Early mornings hold excitement for me even if I’m just walking to the barn to feed horses. It’s dark but there is a mysterious glow to the East. Birds are starting to talk again and where I live, a rooster might crow. This morning, here on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, we were loading up TWO surfboards because I talked myself into going out one last time before we fly home tomorrow. My plan is just to sit out to the side of where the waves are breaking and just see what I see. Hopefully, only Loggerhead Turtles, the largest and endangered. They are laying their eggs on the beach at this time of year and the surfers see at least one or two a day.
Paddling out past the breakers, my husband can hear me breathing hard. “You wanna grab ahold of my leash”? he asks. “I’ll pull you out”. Thank God. I try to keep the board flat to create as little drag as possible and finally we are out.
Some of the guys already there ask my husband,”What’s up with her“? “That’s my wife“, he says. “She just came out to see the turtles”.
It always feels freaky to sit on the board and let my legs hang down into the deep blue sea. Who knows what is looking at them and wondering if they might be tasty. I know me though and if I keep thinking that way, I’m going to scare myself out of the water and miss everything. I start to relax and take deep breaths, concentrating on the rhythm of the waves. I can see a small swell in the distance and watch it grow in size as it approaches. I know where to go to avoid it breaking on top of me. Then I see the fin. “What the heck was that”? I ask out loud, but no one can hear me over the waves. I pull my legs up onto the board and lay on my stomach. Heck, this is not the way I want to leave this world. Will I still be able to ride a horse with one leg?
Then I see the back of a turtle the size of my coffee table at home. Just above the surface of the water, a part of his shell reflects the sun then submerges. Okay, I’m going to let my legs hang down till I count to fifty, then count myself lucky and paddle in.
When I got back to the shore, I watched everyone still out there bobbing up and down, peacefully waiting for their wave. I know it could be that way for me. I just need to quit thinking.