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 blowing there.
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.