Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Sea

I didn't see very much of it, but there is a feeling I had, now almost lost, but still lingering as a memory, like a dream upon awakening. The Pacific has her own flavor, her texture, that sometimes is so powerful I must run, but hides something intoxicating in her blue depths. The Sea of Cortez does not have this same feeling, but a new one, not feminine, and not quite blue.

Countless small invertebrates swarm at the surface as I drive through the waters. Life is plentiful, and not hidden, but a darkness hides in the deep. A shadow, it seems that begins with the plunge, and smothers me with hungry life as I descend. And it is dark, indeed. The water is not as clear as the dazzling offshore blue of the Pacific, but has a sort of biological smog to it.

When I left the Sea, I had forgotten what it was like to taste the Pacific air, but that is different as well. As I came to the southern point of Baja California, I could feel the air thicken, as the humidity climbed. In the Sea of Cortez the air is very dry. Desert plants dominate the landscape, seemingly sucking the moisture from the wind. Every morning my tongue would be stuck to my mouthtop.

The sun is also different. This is more an effect of my position on the globe, but it strikes with more force now that I have crossed the Tropic of Cancer. I have yet to be directly under the sun, but at the closest I have been, in Costa Rica, the solar furnace seemed so close that when direct light would hit me, I would jump as if the hot hand of God had touched me, and run for the shelter of the pagan palm trees.

There are Coconut Palm trees in the Sea, but they are few; only existing where planted, and they do not produce very tasty coconuts. My journey onward will hopefully include more and tastier coconuts. I didn't eat anything from on shore during this trip, and mostly because the plants of the desert are ill suited for donating any part of their flesh for consumption. They desist, in fact, any attempts to cull their pieces, with violence. Even brushing past them is enough to bring an onslaught of warfare, and it is best to stay out of their reach. I think you can eat Prickly Pears, but I didn't see to many of them, and I wonder if you can eat Saguaros, but I don't know anything about them. There is not much animal life to speak of on the land, in stark contrast to the water.

Still, the stay in the darkend squirming waters was very pleasant. I would like to go back and spend more time there, and see some things again. It is a good place to spend a lot of time.

But, I fear, it is also a place you must leave, because time travels swiftly there, and for one to live their life in the sea, that life would seem short in retrospect. I spent almost two months, but I feel like a week has passed.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Beautiful, Christian! I am glad you made it back to the Pacific. We missed you this Christmas, but it was great to talk to you.

Love you,