Brown pelicans are floating just offshore, a safe distance from
us in their minds I imagine. Mary Ann and I went swimming just
before they settled onto the surface. I ask myself what it might
feel like with my underside in 70 degree water and my other side
in 100 degree sun.
I am downstairs in our Baja home, listening to a variety of
mellow tunes. As the day wears on and the sun settles behind the
westward mountains the pelicans, in small groups, ignite from
the surface of the calm sea, form into vee's and fly
gracefully off to the north. They seem to appreciate the craggy
shoreline there, in their nightly nesting grounds. Perhaps
it's the steep mountains that allow them to launch toward
the sea with little effort. If I could get into the mind of a
pelican I'd be there.
A year ago, and a year before that, a young lady from Mexico
City was staying at Camp Gecko. Her name is Christina. She is
friends with others in camp and we shortly became pals too. She
is educated in marine biology and we all shared our varied
experiences together around dinner and camp fires. Cristina is
sweet and pure and filled with knowledge that we all appreciated.
But this year she is gone.
We asked our friend Abraham where she is and he thought she was
across the peninsula at Laguna San Ignacio. Her focus was whales
so that made sense. It was the time of year the whales return to
the lagoon to bear their young and reproduce.
Christina always joined us for the evening fire. We would
collect at some mutual spot on the beach and spend the evening
sharing. Often a musician, a guitar player or whatever would
join us and provide a mood.
One night Christina was sitting across the fire from me. The
moon was full; she noticed and remarked about it. Our attentions
turned to the glowing orb in our shared sky. Sometimes events
like this cause us to realize the relative insignificance of a
human being. Words were not necessary.
That was the last time we saw Christina. I hear she is now in
Vera Cruz and continuing her studies. Our world will be improved
because of her loves of life.
A few days ago we were visiting with friends to our south. They
have a baby. Her nickname is Brisa. She is less than two years
old and learning to say a few words. She understands more that
she iterates. It's a pleasure to watch her form her mouth
into a shape that will issue the sound she knows. She is sitting
beside me on a small wall that defines a patio. She takes a
paper from my pocket. I produce a pen and show her how that
combination works. Brisa doodles.
Her mom and dad tell us that she's learning words and thus
concepts I think in both Spanish and English. Watch her her mom
says. I do. Mom says a single word. Luna is the word mom utters.
Brisa hears the word and immediately throws her eyes and head
upward to the precise site in the heavens where the moon is
positioned. She has a strong vision, at her young age, of the moon.
Later Mary Ann and I are home. I'm reflecting on
Brisa's recognition of the moon and my mind wanders.
Christina is in my thoughts as is Brisa. Christina is off doing
her academic thing and learning about our small world and its
fragility. She is gaining in her experiences and understandings
of life, of whales and turtles of humanity and how to cope.
Brisa has another view. She is tiny and so young and innocent
and forming. I hear Christina mention the moon, and it has a
complete and unique meaning to her. She is almost grown up.
Brisai'a view is less complete perhaps. She is beginning to
comprehend words and meanings. I wonder where the world will be
when Brisa is grown.
And just what, exactly, do we see when we view a moon? We are
each of us unique; we see what we have in our minds waiting to
jump forward into an image. In Brisa's face I reflect on
the complete innocence there, as with Christina. It is a
touching moment for me.
Pure young eyes meet a moon for the first time. How sweet,
tender. I've been looking at life for so many years I
sometimes forget the purity of us. That is not the case with the
young, seeing something for the first or second time.
There are times in my life that I'd like just to climb back
into childhood and innocence, to experience something for the
first time uniquely. But that'll never happen, it's unnatural.
So I guess I'll just have to imagine what Christina and
Brisa are seeing, how they are integrating their new images into
their own perspectives. I know they will grow into strong
independent women. I hope they have time to look into unknown
worlds and wonder. I know they will, each in their own way.
The sun fades. The last contingent of pelicans departs for the
north and I am alone on the sand with my worthless wondering
mind. I don't think I did anything to offend the birds.
Unless it was my loud music. It's only a 400 watt amplifier.
Maybe they just don't appreciate Don Henley's singing.