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Baja California Information Pages

Stories by Mike Humfreville

Early Seaside Mornings   ( Posted November 17, 2002 )

The water was calmer in the morning than at any other time of the day, filmy, thick and slick, smooth and silky, floating, drifting, shifting, mercurial, with a heaviness, an apparent purpose, a movement from some deep, pounding heart.

A feather from a silent passing seagull fell from just above the edge of the sea and sky and across the small air rivers, floating, shifting like the water across unseen edges of influence, coming gently to rest on the surface, causing tiny but growing concentric circles there. The reflections of the clouds created an illusion of endless horizon. Schools of small fish darted ghostlike and together in close, orchestrated movement, never breaking that separation of sea and sky, remaining just beneath the surface, stirring the cauldron, the rich broth of life.
Gulls were obnoxious in the early mornings, sea-cocks, crowing just before the sun began its intense azimuth upward toward midday and then down into the cooling rays of evening. The most you'd hear from Pelicans was the wonderful whoosh of tandem wings, a concert of air passing through feathers, as they flew over the hut, headed into the first bait-boils of the day.

The gray dim pre-dawn glow slowly morphed, with no visual points of change, to a stray ray of sunlight, then another, casting colors over the offshore islands. Cumulous clouds, remaining from the rare storm of the night before, caught these colored rays and kneaded them, spun sugar candy, into full and vibrant shades of yellow, orange, red and threw these against the blue canvas of sky and water. In the distance the black forms of Gulls, Pelicans, Boobies, Cormorants, Frigates were silhouetted against this full color backdrop, awaiting the first stirring of bait.

I sat amongst the smooth round stones on this beach taking in the scene. A world at rest. The edges of the water in the bay met tentatively with the edges of the stones, small and worn sides of both substances seemed to touch and retreat, touch and retreat. In my head, the music of the previous evening was swelling, gently flowing strings working in harmony, each behaving predictably. All was in concert, all was at peace.

Behind me is a slight crisp sound, scoop through crushed ice, a head of lettuce splitting; a disturbance of my stones. This is no cause for concern. It is cause for celebration. Michael and Kevin are awake. Tiny feet have rearranged a few stones forever; the world will not suffer.

My boy's have been sharing my scene from their cots, facing the bay in our thatched hut, open to heaven, watching the natural unfolding of a day, a thing they may not have previously considered in their young years. A day is an event that requires an unimaginable amount of energy, the turning of incomprehensively large planetary, solar and satellite bodies on earth-crusted axes. Our blue sphere spins and up comes the sun. A game of marbles.

In cities we get up and spin our days into work that feeds our selves and our systems, with purpose, looking only inward. At a bay in Baja one feels more in concert with the elements, with nature; the view is outward, dreaming, dreamlike, cast toward distant horizons.

My boys, my spheres, are beside me now and I take the opportunity to accept and to give groggy early morning hugs from tender, sun-darkened torsos, and for now I can stop wondering about those things of which I am most curious and unaware. I can stop for a while now and perhaps awaken in Michael and Kevin an equal or greater curiosity of the mysteries of the universe. To cause to wonder, to imagine a meaning. Or just to accept a warm moment, a beautiful scene presented, gratefully, at a most peaceful moment of the day. Or, best, I can learn from my sons’ points of awe and wonder.

In later years I will look back, far across other universes, to specific moments in this time I call Now. From these distant points my chest will swell in reflex, my heart sore and my head fill with the warm and sad music I love on this remote beach. Times and places will merge. I will search my fading memory for the object most precious and have no trouble locating hugs. They occupy a secret, special place.

Today will be an excellent day. Today I have already spent a few moments on a quiet beach at sunrise where my whole existence has been justified and made worthwhile by my quiet, snuggling sons, sleepily watching the sun rise over the volcano, one on each of my knees.

Copyright 2002-2006 Mike Humfreville

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