Friday, November 5, 2010


The weather is changing and the days are more and more often representing the equatorial paradise that most think about in regards to these islands. The sun is strong and the ocean competes against the sky's radiant blues. Temperatures are climbing, but still very tolerable, around 80 degrees F.

Yesterday I lathered myself in sunscreen and grabbed my latest book and settled near the black lava rock coast of Playa Mann. The air is so fresh from the waves and there are growing populations of the adorable sea lions, lobos, whom I adore. Yesterday I counted six nursing babies, squealing for their mothers or else noisily suckling. The bull restlessly swam the coast, honking at anyone who even thought about getting in the water, protecting his harem. Unbeknownst to him, none of the young are his, since the gestation period is longer than he's taken over as alpha male and body guard to this particular group.

I waited until the bull hefted his large self out of the water and onto the shore, rolled a few times to crust himself entirely in a layer of sand (to keep the flies away) and fell asleep, to enter the water my self. The clear sea swirls around your legs as the chill creeps like needles all across your body. Somehow, I keep walking, breathing deeply and focusing on the pain of the water. Finally, I dive and swim a few strokes towards the boats anchored in the bay.

Minutes later my skin is still stinging and sore, I tread water for as long as I can stand it. Three younger sea lions swim towards me and show off: swimming around and below me, floating on their backs, smacking their flippers against the water's surface to splash me. Always looking at me, giving me an expression, which says, "Yeah, did you see that? Triple summersault, no biggie."

I float on my back with them, watching the clouds that don't seem to be moving, it's us who are moving in the waves and the wind. I love the salt water, I love how buoyant everything is, how gravity is forgiven in the ocean. Now so cold I can no longer support it, I swim directly back to the shore, only looking back once to see the lobos finally noticed that I abandoned them in their mimic and play sessions.

On the beach alone, I do some yoga and ponder how I got here, how much I love it here, how I'm making it my home. I wrap my mind around November, and what that means in my native Kansas and resident Colorado. I smile when the thought of turning aspens and first snow falls gives me goose bumps (or piel de gallena, chicken skin) even though I am soaking up the sun's loving rays.

I think about what my loved ones are doing, scattered all over the place, like torn papers thrown into the wind. I do this in my times of quiet solitude: walking home from class under the bright, alert constellations, or under a white sun, so close to my head.