One of the questions in “The Grandparents Book” is “What was your bedtime when you were in grammar school?” I think grammar school is the archaic equivalent for grade school feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. (And wouldn’t my grammar be better if I went to a grammar school?) I think Mom said she put us ALL to bed REALLY early. Maybe 7 or so? Mom, feel free to chime in on this. Now I could blame Mom, on the fact that I was up so early in the morning, usually before sunrise on the weekends, and in the summer, wondering why there was nobody around to play with. We had close neighborhood kids and ran easily yard to yard. By the way, when I was a kid I was surprised to learn that summers were not half a year long. My relationship with time has always been a bit questionable.
In adulthood I suppose I could have blamed my work schedule on my early morning habits, I often had to rise early, and indeed have the past 10 years gotten up around five to walk the dog, do some exercises etc before work. Never could build up steam for an AFTER work workout.
But as it turns out, I haven’t been working for over a month now and still, I rise before the sun, and still I’m ready for bed not long after the time my mother appointed so long ago! Folks are just having dinner and I’m thinking a book and a little lie down sounds good! That’s just the way this twig is bent, I guess.
This morning, in Loreto, the sky was just pinking up when I heard R with his buckets trying to be quiet, getting ready to fish off “the rock.” Lucky for me, he is bent the same habitual diurnal way. I shuffle to the kitchen with my bare feet on the cool brick colored tile floor. Turn on a light, grind the coffee which makes such a loud harsh sound in the early morning but what an aroma! Pull on board shorts and swim top, cotton shirt and jacket while the water boils. Brush funky teeth upstairs, turning the fountain back on as I go so I can hear the melodic burble. I press the glass and steel French press down in its tube and put Moxy’s green collar and leash with bow-tied doo bag attached. Thongs to protect my already splitting heels. Jewel toned thick beach towel over my shoulder. I pour coffee, grab the light nice paddle I still have (it did not fly off into Oakland Bay along with my shiny new red board, thankfully) and put it over my left shoulder, sling the dogless end of the leash around my neck, put Moxy’s favorite orange dummy under my arm and balance my black hot coffee in my right hand and walk really slowly between the Mediterranean style stucco houses with their outrageously colored chartreuse and purple and hot pink bogenvallia and posing cactus. Flap, flap, flap, flap to the beach. Moxy puts her nose to the ground, smelling that R’s prints, still fresh in front of us.
R kindly moved the Paddle board down to the beach for me where it is waiting, white and tilted nose up on a silvery log. The sky is orange pink. A flame, with the base of the fire next to black silhouette of the giant rock that dominates this beach to the right. The source of the flame, El Sol, has not climbed up the slippery sea to grace us with his warmth yet, so I sit on the log and sip the lovely bitterness of black hot coffee and feel the cool sand with my now unshod wiggling and happy toes. Nobody is about in the Villa or on the Playa. I wait till just a moment before I think that miraculously predictable gold sovereign will reveal itself then shed my towel and togs and hold the board for Moxy to wade in the warm shallows and get on, nose to front like an unusually carved prow piece. I put a knee down, hold my paddle to the side and shove off, standing almost immediately, balancing without too much difficulty for it is calm this morning and my only work is against the current. We slip over very gentle rollers and watch the show. The half moon at two o’clock, over my right shoulder, half the sky now involved in the electric pink and violet painting being demonstrated right before my eyes. And here He comes straight out of the water, bald burning pate, plate-flat forehead, then full warm face, gracing us with HIS welcome warmth.
When I finally see R and his newfound fishing buddy casting off the rock I sit down, dipping my feet and legs in the water, alternately riding astride, then sidesaddle on the shiny white board as comfort dictates, while I ask about his luck. Lucky me to get another cheery early morning greeting, and catch of the day for lunch perhaps.
I stand up and paddle back with the dog laying down now, and when we get close enough to shore so that I can see my bright towel hanging on the tepee of driftwood I back off the end and swim the rest, pushing Moxy ahead of me, standing now and thinking about jumping in herself, I believe. The water is perfect and floaty and just the right temperature after a little workout. Moxy decides to wait and swim after her dummy thrown from shore.