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big and small

The ocean bears gifts. If we are very lucky, it may bring a visit from something beautiful and wildly alive. Almost always, it will bring out something wildly alive in us.

When diving, we often find the delicate skeletal remnants of urchins in the aftermath of an octopus snack — drilled into or smashed open, sometimes tucked in a halo of quills in the sand.

The urchins are precious in their fragility and the deeper we have to dive for them, the more rewarding the find.

Anything alive goes back, and the most amazing treasures are carefully hidden — to live on another day.

Last week we were greeted by the dark silhouette of a 10-12 foot tiger shark that swam into the bay, close to where we stood watching from outside the water. We were stunned to see it so plainly among boats and people, at an average time of the morning, with nothing much else going on.

Moreso we were dumbfounded by its timing with the talk we were having, as if to punctuate the topic.

As we approached the shore, I told John that I sometimes bring our dog here to look at the water. That he’s getting used to being in the ocean but doesn’t know about other things swimming around in there, so we sit on the curb and watch fish chase each other around. And as we were talking about this and the largeness of life, I gestured toward the water and there it was, large, close and unmistakable that with a broad square head and swooping tail.

Then as casually as it appeared, it pivoted and swam off toward the mouth of the bay — in the general direction of more delicious looking, splashing, flailing swimmers.

With the help of a boat going out, the swimmers were warned and opted to ignore. So in weighing our options we slipped in and stayed near shore. But only after a word of caution to Char: “no squealing prey sounds or splashing, today you ride on our backs.”

There we were met by the most incredible beauty, engulfed in sparkling bait ball and filled with the feeling of being large and small.

In gratitude for the #sea 🌊


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