I'm in Southwest Florida at the moment. Florida is an odd state to me. It's a love/hate thing. One moment, I'm enchanted and awed by its beauty, the next I'm growling at the biting bugs and driving habits. Even still, I find myself with my head in the clouds. Or.... more so.... my writing projects. They all seem to come flooding to me and I can only surrender and let the scenes play out. It's wonderful after practices and prompts to try to get the writing to come. Here's hoping I am amble to progress a story in some way. Now it they'd talk to me one at a time.
Visiting family is what brought me here. Well, my parents' anniversary (they always go on a trip) and a want to get out of sight for a time. But I'm here, and any plans I tried to make melted away, and expectations have been puzzling.
Two days have now been spent out in the bay. I shouldn't complain. I cannot describe the peace of puttering around in a boat and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the gulf. The ocean has always held my attention. I can sit on a beach all day. I don't have to necessarily be doing anything. Just being still and watching the waves and tides turn and I'm in my own world.
The boat is a new experience for me. The family has a gone in together and got a pontoon boat. She's lovely. She can be a bit of a handful if you slack off and quit paying attention. Still, I can see the attraction. Today was the greatest so far. While I was showing my mom a few tricks to the fish finder, several larger objects appeared on the screen. We were drifting at the time, pretty much feeding shrimp to fish one at a time. We studied the objects. They were unlike anything I'd seen before. I called my aunt over, but she had just caught a fish and was busy with that. So Mom and I watched the screen and wondered at the blobs below. Within a few moments, four manatee surfaced in front of the boat. They were gorgeous. I love manatees and have never seen them in the wild. I've always looked for them, but they seem to be rather shy. These four acted as if we didn't exist. My eyes were glued to them while they rolled and bobbed. They moved on, of course, and I was still watching in their direction for some time. We moved to another spot to try for some different fish and kept handing out shrimp. We did see eagles, bald eagles, and watched as they plucked fish from the waves. Dolphins jumped and played with their eternal merriment. Sea turtles inspected us. Gulls and pelicans and osprey and all sorts of birds kept us company. Beautiful weather. Beautiful creations.
After stepping back on dry land, my mind again went off on its own. The tide was changing. The rhythm of the elements changed with it. Oyster beds poked out of the soft waves. Long legged birds moved to deeper waters. Barnacle caked rocks and pikes glistened in the sunlight.
The push and pull of the tide wins me over every time. It's a simple thing, yet grand. There is nothing one can do to keep the tide in close. The salty water and sand slips through your fingers without effort and rejoin the mighty body that shifts away, seemingly to take a break from the busy shore. It'll return, and right when it means to. There again, what can one do to alter it? Why would one try?
It makes me realize where I employ my efforts and set my hopes. I can only bring so much of it into what I want it to be. The majority, the big picture, is the tide. One has to learn its times and work with the rhythm to aim to accomplish their plans. Some will get away no matter how hard you hold to them. Others seem to come to rest at your feet and wait for you to notice. There is always movement. Where do you let your attention settle on? What do you find?