrors anyway.
For my teenager, the beach is fabulous, but more for its fishing than resulting tan legs. This year, his obsession was his ocean kayak used to ferry bait 250 yards off shore then return to wait for his mega-ton Penn Senator 6/0 reel to spin like there’s no tomorrow.
One day while Jake waited for his tackle to light up like a Roman candle, a morning the Gulf appeared smooth as George Clooney in black tie, I took his beloved kayak for a spin. The quiet so beguiling, its siren pulled me towards the open sea and drowned any concern for large toothy fish lurking underneath my vessel. And in that calmness, I saw them…curving gray fins arcing out of the water. Dolphins!
Coming upon dolphins is like seeing a cow in a field rather than in a picture book. Large muscular athletes, they are controlled explosive power. They appeared where I least expected, then submerged -- leaving a swirling pool of dark, boiling water simmering in their wake. Upon surfacing, their crisp expulsions of air broke the silence. With titled head, one looked me in the eye and dove under, only to surface 10 yards away. A mother with a youngster. By her retreat, it seemed if mama thought I was like an odd stranger following a little too closely as she and child strolled some aquatic mall.
Unfortunately, they only seemed to swim farther from this strange stalking woman. Suddenly, it hit me. My sunglasses. Wearing some humongous faux-tortoiseshell, leaving-the-eye-doctor specials, I must have appeared as a large praying mantis bound up in a red life jacket furiously paddling after their smooth, graceful bodies. Removing my glasses and appearing as a softer, gentler squinty Clint Eastwood in swimwear-drag, I continued pursuit. Maybe because of the harmless glint of my eyes, or, most probably, the little fish they chased turned my way, but the pod circled back. And I enjoyed their glistening bodies and exuberant spouts of air once again.
If I could capture peace with paint, photography or words, it would evoke all that was that morning on the glassy Gulf. Once I stopped my frantic chase and observed in quiet, a sea of tranquility poured right into my lap. Being still in stillness. The memory will linger long after summer acquiesces to fall. Yes, thankfully, that image will hold fast long after I cease to care about tan backs of thighs and creeping cellulitis. Now that's fabulous!