Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dropping



The Cove with the riptide

PJ and I were collecting an amazing kind of stone for Mandi. The best place to find the stone was at the shoreline. It was a constant battle against the strong wave that consistently hit the shore. We had our masks and snorkels and I was using a colander to scoop up sand and sift it for Mandi's stones.

Completely immersed in my work, I was surprised when my foot hit coral. I hadn't realized that I had drifted over to one of the reefs that surrounded our beach. I kicked away but without success. I wasn't wearing my flippers so I knew I had to get away from the coral because I didn't want to get cut. I kept trying but I couldn't get away and then I realized that not only was I in a current that kept me against the coral, I was also in a rip tide that was pulling me out to sea. I watched PJ at the shoreline get smaller and smaller. I figured I would just let it carry me out and away from the coral current and then I would be able to swim parallel to the shore, and out of the riptide. I called out to PJ to let her know I was in a rip tide. She sort of rolled her eyes at me and said she was coming out to get me. Though I didn't want her stuck too, I was relieved she was coming out to share my peril. She took the colander and my mask and snorkel so I could swim easier, but then she turned around and said, "Mom, I can't swim out of this either. I'm going to have to drop these." (the colander and snorkel/mask). I did a split second calculation: colander-$3.00, mask and snorkel can be replaced. "Drop them." She did and immediately made progress out of the current. Though I didn't get out as quickly, I followed her to shore.

I can't help but compare the current/rip tide peril to life situations. Sometimes we have to drop what we're doing immediately to save ourselves. Be it friends, situations, habits etc. Fill in the blank. And sometimes it's just the little things that keep us from getting back to shore. Drop 'em.

Though we never saw the mask and snorkel again, later that day I saw the green plastic colander bobbing at the peak where I assumed the riptide met the current against the coral. It was trapped for a short time...

before it sunk.

Friday, July 3, 2009



On my list of "to-do's" is Kayak the NaPali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii.
It was a 17-mile 6:00 a.m to 9:30 p.m. endeavor. Actual paddle time was apprx. 9 hours. The scenery was breathtaking and when I look at these photos, I can hardly believe we were there.

It was also an accomplishment for which I am proud--accomplished with the best person in the world--Tony. And like everything else, is another life metaphor.

While paddling we hit a horrific head wind and we sought refuge in this cave. The memory is surreal. This photo will always remind me of what happened when we came out of the cave. The wind had reversed and we had a magnificent tail wind. I took my sarong and tied one length to the kayak. I stretched the entire sarong out and held the other end with my paddle. The wind filled it and Tony and I were sailing! We joyfully coasted along the coast. We could see the distant shore that we would be landing on and were sad that the trip would end so soon. We couldn't have been fifteen minutes away But...
Another head wind. Almost two hours later we beached--worn but exhilarated by the accomplishment.

Not owning a waterproof camera, I didn't take any pictures. Providence reigned when the next day I found Kerry Oda's photos of the pristine magical places we'd been.