I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
Yesterday was a beautiful day in southwest Florida, the perfect day to kayak with some manatee.
I got to share a kayak with Finley which worked quite well because he is young and strong, and I am old and not. We followed the advice of the man at the rental place; we kayaked into a little cove, took our paddles out of the water, and just sat there.
It was so quiet. I love quiet.
After a few minutes, we heard a snort and a breath. I turned and saw a manatee off to my left. Then, we heard another breath to the right. It was another manatee, perhaps a mother with her young, because almost immediately a smaller manatee surfaced to breathe next to her.
We sat there for the longest time, surrounded by manatees. I love quiet, but I also loved hearing the manatees breathe.
When we got back to the park and dry land, it was quite crowded. I love to eavesdrop on people. People say the funniest things.
Like, “Wow! What a beautiful camera!”
This came from a group of elderly ladies. They were admiring some big, honkin’, SLR-type affair that must have weighed 10 pounds. It was obviously the prized possession of one of these grand dames. What struck me funny was the surroundings — blue skies overhead and reflected in the water, saw palmetto, butterflies, geckos, manatees, shore birds, etc — and they were admiring a chunk of technology.
Also overheard, “Look, Mom! A playground!” There was indeed a nice little playground at the park, but this was said by a little boy pointing at some wood chips surrounding an instructive sign along the path. In his little boy mind, wood chips equaled playground.
Shortly behind that family came a mom struggling to push an empty stroller while carrying a baby and holding a little boy’s hand. The boy was looking up at his mother, begging, “Please, Mom, can’t I carry her?”
The exasperated mom sighed and said, “No, you’re not big enough.”
“Pleeeeeease,” he cried plaintively.
I laughed and felt sorry for her at the same time.
We had a marvelous time at the manatee park.
The best thing I heard, though, was the manatee breathing.