Wednesday, June 28, 2006

By Train, by Bus, by Car, by Bike...


Looking South on West Cliff, originally uploaded by camille94019.

I arrived at the ocean today in time to swim with Nori (aka Willow's Mom), M and Eleven.

Nori sent me a text message, telling me about the swim right as I was waiting on the platform in Mutton for the next train to Hose (wow, that sounds romantic... something so Dr Zhivago about waiting on platforms There was another woman on the platform, wearing cut-offs and listening to Guns and Roses on a boom box on her shoulder, just like it was 1982). As I was at the mercy of the two sets of Transit Districts, the whim of a thousand drivers intent on hitting the beach, I wasn't sure that I could make it on time. But when I arrived, breathless and somewhat dehydrated, they were there, on the beach, waiting for me.

I am starting to see why Nori loves being in the ocean so much. After I get over the shock and terror of being in a earth-covering body of water that moves up and down, is very cold and salty, its quite a delightful place to be. This is the first time that I felt confident enough to get well past the breakers and I touched the first and second buoys for the first time. I can't take much of the credit, as the other three ladies, all very accomplished swimmers, swam super slow to keep me company and cheered me along the whole way. That might have been the best part. The ocean (really, the Bay) is intimidating when it is just you, but inviting and nice when you are surrounded by friends.

Climbing out of the ocean is an event. When you feel the sand on your toes, then you can start walking, but the water doesn't want to let go of you so easily. Its like a hundred mermaid hands are dragging at your ankles. Don't leave so soon, they say. The 80 miles of public transit I endured today slipped away in the salty tides.

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