Wednesday, September 28, 2011

primordial paddling

A beautiful day, 23'. I'm working right by the sea, both classrooms I'm in have picture views of it through bay windows. I teach (help me, I've forgotten all my grammar) and try not to be distracted by the changing colours and light and the possibility of dolphins. I saw a big fish jump once, but so far I've missed the dolphins.

It was so nice I resolved to bring the kids down, see if Olivia wanted a last swim. Our trip was delayed a bit because Axl took the kids out on their bikes. Olivia felt too old for stabilizers, but Axl's around so little her cycling progress has been a little stymied. She got it today, though, and cycled with no more than his hand touching her back. Nearly there! It's very exciting, I'm so proud of her. She was emphatic that she wanted her dad to teach her, and I'm glad it's worked out, albeit slowly.

We got to the beach and the tide was out, there wasn't much sand, and a cold wind was blowing. Olivia changed into her suit but the sea was too cold, too shallow. She got sand in a paper cut, she hated it all and wished we'd never come, and we couldn't have an ice cream. Her mother's so MEAN.

We hung on for a bit and she and Bodhi went and excavated a pipe for a while. Then I noticed the sea had gone out farther than I'd ever seen before, leaving sandbanks with shallows around them. The kids changed again and went running - they came back to get me and I wandered over to paddle as they ran around in the water and sunlight. The shallows warmed once I was in them, the gulls (gigantic monster gulls) flew giantly over head, the water lapped and it smelled like sea. The sand was set in soft ridges under my feet and the evening sun shone a slick of mercury onto the gently rippling water. It was magic, it felt ancient. I wondered about my ancestors digging for shellfish in just such tide-leavings, barefoot; the breeze, the castings of sandworms, the hem of our skirts wetted with salt water.

Pretty, so pretty, I love the sea.

I never want to leave!!!! Olivia shouted, jumping in the water and surrounding herself with burning gold spray.

Then the chipper, a chat with a friend's extremely nice husband and his beautiful redheaded daughter. I feel faintly grumpish about the woman who was running her pack of four or five lurchers on the beach, off their leads, not trained to heel - and as they left, one splashed copious diarrhea on the stones, quite close to a woman sitting there watching her kids paddle. I like dogs, but... hmm. Bad ettiquette.


Ms. Moon said...

Well, when it was glorious, it was glorious.

Irmhild said...

Glad you got such beautiful moments! Like Frederick in my daughter's current favourite bedtime book, store the golden, sandy memories for winter!

Jo said...

Aw, that's lovely :)