What occurs late at night except thoughts? Piano music plays in the background, very softly, an empty wine glass on the table beside me, my dog sleeping beside me, my husband talking in his sleep in our bedroom, and in this half-hour my mind wanders to my life as it has thus far been lived.
Tonight I am peeling from first degree sunburn caused from behavior reminiscent of my youth. Jumping in the ocean, diving thru forceful waves, being tossed and tumbled by water overcoming my strength to stand, and the delightful feeling of having total enjoyment as I leap through the Atlantic waters forgetting that I am a sunburned prone 78 year old woman whose youth has left her. No matter, I am not old, I am not weak, I am capable of having a damn good time playing in the ocean. What an awesome moment realizing my life is anything but over; that I am still strong enough to enjoy the pleasures handed me by nature. Perhaps my mind should have told me I was burning my body by staying in the water too long, letting the rays of the sun pierce the water toward my skin. I believe I knew, but how could I leave the exhilaration of the water covering my body, sharing delightful high tide waves with my sons, who also seemed to thrive in the water. We all forgot the real world and disappeared in the pure joy of living.
And then it was time to leave, to return home, and pay the consequences of hours in the ocean having fun: peeling skin, fatigue, swollen lips crusted with blood and scabs, and fantastic memories. Would I do it again? You’re damn right I would.