A few days after we arrived at Bahia de Los Angeles, before the
New Year, or just after, there was a 6.7 earthquake out in the
gulf not far from our home. It struck in the middle of the
night; Mary Ann and I both awoke to the familiar sensations of a
low frequency rumble and the house shaking. I was wondering just
how much re-bar the builder had used in the construction of the
first floor, supporting, of course, the second, on which we were
sleeping. On inspection the following morning all seemed secure.
Then we had relatively nice weather for a couple of weeks.
Last evening the wind started to rise. It seemed to be coming
from the west and I was thinking about allergies rising as the
deserts dryness and decaying plant remnants blew off the desert
and down the eastern slopes of our tall mountains. The wind
continued most of the evening, seeming to encompass our home
with a constant low-intensity hum that caused me to get up
during the night and check out our water and electrical systems
just to insure all was well.
And now, this morning, the winds' intensity is rising.
Via VHF radio a neighbor calls to cancel a previous meeting; the
wind is just too much to make going out practical, gusting up to
75 MPH. From our balcony, enclosed by glass windows and doors,
heater ablaze, I watch the white caps as far as I can see, out
into the gulf, frothing spume flying above the solid surface of
saltwater beneath. The birds for the most part aren’t
flying or trying to. They stand clustered together in bands on
the sand facing the wind and keeping the chill away. Our local
Osprey soars overhead, darting with the strong gusts and landing
atop one of his favorite cordon cactus. South, well
past the village, we can see Rincon and the sands and dust
Confined as we are today, I find myself thinking about our other
home and our boys there doing computer stuff and school work.
It's a long way away from where we are, more than we
choose to drive in a single day but in my mind's eye I
can be there if only for an abbreviated moment and only in
non-real time, transported magically by my recent memories.
What mysterious force is it, I wonder from my restricted casa
where the wind is blowing, that causes me miss my children so?
Is it because I'm developing cabin fever from the
confinement? Is it because it's been several weeks since
I laid eyes on them, and hugs? Is it genetics? Am I so self
serving that I feel I'm missing a piece of myself when
my boys aren't with me? Or it there actually something
so vague that we humans refer to as love? Love? What's
that I wonder, partially knowing.
But I realize it really doesn't matter. Perhaps my love
is a small part self-serving, a small part protectionism over a
tiny beast that was my responsibility up to the time it matured.
Maybe my sensation of love is a form of superiority over a less
fortunate beast, human or other animal. I'll never know.
But love is mine to ponder. As an old fellow I've spent
enough time experiencing true and false love, in both
directions, that I instinctively know what love is, to me at
least. It is a willingness to give when giving will help. It is
a time to allow others to help me. Love is a moment of
tranquility amidst the fury of life where we can clearly see
into the loved ones soul, arms open for affection and
accompanying response. It is a willingness to give our all when
an object of our appreciation is in need, including our selves.
I can lay awake in this recliner waiting for more thought. I can
reflect on what love has meant to me in the past, what it will
mean in the future and doze warmly. I can reflect on my family,
in two isolated places awaiting separate forms of weather
tonight and tomorrow. But we'll soon be back together,
sharing space and heart and my world will be better for it, more
fulfilled and content where my children are within my grasp, my
realm of support and I within theirs. Sometimes it's
impossible to be completely alone unless we are together.
It's been dark for an hour or more now. The winds are
dying. A filling moon climbs into the black sky from the east,
throwing a silver ribbon across the calming sea. I can hear the
birds working to restore order to their world while I still
struggle with mine. It is complex and overwhelming at times.
The winds give me a moment to reflect on important issues of
life while confined to our cabin on the water south of the
border. They remind me that I love and am loved.