Friday, August 05, 2005

"If I Could Get Down To The Sea Again......"

I went tubing down the Delaware last weekend. Lucy's had this yen to get on the water and being a Pisces it doesn't take much to get me on board. There's a place right across the river in PA that does all the work for you. Thirty minutes away, five bucks for parking, twenty bucks for the tubes, walk the cattle lines, a fifteen minute bus ride and into the river, baby!! We opted for the four hour cruise and it is nothin' but maxin' and relaxin'.
What is it about water that's so....familiar. Is it the old back to the womb thing? As a kid I was always the first guy in the water and the last to get out. My mom used to have a tough time getting me out of the bathtub!! Remember the way your fingers would get all white and wrinkled? That's the way they looked last weekend in the river. What is that, anyway? Around age seventeen I took up surfing. I was never any good at it but it was another excuse to spend hours in the water. Sitting on a surfboard out in the ocean at sunrise or sunset is ......primitive........a little bit dangerous and.....bonding. The ocean is a cure all for many ills. A friend of mine would get all kinds of skin maladys from the standard poison ivy, oak, stuff we would just call jungle rot. Nothing too serious. He'd always say,"If I could just get into mother ocean." I've adopted that saying over the years and it still holds up. I learned early on that the salt water of the Jersey shore was great for hangovers, zits, rashes of all kinds and attitude. Getting on to the beach, that first charge into the water, jumping over the first few waves, then making the perfect dive under a wave and coming up on the other side......well.....there's a certain art to it that only comes with years of practice. Don't get me started on the ins and outs of body surfing.....getting your face jammed into the sand......mouthfuls of salt water.......crashing into strange knees. Man, that's good. (Sprinklers, Slip n' slides, water balloons........remember them?)
We had a couple of pretty good quarrys in our area. Quarry swimming was a little more dicey. Unknown terrain, occasional drowning. But a chance to jump off a cliff. Who can pass that up?!? One time a few friends and I took a two day canoe trip some years back. The first night we're out in the middle of nowhere. We pull over, climb up a way and set up camp. In the middle of the night the ground starts shaking ....we see a bright light coming at us....take us home Jesus!!!! Turns out we set up camp about twenty yards from a train track. But....we survived. Great sunburn that weekend, as with most of my adventures with water.
Lucy seems to have the same affinity for water as me but doesn't seem to realize it....or make a big deal out of it. Like it's just a natural thing. And it is. She gets in water and a....what.......calm?.......gentleness?..........acceptance comes over her. It's great!!!!! I was watching this show on PBS about birth, from conception to delivery. The shots of the baby inside the womb are amazing. Surviving in liquid......almost more fish than human for a long time. And sure as hell not wanting to leave. Explains a lot.
Some of our best movies are about water...and fish. Moby Dick, Jaws,The Old Man And The Sea, Poseiden Adventure, Titanic and on and on. It seems at one time the earth was one continent surrounded by water. I give you CONTINENTAL DRIFT. How 'bout Water World. Horrible movie, but at the same time.....comforting. I don't know. The Standells..."Dirty Water". of the most recognizable guitar licks of all time.
The Jersey shore has cleaned up considerably in the last twenty five years. Mother ocean is nothing if not resilient. She gives us so much. I'm glad we can help out when she needs it.

No comments: