August 13: Nate nudged me with his elbow and pointed: “Why don’t you get her number? She can teach you to boogie-board.” We both looked from the sand to the curling waves where a woman my age perfectly timed her launch, kicked into the wave’s barrel, and steered her bright blue board through the foam. Then she rose slowly from the skimming water (arthritic knees like mine?) and returned to the waves. Eventually, she wrapped up her set and I pounced. We’d already chatted in the boogie board line-up earlier in the day (Nate evidently spied my flails and her graceful rides) and we exchanged numbers. “I couldn’t get my grandkids out today, so it’s just me, my board and the surf.” And maybe me too, someday.
August 14: Some of us were tired and cranky from a day in the sun. We needed a bit of rest, a pint of beer, and whole lot of kindness. Under the trees of the brewery, my six-year old nephew caught on quickly: “Mommy, I love you,” and “Thank you” and “Please.” We rang the imaginary Kindness Bell over and over each time he found respect, service or generosity in the pockets of his shorts. And then he realized that kindness was all around him: the young women chasing down our wind-blown Uno cards. Another woman emptying into our hands extra feed for the goats. The two of us putting money in the tip jar for the wonderful band. Everyone applauding steaks, roasted corn and grilled Italian bread courtesy of dads, uncles and cousins. Ding, ding. Ding, ding. Ding, ding.
August 15: Six lines of spider silk twined together close to the pine needles anchoring them. My eyes followed the delicate, taut cord upward to the closest limb, 15 feet away. Six trips back and forth to make the sturdy line. I started my annual silent retreat today, and I prompted myself to wonder: What are the six threads weaving now to make my delicate and sturdy cord? What are my anchors? Where will I secure them? And how many times will I weave this silk again if wind or hand brushes them down?
August 16: Thunk. Thunk. Silence. Cheer! Thunk. Silence. Groan. Thunk. You got this! …. Usually woodwinds of birds and crickets serenade my meditation along the Bon Secours labyrinth. Today I was blessed by the chorus and percussion of a rousing game of “corn hole.”
August 17: Although the view is lovely I close my eyes to feel the vibrations of the noontime bell chiming twelve. My hair dances with the wind and I smell the moist earth. I open my eyes to the trees, which crinkle and sway. The birds, the pond and the frogs sing. The chimes produce bass notes and then a hymn I don’t know. It’s time for lunch. I linger. My sense of taste will have to wait.
August 18: An orange mail slot flamed across a door of purple clouds. Clutching our early morning tea, the two of us waited for the sun to pop through, like a postcard or letter of acceptance. Instead the clouds moved together to seal the opening, as though to say “you already have what you need.”
August 19: As I sat by the pond, my Mom walked by. Lightly wrinkled face under a cap of gray hair; a polo shirt and generous pants over orthopedic shoes; a cane, a stoop, and a sharp eye to see what Nature had to say for herself. I saw her again at dinner. And that time I cried.
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