How low? How about -1.9? That is a very low tide. This afternoon the tide will slip away almost as much as it did yesterday. And if you can slip away, you should... down to the beach and the rocky places where the ocean is leaving a world to discover.
Uplifted by comments left on Chickenblog (thank you: Jennifer, Zan, Star, TCavanaugh, Andylynne, and Judy) and sporting a new pair of earrings from my mother's airlift emergency package, I mustered the gumption to get my feet wet.
Some days it is all about resolve and inertia, pushing through, just to get things done. But other times, or most times, luck is involved. We got lucky yesterday. Lucky the tide was low. Lucky the weather was fine. Lucky we are healthy. Lucky that for the first time all year, everyone was released from schools early.
We shared a picnic lunch and watched the tide, an entire ocean of water, move gradually to the south and west. It made room for exploring and finding shells and for dancing. It made room for renewed energy and a sense of wonder.
Last year we were not so lucky. Every low tide came after dark or when we were immersed in other obligations... something always managed to keep us from exploring. As we taught Maria how to navigate the slippery rocks, to be aware of the anemones and scratchy barnacles, I realized it had been a very long time since Maria was in a tide pool.
Max loves the beach.
Alex loves the beach.
Maria loves the beach.
William loves the beach. We missed William.
Yes, it is January, our winter. Yes, we are really lucky. I love this picture for all it recalls, for the happiness, and I appreciate that mostly it will make people ask: What was the water temperature?! I believe it was about 59 degrees Fahrenheit, and the air temperature was roughly the same. We were cold-ish.
I love the beach. I love low tide and the things we are privileged to see when the sea is away. The wavy rocks.
Sea stars, orange and bumpy, hiding beneath a ledge, waiting.
Sand and water, discovery, freedom, even the cold... it's so invigorating and good.
We walked to the edge of the world, looking in to pools, finding crabs and fish, stones, shells, and life. Then we came back to our spot on the beach.
Alex and Maria brought out their pencils and paper.
And Max followed the tide.
I think he could use a wetsuit. His rash guard and shorts are fine in Hawaii, but 59 degrees is cold.
Beneath the clouds and sun, in the breakers, Max is floating and splashing and begging to stay out a few more minutes.
Freedom and Joy