April 15th, 2020 | 0 Comments
When I need joy, I think about the wild, comforting seal I’ve seen day after day at the beach for the past month—ever since isolating began. She makes her presence known like a spirit first, tagging along in the breakers, diving whenever I want a close look. Then at the turnaround a mile down, she bobs and weaves, spyhopping for seconds on end. That way we get a little time in each other’s presence. I always break the spell accidentally by waving and shouting hi, doing a little-kid-at-Christmas dance. I can’t help it. She makes me so grateful. When I do this happy dance, she goes straight down and, like a Charlie Chaplin bit, bobs straight up again a few yards away. This goes on as long as I can stand it, which is to say a few moments. It’s like staring at the full and glorious moon, if the moon were as hilariously intuitive as your first love. Then we’re quiet on the way back. I know she’s tagging along again, but she doesn’t make a big show of it, just an occasional bobbing up to catch my attention and say, I’m still here. How can she communicate so much with those eyes? Why does she come day after day, gazing so brightly? Once, I saw a halo of sandpipers, racing above the tideline in silver light, swirling around her. What does she see in me? What can I do for you, she seems to ask. With no words I tell her, I don’t need anything except to see you tomorrow and the next day.