Friday, 27 March 2015

Warm Breezes

Gulf Breeze is living up to its name this morning, with a strong wind from the north whipping up Pensacola Bay into whitecaps, pushing the boats about at the dock, rushing the waves onto the shore outside our motel. The palm trees are making the high pitched swish of music as the pulse of air moves through the fronds, a kind of swish cymbal percussion to accompany the screaming of happy children playing frisbee on the lawn near the shoreline.

Our first full day in Florida will be a cool one, with temperatures in the mid to high sixties; for the Celcius crowd, that's somewhere between 18 and 20, warm for northern climates but cool for the denizens of the deep south. It is the ocean effect, the constant movement of air, stealing cool from the sea and transferring it over to the land. The ocean and the sun make the wind; those of us who sail know what this means.

I plan on exploring the coastline for a while this morning. Then, after a couple of hours and a good solid parked-in-the-truck nap, we will likely head inland. Our goal is Tallahassee, Florida, to visit and old friend of mine. This trip seems to contain a lot of this; visiting old friends, seeing favourite places. Each visit, each stop, each moment seems to have the sad feel of the last time. I wonder if I will ever pass this way again.

Of course, I have to be careful here. I started wondering about "last times" a couple of years ago, when my legs were failing fast and it looked like my time was truly short. The reality is that none of us, and especially not me, knows the day of our passing. I am not immune to the "normal" causes of death; I just have a more certain one at a relatively near endpoint. It's the whole "relatively near" thing that causes some distress. I don't know when that will be, but I know it is coming.

On the other hand, I am in Florida, about to drive along the Gulf Coast. Later today I will dine with wonderful friends, relax my tired body in the safety of a kind home, sleep in the warmth of a lovers arms. Life is good, as long as I look at living.

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