When Next I Dive

Black Coral

Copyright © Lee Bell

All rights reserved

I have been apart, because of duty, from my ocean home for untold months. I last experienced the ocean when diving in the Bahamas. I plan to next dive in the Gulf of Mexico …I have been told of the beauty there. Tonight especially I miss my home the ocean.

I sit, apart, at my computer, longing to smell the sea in my nostrils, to hear the screech of the gull and the sound of the surf's pulse as it washes the sandy shore...I think back to the season when I was a child playing on the beach at Padre Island. Childhood is a special time when we are protected from the harsh realities of life… wild sea oats surrounded me, the sand was hot under my bare feet and there was a small tidal pool left by the receding tide, in it was hermit crab struggling to return to his watery home. Under the watchful eyes of my mother who, was not far away, I waded in the tidal puddle, squatting down to look at the hermit crab. The cool water was a pleasant contrast to the heat of the sand which had blistered the soles of my feet. On these trips to the beach I would walk the shore line looking for shells and drift wood. Often, I would wade out into the surf where a special shell called to me.

In the evening after a day spent gathering oysters, clams and crabs my father would build a large fire on the beach. In this fire my family would steam supper in a pot from the days catch. Those were special times of bonding with my family sitting by the fire on the beach taking pleasure from the feeling of our taut, sunburned skin, full stomachs and exhaustion.



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