I went kayaking last night about 7. Sun doesn’t set until 8. It’s the only time when it’s not oppressively hot in the summer.
I’ve got loading and unloading down to a science now. And it was perfect conditions.
I put in the boat at Kinsaul Park. This is a place where lots of people like to park and watch the sunset since it’s a wide-open sky over the water towards the west.
I head out to my favorite spot and just sit there, singing and listening to the soft crash of the waves. It’s the only place I truly feel completely alone.
Just before sunset, I hear a familiar sound. A pod of dolphins surface right next to my boat. I watch them, smiling.
But the sun’s going down and I need to head back to shore. It’s easier coming in than it is going out. The current had a natural pull towards the shore.
I hit the beach right at dusk and unclip my keys from where I hooked them on my shirt. As I’m waiting for the trunk to open, I hear a voice and realize that it’s talking to me.
“Do you need some help?” It’s an older woman.
“No ma’am, I’ve got it. I appreciate it though.”
“Girl, me and my friend have been so worried about you. We didn’t think you were going to make it back in time before it got dark. We were waiting and we were going to call the police in a few minutes!”
I looked over to the car she emerged from. Another older woman sat in the passenger seat nodding her head. I smiled.
“Well, thank you for worrying about me.”
“That must be a good workout.”
“Yes ma’am. I mainly like to go right at sunset because that’s when the dolphins like to feed. Plus it’s not so hot.”
I heard someone calling from behind me. I turn towards the voice.
“Just said you are a brave girl! That was a long way. I was watching you, too.”
I finished loading the boat and began driving the 6 blocks it takes to get back home. I thought about these strangers watching me out on the bay. I imagined the two women discussing me as the sun slowly crept towards the horizon. The man sitting in his truck bed, smoking a cigarette and watching my blue kayak bob in the water.
Isn’t it weird how our presence in this life impacts people we don’t even know? So much so that they stop for a minute and watch you. Or they are filled with concern.
It’s sort of like staring at a photograph when there’s random people in the background. Sometimes I wonder who they are, if they’re happy, if they’re still alive.
We all just orbit around each other, sometimes making contact, connecting for a moment… however brief.
Sometimes we don’t even realize the connections we make with people. Sometimes we’re just out there in the water, bobbing on a blue kayak, and people stop for a moment to watch.
Maybe they wonder the same things about you. If you’re happy, if you’re okay. Maybe they think you’re brave.
“God is pleased when your love realizes
it is part of something oceanic
and begins to move with the whole…
This world is a watery shadow of ocean-love.
That sea of light cannot be contained
in single human beings, so leave fragments,
and be the mountain.” -Rumi