In my experience
Here where I live
The waves are big today.
It’s usually pretty flat.
But today there are more white caps than normal.
I shuffle down to the water’s edge to wet my toes.
Immediately, I am surprisingly knocked back.
The ocean doesn’t just wet my toes, it pushes me back with water waist deep.
And then a second later,
Well okay ocean, I am clearly standing in the wrong location.
I take a few steps to avoid the buckling of my knees.
But I am still in the wrong place.
A careful look around seems to tell me to move beyond the shore break.
I am searching for the spot among the waves,
between the waves.
It is almost always there.
Another step and the shelf of shells drops me a foot lower and I am chest deep in the ocean.
There is where I can usually camp out and jump with and over the rolling ocean.
Jump! Okay, that is unexpected. White water just slapped me.
I thought I was safe.
Oh jump, jump, and … Again?
What is with this water today?
Local surfers are loving it, I am sure, but…
Floating peacefully won’t happen today.
I’m jumping with quite a bit of spring to make it over the high seas.
And I am not too successful.
Just when I clear one, another is right behind it.
I don’t have time to find sure footing.
I can’t push off the ocean floor.
I have to paddle using my arms and my legs to keep from going under.
I am exhausted from the aerobic exercise out here in the water quite quickly.
Turning back to the beach, I realize I can’t make a gradual ascent back up out of the water.
The waves aren’t giving me time.
I jump, float a ways, let her carry me gently,
I landed with the sensitive arch of my foot on a scratchy rock.
Owwww. That didn’t feel so good.
I take another step hoping for the hard packed sand.
On a rock.
Okay, plan C is being implementing – bodysurfing this next wave in.
Over top the rocks.
Going, going, stand up and
SLAM.. didn’t see that or expect that.
Hit right across the shoulder blades.
At the shelf and trying to step up,
But as the ankle deep water recedes back into the ocean, the waist to chest deep waves push me in the opposite direction.
Just trying to get ten feet is way more difficult that I assumed.
Big strong steps.
Or get hit again.
Turning to face what had just knocked me front, back, and every which way, I have dead things wrapped around my ankle.
Flinging the dried up seaweed back out to sea, I notice lots of others struggling in the sea too.
This is my life
My son spoke way to despondently to ignore.
He spoke of killing himself.
Having walked through similar situations many times,
Not my first Baker Act rodeo,
We contacted his twice-a-week therapist and headed for the ER.
He was admitted.
Upon returning home, found alcohol in his room.
A lot like today out in the ocean
being hit unexpectedly over and over and not having a chance to find the firm bottom.
These last few days have been a snippet of our last four years.