Sailing in the Ocean

Last night, I found out some pretty major news, which I’m sure I’ll be sharing with y’all on the blog in due time. I had a lot on my mind today and was feeling more pensive than usual, despite the already crazy work day. It got me to thinking, and I began reflecting on childhood memories. We all have them; whether good or bad, happy or sad, they are all worth remembering.

It was around the time of El Niño, circa 1997. There was a record 230% increase in normal precipitation levels all along the coast of California. For months on end, empty fields at elementary schools turned into large ponds filled with swimming ducks.

On one particularly rainy evening, my dad first instructed my younger brother and I to put on our raincoats. Our second instruction was simply, to hurry. My brother and I looked out the window; the weather outside seemed cold and treacherous, but there was a break in rainfall. Not knowing what to expect, we did as we were told. My mom thought we were nuts. Even so, my dad walked us to the curb and much to my mom’s dismay, without an umbrella. His hands were full, his glances furtive. He then proceeded to pull out three miniature boats, made out of glossy, magazine paper. Then, he lit a candle, secured one on each boat, and much to our surprise let it set sail down the suburban stream. And there we were, three crazy people, watching in delight as our paper boats made its way down the rain-filled street. Would it make its way to the ocean? Certainly; I envisioned our boats floating happily in the Pacific.

This was but a moment, fleeting in time. Looking back, it probably lasted all but ten minutes before it started drizzling again, and we all scurried back indoors per my mom’s beckoning. But this memory is so deeply ingrained, it is forever seared in my mind. It floods my head every time it pours, and I can’t help but glance at all the gutters gathering rain. And I wonder if there are any other dads out there crazy enough to risk getting wet and sick, just to create a wonderful childhood memory with his two children.

Best,
Phoebe

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