Between Here and the Channel Islands

Enriching My Life

Out on the water it’s mystical.  When sailing under a brilliant sunny sky, a trail of reflecting beams sparkles and flickers its magic upward.  Elsewhere, guided by the fierce strength of plummeting pressure, the water churned by a typhoon spins its moist madness into a churning fury.  And at its frozen edges, the coldest waters surround the polar caps tossing bergs effortlessly and angrily during their longest, darkest seasons.  Regardless of the weather, the tilt of planet earth, the illumination from above and the sea life living below, the oceans challenge and nourish the wellspring of the human spirit.

My passion for the sea, as I often profess, stems from my birth just blocks from the ocean’s edge (see “My Oldest Memory” from April 2012).  I still cling to numerous memories of the most powerful moments of my life and how the beach called to me to cross over from soil to water – my first pregnancy and later a lost pregnancy, an exotic cruise to slip away briefly from parenthood, an epic vacation from Canada to Florida – each a faceted gem that stay with me and enrich my life.  And when I part from its beckoning spell, I taste the brine left from the breeze wafting invisible salt against my lips.

Escaping My Life
Driving out to Ventura County, we find a small building marking the tiniest land-based tip of the Channel Islands National Park.  The surrounding docks lead us to boarding ramp towards the multi-hour excursion westward, and

today the mystical ocean, while clear at the shore, hides beyond the cloak of fog draped before the horizon.  Once away from the shore, the dolphins racing us towards the mist swoop above, below, and back above the water effortlessly and triumphantly.  In the distance, an oil rig appears ominous in the watery haze and the closer we approach, it reveals a less-menacing stature fixed and immovable against the contrasting, bouncing water.

When we cross the shipping lanes ferrying goods across the Pacific, the monstrous vessels tote hundreds of stacked semi-trailers floating away to China.  But we scoot on our double-decker minnow as the massive cruiser fades into the fog and we pull into the cove of the first island with only a ladder to reach the dock.  Shrouded on nearby rocks, we hear the barking of the seals pointlessly harassing each other as a few hearty campers disembark the craft for an overnight on the island. We aimlessly cruise around the smaller islands with their unique fauna and humble heights.  But most notably, these formations, surrounded entirely by the mystical, magical, magnificent source of my constant inspiration, peek out of the beautiful blue ocean, pointing skyward allowing me to feel a million miles away from my life.
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