Miami, FL – March 18, 2013
Miami hung across Biscayne Bay, tall buildings rising from land still hidden under the horizon. It’s was a beautiful day. Sunlight and a tailwind, water glowing sapphire clear and shining underneath us as we slipped across a sea of blue.
The bay is fifteen miles of open water from the northern tip of Biscayne National Park to Miami. There is no where to stop, boats zip back and forth, it’s not an easy crossing, but Chris wanted the real deal, even though he isn’t a paddler and borrowed his boat from a friend.
I would have been proud of him for that, for the tenacity where most people would fade, but it felt so trivial after a single moment in the middle of the bay, a slip of his hand when he thought I wasn’t watching.
That made me proud.
We’d drifted apart and I was racing to catch up when I saw his hand slip off the paddle and drop into the water for a moment. He scooped up a piece of plastic, the cap of a tennis can or something, as it slipped by the hull.
He didn’t make a show of it. He didn’t brag or say anything. He didn’t think anyone was watching. It was just a private moment between him and the ocean that he loves.
But I saw.
Everyone cares in a spotlight. That’s easy. The dark matters more, even if it’s in the bright sun shining across Biscayne Bay.