Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida – December 28, 2012
Waves rose and the wind pushed in our faces as we paddled across Pensacola Bay. I watched Giulia pop up and down, all but her head disappearing in the troughs between waves, and I saw myself months ago, back on Lake of the Woods, rising and falling, wondering if I would ever make it, each moment amazing.
Now a wave feels like nothing, just water moving under the hull, a shift of weight, a part of me. I am a routine, unconscious movement, habit. The details slip through my perception.
But I see them when I look at her, when I see the world reflected in her glance and smile. I see them in the way she looks at the water, watches it lift her up and slide her toward the sky. I see them in the bow of her boat on a wave, slicing up the face and sliding down the backside. I see them in the spray on her jacket, the wind rushing through her hair, the paddle in her hands.
I see everything again for the first time.
I see and wonder what else I’ve missed in life when I forgot to look.