A Few Perfect Moments

I’ve been sad lately, thinking about a friend who’s been unexpectedly diagnosed with stage IV cancer. The fact that I can’t get on a plane or zip up in my car to see her is also like a gong echoing a reminder that I haven’t seen my son since May.

Our one-year anniversary of living on the road is coming up, and it’s been a long year of being cut off from friends and family because of the virus—which, despite everything unusual about my lifestyle, I know many of you relate to.

Today, however, was dotted with beauty, moments that transported me outside my funk.

Walking on the Beach with Another Old Friend

We’re camped at Sebastian Inlet State Park, which I’ll post tons about later.

First though, as soon as we set up camp, we high-tailed it in the truck to be hosted, safely and graciously, by a former colleague of mine and her patient husband who live between the Indian River and the Atlantic.

They treated us to a fresh lunch outside, and then we stole through a barrier of thick mangroves and sea grapes …

to the wide-open, gloriously thundering Atlantic Ocean.

Can you hear the waves? The wind blew in our faces on our walk south down the beach, and it blew at our backs as we reluctantly returned.

My friend and I talked non-stop as Tracy and Banjo stopped every few yards to investigate beach debris and the gorgeous rock that’s been revealed along the coastline here.

My friend found the treasure though: a young mangrove branch with hundreds of tiny shells attached. The critters inside were long escaped or dead, but the branch had grown enough around the small shells so they stayed rooted on, in all the natural nooks and along the tips as if someone had decorated carefully.

Tracy observed, “A shaman dropped their staff,” so my friend picked it up and walked it home.

It was a day of bright sunshine tempered by wind, and lots of talking so fast so we could tell all our stories, and Banjo appreciating new friends as I reacquainted myself with an old one.

Dolphins at Sunset

After we’d driven back to our campground and gotten settled in the tent, reading for the evening, I thought to walk out to the water so I could talk on the phone with Finn. I like to walk when I talk.

The sunset over the inlet made me feel like I was on a Hallmark card. But then I had to cut our conversation short because I saw a school of dolphins feeding around a fishing boat.

Like a nut I ran down the shore to watch them.

A group of men fishing from the shore were talking jovially (in Vietnamese, is my guess), probably laughing at me taking picture after picture of the dolphins stealing their catch.

The sun was setting slowly and dramatically over the inlet. In its bright reflection, dolphins circled schools of fish, surfacing and then disappearing for long moments as they hunted, then surfaced with a loud blow. Fishermen were calling to each other and throwing their catch in a five-gallon bucket that rocked with yellowtail snapper.

It was a perfect fifteen minutes. I’d say the most perfect I’ve ever felt if that were measurable.

And here I sit back at the tent, thinking about my friend with cancer. The sun is long gone, and now in the dark night, a thin sliver of moon is rising over the silhouette of the kayaks on top of the truck, with a bright Orion high above the campsite.

This is the balance you can find anywhere, but I seem to find it while on the road more than I did before. Here the perfect moments make themselves clear.

3 thoughts to “A Few Perfect Moments”

    1. This post reminds me of that Lou Reed song ‘Perfect Day’ which has that feeling of contentment but also a hint of sadness too.