I'm looking at a rack of shelves across from where I am sitting typing this and I see so clearly how the shelves are made to fit in the grooves that have been etched to hold them.
Dean told me a story. He swims at Master's every morning at our pool. I should but I'm too lazy. No, really, I've gotten lazy. He was talking to a woman there the other day who witnessed a drowning at Half Moon Bay. We go to the beach there all the time. We go all up and down the coast in the area to wade and swim and explore.
This woman, the day she was there, an 11 year old girl got swept off the shore- knocked down by a wave and pulled out by the force of the water. We joke about the undertow but if you've never been knocked down, not sure which way is up, feeling like the whole ocean is trying to suck you out and drag you down... Well, I am always on my kids about turning their back to the ocean, wading out too far, not paying attention...
Anyhow, in this story this girl's mother went after her. She got pulled into a rip current (some people call it a rip or a rip tide- but it isn't really a tide). From my lifeguarding days, when Dean said that, I had a feeling how the story was going to end- even a real athlete, even a mother pumped up on adrenaline trying to save her child, well, getting caught by a rip is a good way of getting killed- especially if you don't know what to do. The daughter was rescued by helicopter. The mother died. The woman telling my husband this at the pool is apparently a strong swimmer and she had a hand on the woman's wrist but she had already gone unconscious and couldn't quite get her without getting in trouble herself. And that is the crux of it- most people drown trying to help other people which is a bummer. I hope my kids get the whole, 'respect the ocean' lesson out of that.
My public service message here: as with any emergency(someone choking, something's on fire, someone's bleeding, someone's drowning)- alert the professionals first and then don't do anything to make it worse if you can. And as far as the ocean goes- if you do ever happen to get caught in the rip, don't fight it, don't panic- keep your head above water. If you can, swim parallel to shore.
But that story got me thinking about a woman on the shore with her 11 year old daughter. And everyone wonders why I stay back and take pictures when we go to the ocean(even if I wasn't anemic nd freezing all the time anyway). Ha. Someone has to be there to call for help. Oh, I mean, I would probably do the exact same thing that mother did and just hope I got lucky. I guess if I had to choose a way to go out.. after the horses, it'd probably be the ocean. Statistics say car accident, cancer or heart disease. If I get cancer or heart disease, you'll probably find me at the ocean alot. Riding the horses at the ocean. You know, they can actually swim pretty well. I'm not sure how far they can swim, though- I've only put it to test across a river or two.
I was talking to my friend Joannie the other day and trying to explain to her how different my life has been from what I thought it would be but how it is a good thing in ways. One of those is like those shelves I was talking about earlier.
I remember being about twelve years old and sitting out on the roof of our house in Kennydale, watching the sun set over Lake Washington. The wind was just right, the temperature was just right and I can still feel the grittiness of the shingles under my palms and that brilliant red-orange color flooding the whole sky as the sun dipped down behind the hills across the lake. There were a few minutes there where I could just see it all- I felt like I could understand the world, my purpose, life, the point, GOD, THE UNIVERSE. I could see The Big Picture and it was Okay. Everything slipped into this groove, that groove that... it's just being there. BEING THERE. For those few moments I was just there.
And I guess, even though my life has not been what I thought it would be- I've been taught things about life and love and meaning by people from which I never thought I had anything to learn. Those moments come more often when you are ready for them, open to them. They come more often when you are not distracted so much by the small stuff that you miss the real stuff, which might happen to be small stuff, too. I mean, a sunset, right? A shelf, fitting in a groove? The sun sets every day and that is what a shelf is and does. But then I think maybe there will come a day where the sun will not set. I think a day will come where I will not be here to see the sun set.
This is it. Who knew?