He Will Fly

He Will Fly

He stands
Alone, but not
On the edge
Atop a precipice
At once a boy
A man emerging
A Warrior
Armed with passion
Armored with our love
Innate talent, intelligence
Ready to step off the edge
And in to his own
Eager
Forward facing
Life ahead

We stand
Just behind him
Cacophony of emotion
Hearts clenched
Airways tight
Baby, boy, man
First Steps
Belly laugh
Tears
Joy
Soccer
His every pain ours
Every laugh ours too
Loving

For him
Happiness exploding
Heart cracking
Knowing
Nudging, then
Frantic, reaching for his hand
Wanting to let him go
Needing to hold him
Tears streaming
Schizophrenic
Joy. Desperation. Laughter
Despair
Hope
Love,
So much love
He cannot fathom

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Off Like A Herd Of Turtles

???????????????Sea turtles are fascinating to me. Gentle, giant and paradoxically graceful. I got to meet one in the wild while night diving in St Thomas. Some might dismiss it as a one night delight, and though our encounter was brief, it was deeply emotional and personal to me. I was thrilled beyond measure when my night light fell across his face — beauty and grace, heart in my throat, and he was gone, swallowed by the dark sea. My heart was singing, and I was in love. Since then, I’ve read about volunteer vacations where you can help do research on endangered sea turtles, watched documentaries and donated to Wildlife and Marine Research organizations. My husband and I will do one soon.

In the meantime, we found ourselves kid-less on the 4th. And in a fit of spontaneity, just like the good ol’ days, we decided to drive to Corpus Christi to visit my dad, and catch a Kemp Ridley Sea Turtle Release on Malaquite Beach at the National Seashore. I’ve wanted to do it for so long, and have been following along on the Facebook page with every nest discovered! But, our lives are busy and we’d lost some of our spur of the moment get up and go as our kids grew and became more involved in sports and life. We packed up the fur-kids and headed down.

That 4 a.m. alarm came too early after a sleepless night in a bed not ours. We dragged ourselves up and heard my dad call out to be sure we were up. Away we all went for our hour drive to the Padre Island National Park. I was excited, but worried about the crowds because it was a 3 day weekend after all. We met some friends when we got there and stood in a crowd of several hundred people. We listened to the ranger speak, and got some amazing facts about the Kemp Ridley, and, of course,  the rules. They then let us down the boardwalk and onto the beach.

Boardwalk Rush

Boardwalk Rush

Volunteers had the area roped off. They stood with poles and flags to keep the sea gulls at bay. People were racing to snag a spot on the front row. Trying to keep my enthusiasm in check, I was careful not to trip the running kids, or tackle the obnoxious adults hurrying past me, but I wanted to!

beachvolunteerscThe release was 75 baby Kemp Ridley turtles tiny enough to sit in the palm of your hand,  freshly hatched while we had tried to sleep just hours before. They started their awkward trek toward the surf a few seconds after they were laid gently on the sand.

And They're Off!

And They’re Off!

They imprint with the beach on their way, and will return year after year to lay their eggs along this shore. Though, the volunteers made sure that they made it safely to the sea, very few will live to return to this beach, as nature and predators and the cycle of life begins.

Swim Sweet Baby! Your Life Depends On It!

Swim Sweet Baby! Your Life Depends On It!

Even so, the whole thing made me extremely happy. Conservation fills me up. I celebrated the day with the love of my life, my dad, friends, knowing that my sweet mom would have loved this as much as I. She was in my happy heart and it left me melancholy, but joyful. Hope and faith refreshed my spirit.

Love, Faith and Turtles

Love, Faith and Turtles

 

Family Fire

cropped-huisache-fire.jpg

The big, smooth cement porch and high tin roof still stand. The roof and beams erected from a kit ordered through the Sears and Roebuck Company catalog in the 40’s or 50’s by the grandfather I never knew. The large round fire pit, built into the middle of the slab, full of a blazing and crackling fire built by the 3rd generation of kids to grow up at its edges; fueled by “eye ball” oak and mesquite wood collected on the ranch that day.

Headlights break the dark, dark night; truck doors slam, and voices emerge and spill cousins and friends onto the big wide porch. Shadows and silhouettes and multiple generations of descendants gather to warm, reminisce and drink by the family fire. Voices, laughter, love and belonging mingle with the smoke and past to fly heavenward on a clear, cold and starry Texas night.

(A Snapshot of Words)